Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Virginia Johnson & Kate Spade

You had to know I would love this illustration by Canadian illustrator Virginia Johnson. This is me and my life right here in one drawing! I have had this in my photo file for a few months and meant to add it into my Kate Spade regift post last week. A Canadian artist who did artwork for Kate Spade... I couldn't be more proud! I have admired her illustrations for quite some time and had bought the Kate Spade style book series a few years back as gifts but never put the two together until recently.

You may remember the KS three-books series Manners, Style, and Occasions in Red, Green, and Blue covers. I must have gifted the other two, but I still have my copy of Manners. Lucky thing, I just spoke to them and the charming books are now discontinued which makes me happy that I kept one copy at least. The illustrations by Virginia Johnson were a good part of the charm of these unpretentious quides to social graces in this modern time. I had to pass on this quote from Andy Spade in the Gifts, Gifting, Re-Gifting section of Manners.

"Re-Gifting is an artform. But beware: If you re-gift to others, they may re-gift unto you"

I plan to talk about the delicate artform of re-gifting in an upcoming post. You had to know I was going to talk about this sooner or later, didn't you?

So beautifully and simply rendered.

As captioned in Manners ~ In a Museum Solo Viewing is Bliss
I love how this is illustrated with her head turned just slightly

Elements of delicate style.

Even from the neck down, you can still
imagine the conversation.
("Darn.....she wore the same shoe colour")

According to her website, the Canadian Toronto-based designer still does illustrations but is better known as being a textile designer who now sells to stores such as Kate Spade and Barneys. She has the most fabulous shawls on her website {click here}.

All illustrations from Virginia Johnson/Photo 2 by Sande Chase


  1. So simple, modern, and fresh. And that first drawing is definitely you!

  2. I have adored her work and now covet her textiles, they are loose, free and timeless.

  3. oh wow, I love her scarves! Thanks for sharing. It's always fun to discover CDN artists.

  4. What an illustration Sande! I can't wait to see your regifting post~~ I know that it is such a fine line... I think you have taught us, even though i knew before, but your confirming my's all about the presentation and it makes all the difference~
    p.s. I want that orange scarf!

  5. I have been reading your blog for a while now but somehow finally just came across your website! It's fabulous and I love all your exquisite and fun gift ideas. Thank you for introducing me to Virginia Johnson, I'm going to take a look at her scarves right now.

  6. Sande,
    Great post (as usual!) and looking forward to the re-gifting one. Never really took the effort to look up the artist behind Kate Spade's magnificent trio book collection, but I have always loved the bright whimsical appeal. Fortunately, I bought the set of books when they first appeared on the bookstore shelves, and now I save to pass along to my little crumb.

  7. I've always believed that the best way to regift is to donate.

  8. Wonderful drawings!

  9. Virginia Johnson has a charming store on Ossington just north of Queen Street in Toronto if you ever come into town. She is delightful and ever so talented.

  10. Sande, Virginia's first illustration truly represents you. It is positively enchanting as is all her work.

  11. As an artist, woman and etiquette consultant I am inspired by Kate Spade's style, color palate, and wisdom. I call on her "occasions" book on a regular basis - I love how she relies on fantastic quotes and these inspiring illustrations to tell her gracious living story. Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to your regifting post!

  12. Beautiful drawings. I look forward to your re-gifting post as well. PVE suggested to me to check out your blog. I look forward to being a new reader. It is wonderful!

  13. Such lovely drawings-I especially like the Kate Spade book on Style. I refer to it frequently.

  14. Virginia J. is very her designs and illustrations.

  15. I love this! I just did a post on this kate spade and her books on my fashion blog! Your blog is so adorable and the banner is amazing!!



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