My Virginia Johnson Story

Virginia Johnson watercolour

I have always admired the work of Canadian textile designer Virginia Johnson. Unfortunately, I alwaus felt that it was just out of my price range. I have been fortunate to find a dress and a scarf whilst thrifting. But those opportunities were few and far between (and the dress was too small).

I knew that Johnson was closing up shop to get back to doing more art. I just didn’t know when. On Friday, my friend Jessica told me that there was a one day/last day sample sale at the College Street store and the they were selling original watercolours (sketches for clothing designs etc.) for $5. So I walked up thinking that for $5 I could have a little piece of history.

Screen shot 2015-07-12 at 11.17.11 AM

There’s a little bit of kismet in this story. Back in May, I had commissioned a tailor to remake some clothing for me. After many false starts and “didn;t my assistant call you?” excuses, the tailor finally called me to tell me that my clothes were ready for pickup. I went into the shop on Thursday and not only were tyhey not ready, they hadn’t even been started. So I cancelled the transaction.

So when Jessica also said that they were selling pieces from her lower-priced Le Weekend capsule collection, I thought, “well I just saved $361 from not having to pay the tailor, maybe I can pick up some scarves too.”

Screen shot 2015-07-12 at 11.18.15 AM

Even though I got there late (my friend Alison was there and basically had filled up three boxes full of candles, shawls, pillows and clothes), I still managed to grab so much great stuff! And not just from the Le Weekend collection (see the scarf, bag, bathing suit and cover up pictured above), but also from the regular line (the shawl, t-shirt and jacket pictured below). And nothing was over $15!

All of the pieces are so good. And while I admit to getting an adrenaline thrill from the big savings, it made feel like I had wasted years buying from the sale racks of Old Navy and H&M when I should have been saving up every precious penny to only get garments from Virginia Johnson. I also wished that I had bought everything in triplicate (like my friend Alison).

Screen shot 2015-07-12 at 11.19.16 AM

Now I’m afraid that I’ll spend my days haunting eBay in search of second hand Johnson pieces. Until then, I’m happy that I get to have these cool threads.

Virginia Johnson Jacket