Your Fall Dress Wishes Come True!

We have so much to share with you!

We’ve worked hard to make your Fall dress wishes come true with styles that we know you’re going to love. The Shelly dress is our first Fall arrival and it’s in beautiful, subtle prints like this Slate Gingham. Our newest model (and actress) lovely Tegan Verheul pulls off this vintage 1950’s hat don’t you think?

Cherry Velvet's Shelly dress in Slate Gingham on model Tegan Verheul
The Shelly Dress in Slate Blue Gingham

Do you remember our survey on Facebook asking for help choosing colours for Fall?  Roxy is the dress! It’s a Cherry Velvet classic from the archives you may recall. You asked overwhelmingly for Garnet and Purple, but we’ve also brought in this beauty in Royal Blue, Hunter Green and a Terracotta. Roxy has all the details you could wish for; a beautiful portrait collar, three-quarter sleeves with turn back cuffs, pockets and a lovely, full skirt.

Just imagine the styling possibilities with the Roxy dress. The collar is perfect to display your favourite brooch. We also have spectacular necklaces that look amazing with this neckline. Our new Black Cherry necklace (gorgeous!) is perfect with Garnet or Hunter.

Cherry Velvet's Roxy dress in Garnet and Black Cherry necklace and earring set on model Tegan Verheul
Roxy Dress in colour Garnet and Black Cherry necklace and earring set.

The new double strand Purple Northern Lights necklace set goes beautifully with either the Purple dress or this Royal Blue shade.

Cherry Velvet's Roxy dress in Royal Blue and Purple Northern Lights necklace set on model Tegan Verheul.
Roxy Dress in Royal Blue with Purple Northern Lights necklace and earring set.
Cherry Velvet's Roxy dress in Purple and Atomic Galaxy necklace set on model Tegan Verheul.
Roxy Dress in Purple.

The Paige is another super favourite around here at Cherry Velvet. It’s a great work dress that has retro style and a classic look. If true vintage fashion in your size is your dream, this is as close as you can get in a new dress. Plus it’s pure cotton, easy care and so comfortable to wear! Paige was inspired by an actual vintage sewing pattern from the 50’s and the sharply pointed collar is just so pretty.

Cherry Velvet's Paige Dress in Teal-Tac-Toe and Atomic Galaxy necklace set on model Tegan Verheul.
The Paige Dress in Teal-Tac-Toe and Atomic Galaxy necklace and earring set.

Any dress is improved with our absolute favourite of the season, The Atomic Galaxy Necklace for mid-century modern style and sparkle. For more of a day look, choose the smooth black beads of the Black Atomic Necklace. Both are stunning. All are handmade of glass, not plastic.

Cherry Velvet's Paige Dress in Slate Split Dot and Black Galaxy necklace set on model Tegan Verheul.
The Paige Dress in Slate Split Dot and Black Galaxy necklace and earring set.

Stay tuned for a Halloween preview. Several “drop-dead” styles will arrive early next week!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Dresses that Fit; Size and Grading explained

We know that getting dresses that fit well is very important to you, especially when you’re ordering online. Have you ever wondered how we make dresses that fit so well? For those of you who are interested in technical things, this post explains the sizing process called Grading. Grading is taking a clothing pattern that starts off as one size and creating all the other sizes. We make two base patterns, a plus size and a regular size pattern. From those two original patterns, the other sizes are then created. Making two patterns and then grading (sizing) them separately is what gives our garments their superior fit.

Making the variations between each size is subjective and up to the designer. We use a C.A.D. (computer-aided design) program called Optitex to make the patterns and do the grading.  Each corner and each segment of the pattern is given a value to increase or decrease the size. If you look at the image below, each larger dot that you see is given a value. These values or increments are often very tiny, often an 1/8″, 1/4″ or 3/8″ of an inch.

 

Above left is the regular size pattern, on the right is the plus size. While they look similar, the differences are there if you look closely.

Where it can go wrong…

When you go shopping, you may have come across a garment that has buttons that pull open across the chest. Or perhaps the shoulder seam is halfway down your arm.   This usually means the person doing the grading doesn’t have a very good understanding of how bodies get bigger and smaller.  This is where skill and knowledge come into play.  Especially on plus-size bodies, as we get bigger in size we don’t necessarily get longer.  We might need more depth in the crotch for example because our bodies are wider from front to back.  This is especially true for North American bodies and why pants graded in Asia often don’t fit well. We probably need more room across the back (but not the shoulder) and in our biceps or our thighs because those parts get bigger as we get heavier.

Recently a customer ordered dresses in a size 2X when she should have ordered a 3X,  which was her correct size. She thought they ‘might’ fit.  This is what inspired us to write this blog post just so you can have a better understanding of how size and fit changes. This chart shows how much of a difference there is between one size and the next.

Hopefully, this explains some of the processes that go into making a garment that fits well.  After designing, making patterns and grading for almost 35 years Diane Kennedy knows a thing or two about design, sizing and fit for all sizes.

Remember, we are always happy to help you find your best fit. Don’t hesitate to ask if you’re not sure. We love hearing from you and we want you to be happy with your purchase.

XOX Cherry Velvet

Dangerous Curves & Even More Dangerous Bras

I feel like I need to issue a warning, raise awareness, start a revolution! Women are being poked, prodded, stabbed and in some cases nearly blinded by their bras. Why don’t people talk about this more? When did our undergarments decide to rebel? Who invented underwire anyway?

Dangerous Curves & Even More Dangerous Bras meme by Cherry Velvet

Could this be the worst design flaw ever? I wonder how many perfectly good bras have been thrown away because of the dreaded protruding underwire of death. I bet the bra graveyard could fill Lake Michigan. Surely it rivals plastic straws in sheer volume.

Repair?

A quick google finds all types of repair tips. I’ve tried a lot of them and have never found one that really works. Any time I’ve tried, the fix was only temporary. Sewing over the end works for all of 2 hours; guaranteed that dreaded wire pokes out at me again.  I have been known to pull out the other wire as well just to achieve some sort of floppy symmetry. I’m not going to lie, I’m rather asymmetrical already.  Thanks, genetics.

Dangerous Curves & Even More Dangerous Bras meme by Cherry Velvet

But…Why?

Here are some of the reasons that underwire tries to escape and kill you dead. Wearing your bra too tight, wearing your bra too loose, washing your bra,  drying your bra, and also wearing your bra. I’ve talked to some friends about this and the consensus is that the metal underwire is too thin, too brittle, too pointy and too sharp on the ends. Clearly, the underwire is angry at my boobs and wants to punish me.

Dangerous Curves & Even More Dangerous Bras meme by Cherry Velvet

My bras promised to lift, separate and shape not poke, maim and jab. I can’t help feeling it’s some sort of conspiracy. Either way, I feel deceived, duped and most of all…let down.

Seriously ladies, if bras were made for men don’t you think this serious design flaw would be fixed by now?

XOX Barb

10 Facts about Cherry Velvet

We love our customers and it makes us so happy when you love our dresses (and us) back! We’re very proud of the way we do business and wanted to share with you a few facts that you may not know:

Fab Fact 1
Diane Kennedy is the designer and owner. If you ever come by the studio, you’ll most likely meet her and she’d love to meet you.

FabFact2
By “old-fashioned”, we mean personal. It’s very important to us that you get the help you need. In person, by e-mail or phone. We are always happy to help you!

Fabfact_3
We understand fit is a big concern with purchasing online.  If you ever need help with sizing please send your measurements to us by e-mail and your dress choices so we can help you find your best fit.

FabFact5
If you call during regular business hours a real person answers the phone. M-F 9-5 PST.

FabFact_5
Our amazing prints are hand selected and 95% of the time are limited edition. We make almost all our styles in small runs of 10-40 dresses. New styles and prints every season!

FabFact_6
We have a photographer on staff who takes and makes all of our official photos and videos!

FabFact_7
We use high-quality cotton fabrics that last and are very easy to care for. Machine wash and hang to dry. Smooth out the wrinkles and the pockets when you hang your dress up. Most of our customers do not iron their cotton dresses.

FabFact_8
While some companies outsource, we design and make all our own patterns in our studio in Vancouver.

FabFact_9
It can be difficult to ensure fair pay and proper treatment standards when manufacturing clothing offshore. That’s why we only use local Vancouver-area factories for our manufacturing. Diane regularly visits the various factories to oversee the production of our dresses.

FabFact_10
Definitely one the best facts…All of our dresses have POCKETS!!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Meet our #girlboss at the Studio Shop this week in Vancouver:

Friday, July 27 from 2 – 7 pm

Saturday, July 28 from 11-5 pm

We are at 1635 Powell Street in Vancouver, BC

Free parking on the street (please mind the parking signs for times) or in the parking lot beside the Flag Shop.

Pressure to be Perfect

What do we see when we scroll through our social feeds? Happy children, beautiful homes, sunny vacations. It’s often an endless stream of shiny happy people – and for many people, it feeds an intense pressure to be perfect. “Keeping up” isn’t a new concept: we’ve been telling ourselves that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence for as long as there’s been grass and fences. But the sources of pressure have become more constant. Twenty years ago, it might have come from a conversation with a neighbour or admiring a friend’s new kitchen renovation, or from advertisements in a fashion magazine. Today, the pressure is all around us – in perfectly cropped, filtered, curated, and captioned posts on social media.

A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms. Pressure to be Perfect blog post by Cherry Velvet

Keep Talking

Real life is messy, challenging, and rarely perfect – and if you judge everyone
else’s life by what you see online, it’s easy to forget that. Find people you feel safe sharing the down-to-earth reality of your life and do it often. What you’ll hear in return is sure to be enlightening: most people are grateful for your honesty, vulnerability, and bravery and will give the same right back to you. When we talk about (and better yet, laugh about) the challenges of modern womanhood, of motherhood, of balancing work and life, of our body image, of our finances, we suddenly discover that the pressure to be perfect eases – because we remember that no such thing exists.

There's always pressure to be perfect. Shout out to all the girls trying to love themselves in a world that's constantly telling them not to.

Take a Break

It’s ok to step away from the social media feed. You might miss a few rounds of
other people’s vacations or some shots of amazing meals, but there’s always more coming – and the break will do you good. When the pressure to be perfect begins to surge, take a break from the source of the pressure. Maybe that means removing certain apps from your phone, creating blackout times during the day, or simply muting certain conversations, people, or groups.

Real life is messy, Challenging, and rarely perfect - and if you judge everyone else's life by what you see online, it's easy to forget that. Pressure to be Perfect blog post by Cherry Velvet.

Foster Your Unique Self

What if the pressure to be perfect is really all about the pressure to be just like
other people – and what if you broke up with that idea all together? When you
foster your own unique life – whether it’s the way you dress, the hobbies you have, the kind of home you live in, the work you do – you might discover that “you doing you” feels a whole lot better than “you trying to do someone else.” In the process, you might discover that others are admiring your unique approach to living life. So celebrate yourself and keep growing. Remember, a rose never takes the time to compare itself to another rose – it just blooms, perfectly, all by itself.

Christina Myers for Cherry Velvet

 

 

 

Fashion forward at the annual Deighton Cup

Officially, the main event at the annual Deighton Cup at Hastings Racecourse happens out on the track. But while horses and their jockeys are vying for first place, spectators are enjoying a competition all their own up in the stands.
The Deighton Cup is the place to see – and more importantly the place to be seen – when it comes to wild, dramatic, and just-plain-fun fashion in Vancouver. Marking its 10th anniversary this year, the popular event has come to be known as one of the most stylish events of the year.
So, pop some champagne, choose your favourite horse, and pull out your best frock (and top-notch accessories) and check out the competition this year – on the track and in the audience.

Fashion forward in a Cherry Velvet Doris dress in Cherry Dots for the Deighton Cup
Cherry Velvet Doris dress in Cherry Dots, Necklace by Mirror Mirror Bijoux and Hat by Maria Curcic

Let your fashion flag fly

Take equal parts Hollywood glamour and British royalty, mix in some vintage flair or super-modern aesthetics and top it off with sparkle, feathers, flowers, and more. Big hats, small fascinators, bejeweled handbags, dramatic heels, flirty crinolines, silk corsets and more all make an appearance in the audience at the Deighton Cup. The unspoken motto is: go big, go wild, go over the top – and then go a little further. If you’ve had that wild hat or fabulous purse lingering in the back of the closet waiting for the right event, this is certainly it. Bright, bold, and dramatic, or colourful, quirky and full of character – the outfits at the Deighton Cup never fail to impress.

Fashion forward in a Cherry Velvet Doris dress in "Bat the Lash" for the Deighton Cup
Cherry Velvet Doris dress in “Bat the Lash”, Necklace by Mirror Mirror Bijoux and Hat by Maria Curcic

Get judged (in a good way)

Roaming judges will be on hand in the crowd at the racetrack to nominate the best dressed – but if they don’t spot you, don’t hesitate to self-nominate near the front entrance. Judges will select a number of men and women as finalists, who will then get the chance to strut their stuff on the main stage at the intermission. The winners will be named the 2018 Belle du Jour and the 2018 Gallant Sartorialist (not to mention a cash prize and the chance to serve as judges next year.)
To help mark the 10th anniversary of the Deighton Cup, organizers have also introduced the Peoples Choice Style Stakes award. Snap a photo of your raceday fashions at the track, and check out instructions on the Deighton Cup website to take part in online judging.

Fashion forward in a Cherry Velvet Kate dress in "Cherry checks" for the Deighton Cup
Cherry Velvet Kate dress in Cherry Checks

Most important rule: have fun

When it comes to fashion, it’s easy to get bogged down in old-fashioned do’s-and-don’ts, or feel baffled by ever-changing trends. The Deighton Cup is a great opportunity to loosen the rules and indulge in some wild and dramatic fashion that suits your personality. At the end of the day, the most important thing of all is to have fun, enjoy yourself, and take pleasure in dressing up.

Fashion forward in a Cherry Velvet Doris dress in Cherry Dots for the Deighton Cup
Cherry Velvet Doris dress in Cherry Dots, Necklace by Mirror Mirror Bijoux and Hat by Maria Curcic

Find your Deighton perfect dress here.

Christina Myers for Cherry Velvet

Christina Myers is a former journalist turned freelancer and creative writer. Her work appears in local magazines and she has been published in a number of anthologies. Find her online at christinaplus.wordpress.com, or on Twitter @ChristinaMyersA.

 

 

 

What the heck is a Beach Body?

Is a “Beach Body” an unrealistic expectation or a life goal? You can’t go far on the internet without seeing these words.  The very words “Beach Body” suggests that there is only one kind of body that qualifies to be seen on the beach. A body defined by thin, cellulite-free thighs; a flat, hard tummy and upper arms without that extra bit that keeps waving when I’m done waving. I’m pretty sure they aren’t talking about my body. In fact, I suppose my body would only be useful in that context as a “before” picture or a cautionary tale.

Beach Body Hilda Art by Duane Bryer

 

I know I don’t have a “Beach Body”…

But I’ve never let it stop me from taking my body to the beach.  I wasn’t willing to miss out on activities because I thought my body wasn’t good enough. I also decided that I wasn’t going to cover up my body just to make other people more comfortable. I have been known to go out in public wearing shorts, sleeveless tops, bathing suits and occasionally, *Gasp* a bikini.

Beach Body Hilda Art by Duane Bryer

This also brings up a lot of conversations about body image in my day to day life. What I realized is that it’s not about your size as much as what you say to yourself and how you feel about your body. Women of all sizes feel like it’s hard to measure up.

Sometime in my 30’s, I heard a quote that really stuck with me because of the deep truth it told.  What other people think of me is “NONE OF MY BUSINESS”.

That for me was just so liberating! It took a huge burden off of me. I also realized that nobody really cares. People are much too busy worrying about their own crap to put an effort into worrying about mine.  I also believe that my body, its shape and its size are no one else’s business but my own.

“I believe you should speak to yourself the same way you would speak to your best friend.”

You would tell your best friend that you think she is beautiful and that she deserves to feel good about herself. You would tell her that she is a badass and you admire her.  You would tell her that her ass didn’t really look all that big anyway and her tummy is cute. You would tell her that you love her because you do and she deserves it.

Beach Body Hilda Art by Duane Bryer

What I’m saying is, love yourself right now.

Don’t let the idea of having to look a certain way stop you from enjoying your life. Show other women that you’re ok with yourself and they can be too. You don’t have to wear a bikini, maybe for you, it’s a sleeveless top or a pair of shorts. It really doesn’t matter.

Your body.

Right now.

At the beach.

XOX Barb

Images of Hilda by artist Duane Bryers

Limited Edition: Cherry Velvet Dresses

Did you know that our dresses are limited edition? It’s true! The majority of the time, only 25 to 40 dresses are made across eight (or more) sizes in each print and sometimes we only make 10 total! Because of this, some sizes can sell out quick…

Our dress size production choices are based on popular demand.  If you happen to be a size S, M, 3X or 4X, (which are currently our least popular/least requested sizes), we might only make as few as two dresses in your size. If you’re between a size L and 2X (our most popular size range), we’ll (usually, but not always!) have more dresses available.

Model Kristen Faith wears Cherry Velvet 's Norma Dress in Mermaid print

Whatever size you happen to be, one thing is for sure,  most Cherry Velvet dresses and their specific prints, are made for just one production cycle or season. This means, once they’re gone, they’re really gone! The main reason for this is due to the limited nature of cute prints and fabric choices available.  Looking through countless fabric swatches for the upcoming season can be a little bit of a guessing game. Our designer, Diane,  often jokes about using her “crystal ball” to help decide what print to choose and how much to order. So while it’s not a perfect science, we always do our very best to find the prints you love.

One of the dresses that was a very limited edition this spring was Brigitte – Kamp Kitsch with retro trailers, campsites, and weenie roasts. Only 10 dresses were made in this print.

Cherry Velvet's Designer wears the Brigitte Kamp Kitsch dress while eating a hot dog

Another popular dress was Doris Octopus’s Garden; we only made about 30 dresses for all of Canada. (At the time of this writing, there are only 3 sizes left!) This print is spectacular with roses and octopus, it’s an undersea fantasy in the most glorious colours.

Model Veronica Belle wears a Cherry Velvet dress called Doris in Octopus's Garden

The Norma dress, in general, has been quite sought after this year.  Norma – Nevermore has also been really popular. It’s an amazing print; dark magic, spells, and crows. This one is almost gone!

Norma – Parlour Ink, with so many classic tattoos represented on an inky black background: scorpions, skulls, mermaids, bleeding hearts, roses, stars, swallows, snakes, horseshoes, dice plus more.  Only 2 sizes are left. This print is also available in our Men’s shirts.

Shimona Henry wears Cherry Velvet 's Norma Dress in Parlour Ink print

We very rarely (maybe only 2% of the time) recut our dresses in existing prints and/or prints we’ve released in the past. There have only been a few that we’ve ever recut, our Doris in Black Cherry Dots is a good example. It’s our flagship print that Diane had a hand in designing. The overwhelming majority of prints, however, all come and go—here for a good time, not a long time.

Model Kristen Faith wears Cherry Velvet 's Doris Dress in Black Cherry Dots

So now you know, when you purchase a Cherry Velvet dress, it’s not simply just “another dress” you’re buying—it’s practically a collector’s item! You become part of an exclusive club (one that may only have 10 members or less) and it proves, of course, you have an impeccable taste 😉

Welcome to the club!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Designer Derby: Canadian Hats, Jewelry & Dresses

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting a vivacious woman that’s also a designer of spectacular hats; Maria Curcic, ‘The Hat Goddess’. Pam of Mirror Mirror Bijoux jewelry introduced us to the idea of a collaborative photo shoot between the three of us. Truly, it was such a pleasure to match her fabulous hats and Pam’s gorgeous necklaces with our Cherry Velvet dresses for this photo shoot. I think you’ll agree…

Vintage style model Kristen Meyn wearing a Cherry Velvet polka Dot dress with a hat by Maria Curcic

 

Vintage style model Kristen Meyn wearing a Cherry Velvet polka Dot dress with a hat by Maria Curcic

One of a Kind Hats

I admit, I totally have designer envy! Maria’s hats are, literally, one of a kind.  It was such a pleasure to choose a beautiful hat to go with each dress. She picks trims for each hat individually; vintage flowers, sumptuous silks, lush velvet fabrics, fluffy tulle, special jeweled bees and, sometimes, a one of a kind brooch.  Each creation is a work of art. 

Vintage style model Kristen Meyn wearing a Cherry Velvet polka Dot dress with a hat by Maria Curcic

Vintage style model Kristen Meyn wearing a Cherry Velvet polka Dot dress with a hat by Maria Curcic

Vintage style model Kristen Meyn wearing a Cherry Velvet polka Dot dress with a hat by Maria Curcic

I felt like I’ve met a kindred spirit in Maria. Her art and design background and aesthetic runs parallel to mine. Days later I’m still crushing on her ‘candy’ hat shop of girly delights!!

Hats by the Hat Goddess, Maria Curcic

The styling for our shoot came together effortlessly considering each of us designers had a hand in styling the outfit. Once we picked out a dress,  it was easy to choose a hat and jewelry to match. Our beautiful new model Kristen Meyn was so patient to put up with 3 designers, too!

Vintage style model Kristen Meyn wearing a Cherry Velvet polka Dot dress with a hat by Maria Curcic

Make it Special

It’s easy to dress up and make your Cherry Velvet dress into a truly special party outfit.  A few vintage style accessories like a necklace, maybe a crinoline plus a hat makes your dress suitable for a fancy wedding or a day at the races like the upcoming Deighton Cup in Vancouver.

Vintage style model Kristen Meyn wearing a Cherry Velvet polka Dot dress with a hat by Maria Curcic and Fluevog shoes

I’ve come to believe that our dresses are like an accessory to your personality. Just like a hat or a piece of jewelry.

Canadian designer Diane Kennedy of Cherry Velvet wearing a hat designed by Maria Curcic

Here’s the hat I chose…

XOX Love Diane

Cherry Velvet

 

Pin-up, Art and Transformation; Shimona Henry

Once in a while, you meet someone special that’s destined to have an impact on you. I feel that way about the uber-talented Shimona Henry. The first time we met was at her studio right before Cherry Velvet Dresses‘ very first photo shoot. It was a crowded little room at the back of an artist collective but certainly a cool and unique space, which suited Shimona, being an artist after all.  And that’s how I think of her; a Pin-up artist.

Shimona Henry models a Cherry Velvet dress called Brigitte Bones n' Blooms in a classic pin-up pose
Model and MUAH: Shimona Henry; Dress: Cherry Velvet Brigitte Dress in Bones n’ Blooms; Photo: Logan Rudrum

If you live in the greater Vancouver area or have any links to the pin-up or alternative community, I’m sure you’ve come across Shimona’s photos.  Pin-up Perfection Photography is her company and it’s certainly been her primary focus for many years.  Several years ago, she decided to go back to school for hair and makeup with the goal of more regular work hours.  So now she’s not just an extraordinary photographer but does amazing hair styling and make-up artistry as well. It all fits together in the cohesive package that is her Pin-up Perfection brand.

Shimona Henry models a Cherry Velvet dress called Chrissy Lip Service while putting on lipstick.
Model and MUAH: Shimona Henry; Dress: Cherry Velvet Chrissy Dress in Lip Service; Photo: Logan Rudrum

Metamorphosis

What you may not know is that Shimona has recently made changes to her lifestyle for her health.  I have to say that I’m super proud of her. She’s gone through a difficult metamorphosis and this new Shimona is the one I want to share with you today. Her new found health and confidence blooms (just like the flowers) in these amazing photos of her.

Shimona Henry models a Cherry Velvet dress called Norma Rose Picnic.
Model and MUAH: Shimona Henry; Dress: Cherry Velvet Norma Dress in Rose Picnic; Photo: Logan Rudrum

In front of the camera

After posing women for so many years, Shimona was a natural modeling for us in front of the camera. She knows ALL the poses! Halfway through the day, we asked her to change her hair, and within a few minutes, right there in the park, a fabulous beehive updo appeared!

Shimona Henry models a Cherry Velvet dress called Norma Page Turner.
Model and MUAH: Shimona Henry; Dress: Cherry Velvet Norma Dress in Page Turner; Photo: Logan Rudrum

It’s a pleasure to look back at the many photos she’s taken for Cherry Velvet over the years and recently, it’s also been amazing to get my hair done by her as well. She’s a quadruple threat: Photographer, Make-up  Artist, Hairstylist, and Model too!  I can’t say enough good things about this lovely and talented person. May you have the good fortune to cross Shimona’s path!

XOX Diane

Cherry Velvet