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If you can't get a break this month, tuck into a good book.

by Kimberley Latreille

February 04, 2019


The Magazine

If you can't get a break this month, tuck into a good book.


Paper Cuts: Designers Virginia Johnson, Claudia Dey and Heidi Sopinka newest creations are bound for glory

Virginia Johnson and Horses Atelier have a special cult status in the fashion world. Johnson is cherished for her vibrantly printed casual clothes. And, Heidi Sopinka and Claudia Dey are the co-designers of Horses Atelier, a small-batch label beloved for its effortlessly chic dresses and jumpsuits.

Another thing these fashionistas all have in common is that they have all recently authored books. While Johnson has frequently contributed illustrations for Jennifer L. Scott, Elizabeth Baird and Kate Spade, she recently released Travels Through the French Riviera: An Artist’s Guide to the Storied Coastline, from Menton to Saint Tropez (Artisan, 2018).

Visually, it’s a stunner, filled with lively, colour saturated images that make you want to abandon your old life jump the first steamer ship to France. But it’s also filled with insight about travel and the creative process.

Sopinka’s debut novel The Dictionary of Animal Languages (Hamish Hamilton, 2018) uses words to paint a different picture about making art. Inspired by the story of surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. Animal Languages is the tale of Ivory Frame who escapes an upper class existence to live a bohemian existence in Paris and then the wilds of Canada.

And Governor General’s Award finalist Dey’s second novel Heartbreaker (Harper Collins, 2018) is a wry and witty tale of Billie Jean Fontaine, who falls out of a car and ends up living as an interloper in a rural Northern town.

What they also have in common is the perspective of seeing the world as an outsider looking in and the ability to transport us to unfamiliar worlds. At first were a little bit jealous that these women are good at fashion and fiction and non-fiction. But it makes sense that anybody who can create clothes that fit our lifestyle so well can also stitch together a storyline that appeals to our imagination as well.

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