Modern Vintage Style for Life!

21 Sep

I have always loved classic vintage style clothing. Back in the summer of 2011 I came on board with Cherry Velvet, a brand new concept from designer Diane Kennedy. Diane and I had a professional relationship already as I had sold her bamboo clothing line successfully for a number of years. I had just exited my own 10 year venture selling plus size clothing in my own shop in Vancouver and I wasn’t ready to give up on working in fashion. This line was everything I ever wanted to wear and I was more than excited to take on my role as an international sales rep. I still remember the excitement of seeing the first dresses arrive in the studio. I knew then that this was a very special line and that it was a perfect fit for me in more ways than one.

The very first Cherry Velvet dresses back in 2011.

 

The very first Cherry Velvet vintage style dresses

The very first Cherry Velvet vintage style dresses

Life can be unpredictable. After about a year I moved on to a different job but I left on good terms and I guess I always felt that someday I would be involved somehow with this amazing brand. Time moves on in the most interesting ways sometimes. In February 2017 I was contacted by Diane who asked if she could hire my band to entertain her customers at a Valentine’s customer appreciation event at the Cherry Velvet studio. The gig was a lot of fun and I loved seeing how far the line had come in the last 6 years. So many wonderful dresses!! In March of this year Diane contacted me again and asked me to come work for her. The timing was so perfect and, well, here I am. My role here is a little different than the first time around and suits me perfectly. Isn’t life interesting?

I’ve had Cherry Velvet dresses longer than almost anyone else and here’s the kicker. Those very first dresses are still in rotation in my closet. Those dresses are over 6 years old and they still look the same as the day I got them. Vintage style doesn’t go out of fashion. It’s classic for a reason!

Cherry Velvet and Me 2017 – Still in Love

Cherry Velvet vintage style dresses

Cherry Velvet vintage style dresses

I’m wearing (top photo) the Chrissy dress in Hot House Floral and the Danielle dress in Shutterbug print.

Both dresses are on sale now!

Love Barb XOX

P.S. Hope to see you at our next studio shop on Sept 29th and 30th!

Teal Green; Ovarian Cancer Awareness

14 Sep

Teal Green for Ovarian Cancer awareness monthDid you know that teal green is the colour of Ovarian cancer -a much less talked about, but very serious type of women’s cancer?  Unlike other more well-known types of women’s cancer, there is no screening test for cancer of your #ladyballs. This is a somewhat controversial name for your ovaries, but it does require both knowledge and guts to beat this difficult to diagnose disease.

It’s important to our designer, Diane, to spread awareness, as not only did she lose her Mom at a very young age, but her Sister-in-law as well.  You may have heard the story of one of our early models, Elly Mayday, who at 25 yrs old was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.

There is no one specific symptom for Ovarian cancer and these symptoms are generally vague/non-specific (often mistakenly attributed to other causes). It’s called ‘the disease that whispers’ for good reason: it’s often overlooked and under-diagnosed.

Do you do a breast self-exam every month? What about going for an annual pap test? These simple steps could save your life. Taking care of your #ladyballs is not as straightforward.

These are the symptoms to be aware of:

  • Swelling or bloating of the abdomen
  • Pelvic discomfort or heaviness
  • Back or abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Gas, nausea, indigestion
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Emptying your bladder frequently
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Weight loss or weight gain

Other symptoms…

  • Mass or “lump” in your pelvis that you can feel
  • Inability to eat normally
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Vaginal bleeding

We hope we’ve inspired you to catch up on any tests you haven’t taken lately, and brought attention to ways to help spot Ovarian Cancer. Please also consider taking a moment to share this post with all the important women in your life so that they’ll be aware, too.

Here’s also something else you can do. From September 15th to the 30th, we’re donating 10% from the sale of each dress from our teal green dress collection to Ovarian Cancer research.

XOX Cherry Velvet

 

One Cherry Velvet Dress; 5 Ways

8 Sep

One Cherry Velvet Dress; 5 Ways

Finding different ways to wear the same dress is not only a great way to add your own signature style to your outfits, it’s smart too. Our designer Diane, dug into her closet and put together these 5 ways to wear one Cherry Velvet dress with a classic scoop neck Olivia frock and her own accessories.

Along the Promenade

Sometimes simple is best. A sun hat and comfortable shoes for strolling is always the way to go. The Olivia dress looks great with a longer necklace, like this vintage jet (black glass) find. “Vintage” Fluevogs, Coach Bag.

One Cherry Velvet Dress: 5 ways

To the Office

Pretty much every Cherry Velvet dress can be worn to work in the Fall with the addition of a cardi, tights and boots or flats. Add a little personality too, like this vintage style brooch (under the hair). Lands End Cardigan, Fluevog boots, Diane Kennedy Rejuvenate Leggings.

One Cherry Velvet Dress: 5 ways

Brunch with the ladies

It’s easy to put something over your dress, like a shrug or a cardi. But don’t forget you can also wear something under your dress like a blouse, long sleeve top or t-shirt. Experiment to see which works with your dress. For this look, Diane chose a slightly less full Lace chiffon crinoline. Coach Bag, Fluevog “Purity” Boots.

One Cherry Velvet Dress: 5 ways

Dinner Date

A feminine frock is a perfect way to match your outer beauty with your inner confidence. For date night, a li’l sparkle always goes a long way.  Then add fishnet stockings, heels, and your best smile 🙂 Fluevog “Deee”shoes, Coach Bag, Brave Belt, Mirror Mirror Bijoux necklace, Vintage Chiffon Crinoline in Black Licorice.

One Cherry Velvet Dress: 5 ways

Gallery Opening

Sometimes you just don’t want to blend in with the crowd.  Nothing sets the mood for a funky outfit like a hat; this one Diane brought back from a trip to England a few years ago. Here’s a fun little trick Diane uses: collect a bunch of your lower skirt including the crinoline underneath and pin it up. You can use a regular safety pin (like she did here), but a bigger kilt pin or a broach works also. Fluevog “Exene” flats, Heidi Daus Necklace, Vintage Chiffon Crinoline in Spearmint.

One Cherry Velvet Dress: 5 ways

Hopefully, this post will make you look at your own Cherry Velvet dress in a new way. Hunt up some cool vintage accessories, polish up your favourite boots and get ready for fall!

XOX Cherry Velvet 

 

Care of Your Cherry Velvet Dress

23 Aug

How to care for your Cherry Velvet dress

Cherry velvet dresses are super easy to care for. With minimal fuss, our high-quality cotton dresses will last you for years. They don’t shrink or fade and are so timeless they can be worn over and over. You don’t need to save them for a special occasion!

 

To give you the official low down on care, here are the steps:

Care of Cotton Dresses

  1. Machine Wash, gentle cycle on cold or warm (separate the colours….so no RED socks, please).
  2. Hang to dry
  3. While still wet, smooth out the wrinkles.

Yep, that’s it. It’s worth spending a few minutes on #3. Taking the time to smooth out the wrinkles after hanging it up will go a long way toward being iron free! Smooth the collar, put your hands in the pockets, run your hand along the hem until it’s hanging straight.

If you’re going somewhere special or your dress has come fresh out of the box, go ahead and iron it with steam on a cotton setting.

Hanging around

When it’s time to hang up your dress for another night, be sure to give it a little room in your closet so it can hang freely. That way when you are ready to put it on again it will be crease free and ready to go when you are!

Wear your dress!

It’s very important to take your dress out and wear it whenever possible. You’ll want to accessorize in a way that’s appropriate to the destination although not having a destination in mind is perfectly alright. You may illicit wistful stares and long lingering looks when wearing your dress. This is quite normal. You may also be approached by other women demanding to know where you found your dress. Just send them our way and we will look after the rest. Don’t forget to smile and say “Thanks!”.

There are so many creative ways to wear your dress and that’s the subject of an upcoming blog: 5 Ways to Wear your Cherry Velvet Dress

Stay tuned!

XOX Cherry Velvet

 

 

A Magic Place: Cherry Velvet Studio Shop

16 Aug

A Magic place where everything fits!Another Cherry Velvet Studio Shop has come and gone and we can all agree that it was a smashing success. How blessed we are to have the opportunity to spend time face to face with our wonderful customers. There’s nothing quite like zipping someone into a dress and seeing their eyes light up. We love sharing the excitement they feel when they realise they have so many darling dresses to choose from. Dresses that fit! In fact, most customers experience being so totally spoiled for choice, they have trouble deciding which one(s) to buy! Now isn’t that a change from a shopping experience where you end up having to buy the only dress that fits? (whether you like it or not)

It was lovely to see so many pairs of girlfriends come shopping together….

Girlfriends shopping together at our studio shop

Another that bought a ‘special occasion’ dress came back for one to wear every day. We loved what she had to say so much, it’s maybe our favourite quote so far…

“A magic place where everything fits!”

A Magic Place where everything fits; The Cherry Velvet Studio Shop!

We welcomed those who came to see our latest prints and those looking for a bargain. We loved how women brought their best friends, girlfriends, fiances, and husbands. We had some big belly laughs! We all welled up with tears when one special customer saw herself looking so beautiful in her dress that she choked up. (true story) It’s a real gift to be able to get to know our awesome customers better and to be able to offer them good old fashioned personal customer service. 

These two spent a fun day together that included our Studio Shop….

A Magic Place where everything fits; The Cherry Velvet Studio Shop!

Several others went home and took photos of their dresses:

A Magic Place where everything fits; The Cherry Velvet Studio Shop!

A Magic Place where everything fits; The Cherry Velvet Studio Shop!

We especially love the enthusiasm that often has our customers wearing their dresses right out the door!!!

A Magic Place where everything fits; The Cherry Velvet Studio Shop!

Love and heartfelt thanks to all of you! See you next time at our Studio Shop on September 8th & 9th!

Diane and Barb XOXO

 

Vintage Jewelry; Fits and Finds

10 Aug

Cherry Velvet Modern Vintage JewelryAn essential part of finishing off any Cherry Velvet dress surely must be a pretty necklace (and shoes of course) Does your jewelry have to be fancy? No, it does not! But gosh, we do love to accessorise, don’t we? There’s no easier way to ramp up your modern vintage look than with a few classic beads. The right vintage bauble can take you from demure to glam just like that. 

While I was on a trip to Wales last year I discovered several antique shops. One that sold trinkets like compacts from the 50’s, Crocodile handbags, and perfume atomisers. Looking around, I said to a fellow, “Where is the jewelry?” And he said, “Why Miss, there’s a whole other store that’s full of jewelry!!”

Giddy with anticipation, I headed straight over. I was not disappointed! An entire jewelry store full of beautiful vintage pieces was on sale for 50% off. Crikey!! These are a few of the necklaces that came home with me, all for a song. (You bet I was singing and dancing that night at the pub!)

Treasures found!

My favourite find? This beautiful Aurora Borealis clear cut glass beauty with three graduated tiers and a beautiful jeweled clasp. My other great find was what the proprietor called Night and Day glass. It’s black but the liberal Aurora Borealis finish on it sparkles with purples, magenta, turquoise, and chartreuse. 

Vintage 1950's Jewelry

This past weekend I was at an antique show in Tsawwassen and hit the vintage jewelry jackpot, again. This time I scored a double string of candy pink graduated pearls from the fifties and two crystal necklaces, bracelet and earrings sets, one red and one ultramarine blue. 

Vintage 1950's Jewelry

Vintage 1950's Jewelry

The quality of my finds are amazing but one problem stands out with buying vintage jewelry and that’s the fit. Just like most true vintage dresses are tiny, so is the jewelry. Many of these finds will need to be restrung to fit my neck. While it’s a shame to undo the original handiwork, how wonderful to have pieces I’ll truly enjoy wearing. Earrings too, if you can find them. They all have those nasty, pinching clips.

Perhaps you’re not an antique shopper or maybe you can’t be bothered with restringing necklaces. Whatever the case (may be), I urge you to have a look at our growing selection of modern vintage pieces handmade with love and built especially to fit ALL SIZE necks here. 

Happy accessorizing!

Love Diane, Cherry Velvet XOX

Plus Size Girls CAN wear the same clothes as smaller girls!

4 Aug

Rebel, Rebel…

Maybe you’ve seen a popular video being circulating on Facebook called “Rebel Wilson has a problem with Plus Size Fashion”. She goes on to say that “Some brands just put out the same dress in a whole wide range of sizes and it’s not going to look as good”. Well, Rebel, we’d love to send you a dress to prove to you that it is totally possible and even desirable to have the same dress in all sizes. Us bigger girls want the same clothes the smaller girls can wear, right?

Rebel Wilson would look great in a Cherry Velvet Plus Size dress don't you think?

Rebel Wilson photo credit: Getty Images

 

What we think Rebel was trying to say was that most brands don’t get the fit right in an extended size range. And we totally agree with her on that issue. That’s a problem with fit and grading (making the other sizes) not with design. She’s right when she says that there are a whole bunch of monkey arms out there and legs that are too long; not to mention sizing all over the place, weird armholes and gaping buttons over the bust.  The fit of plus size is a tricky thing, not easily mastered. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible! I think our customers would agree we know how to fit a plus size body very well.

Confidence AND Curves!

Rebel goes on to say that there is no youthful, confident plus size fashion out there. We beg to differ! Plus Size fashion has been plagued by poor quality, poor fit and dowdy styling for too long. It doesn’t have to be that way! The more designers who “get it” the better off we all are. Confidence comes from wearing clothing that fits just right!

Try it on and see for yourself…

We’re going to send Rebel one of our great-fitting dresses in a youthful, confident print. How about a dress with skulls, donuts, lipstick or planets (yes, all coming to Cherry Velvet this Fall) that shows off a woman’s curves in a truly flattering way.

New novelty prints for Plus size dresses at Cherry Velvet

We think she’d look amazing in one of our dresses! What do ya’ll think??

Thanks for being awesome, Rebel! We love you!

XOX Cherry Velvet

 

 

New Styles and Prints: Fall Preview 2017

26 Jul

Won’t be long…new Fall arrivals are starting to trickle in now!

New Styles & PrintsIf you’re at all curious about what’s coming… here’s a peek at a few new retro dress styles and all the adorable vintage inspired prints they’ll be coming in. We have to say we’re especially excited about some new choice prints this season. Many are ‘out of this world’ !! Wink wink..nudge, nudge. Yep, you guessed it there are quite a few with a celestial theme. Others involve movies, entertainment, and science for all you geeks out there! Of course, there are some beautiful fall florals and diminutive dots, too. So many new prints….cats, birds, donuts, travel and (a bit later in the season) more skulls!

The ‘New’ Annette Dress

If you’ve been a fan way back to our early years (over 5 years ago now!), you may remember the original Annette Dress. We’ve brought her back for Fall and switched her up a bit. This time she features a very full, crinoline worthy skirt and slightly puffy sleeves. We’ve kept the pretty scoop neckline, piped collar and open back detail. She’s a darling in new prints this time around, and all with contrast piping. We’re swooning over The “Ex’s” print with adorable yellow piping…

The 'New' Annette Dress with available prints

 

The Marie Dress

Just to switch things up we’ve moved the zipper from the back to the front, and what a boon for your office to party transformation! It’s all in your control…prim and proper for daytime or Va Va Voom for the evening! You get to choose!

We named the Marie dress after a famous female scientist to celebrate all our smart women customers out there. Marie features a shirt style collar, short slight puffy sleeves, a full skirt and of course, POCKETS! Here’s a peek at the special prints we choose for this dress. We have to say though, these photos do not do them justice…they are truly amazing!

The Marie dress from Cherry Velvet in new prints

The Marie dress from Cherry Velvet in new prints

 

Yes…we love to tease…these new prints and much more will be coming to our new arrivals page sooooooooooon!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Why our Vintage Inspired Dresses cost more

20 Jul

Occasionally we get comments and notes from our customers voicing the opinion that our prices are too high. Sometimes these people list other companies that sell cheaper vintage inspired and retro dresses, and wonder why ours cost more. We want to respond to these comments to hopefully give you a better understanding.

Here’s why our vintage inspired dresses cost a bit more…

At Cherry Velvet, we take pride in producing high-quality, great-fitting, regular and plus dresses. To make this happen, we employ Canadians in our office, on our design and pattern-making team, and in the local (we’re talking 10 minutes away) factories that sew our dresses. We make multiple patterns and samples and fit them on both regular and plus size women to make sure the fit is perfect. It does cost more to make 2 patterns and multiple samples for each style of dress.

In recent news, it’s been made common knowledge that human rights violations are rampant in developing countries where many other brands get their garments sewn. We employ local Canadian factories, visit our factories on a regular basis and work very closely with them. Canadian standards, labour laws and minimum wages are high compared to other countries including the US. We can see the working conditions in person, know how well their employees are treated and rest easy knowing that our factories aren’t collapsing or catching fire. Our dresses are not LITERALLY to die for, after all.

Another reason our regular and plus size dresses are a bit more pricey is our premium cotton prints. They do not shrink or fade. The prints are the CUTEST (you know it’s true), and we do limited runs of each fabric. These babies are not mass-produced! We usually only have several in each size.

Cherry Velvet uses the cutest high quality prints in their dresses

If we really want to get serious, there are 5 ways we can make our vintage inspired dresses cheaper:

1.   Use less fabric (shorter skirts, no room for a fluffy crinoline, no sleeves)

2.   Simpler styles and therefore cheaper labour (take the VA-VA away from the VOOM)

3.   Cheaper fabric (Boring prints that you’ve seen everywhere else, a million times before)

4.   Make tinier plus sizes that don’t fit bigger sizes (we’re not mentioning the names of other companies that do this but you might know who they are)

5.   Manufacture off shore. Take away more Canadian jobs, and send them over-seas to factories where we cannot make sure people are being treated well or paid fairly.

Since we are not willing to make these concessions, we’re just going to continue making the best quality, best fitting dresses that we can. Also, don’t forget that we have a lovely sale section, and a few more affordable styles so that EVERYONE can be a Cherry Velvet girl. Reg & Plus Sale section here

Thank you for your continuing support of our little Vancouver-based business.

We love our customers more than words can say!

XOX Cherry Velvet

#CanadianSass Contest Winners!

14 Jul

How’s it going, eh? Good? Beauty! So the contest is over and it’s time to announce the contest winners, eh! Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er. You guys sure are keeners. We don’t know if you were fueled by Timmy’s or maybe it took a mickey or two to gather the courage, but when you heard the call, you got off your chesterfields and got to work. The hardest part for us was choosing our favourites. They were all totally skookum, so it was super tough, eh. It was just short of a donnybrook here at the studio trying to pick the top 3 entries, but here you go; these 3 were a hard yes. In no particular order…

Jonathan Snow and Brandi Snow

We went out to the Richmond Nature Park with a homemade quilt by Brandi’s mother celebrating Canada’s 150th, ate some Smarties (a delicious Canadian sweet), and played with Isobel’s stuffed Canadian Goose. We made sure that all participants in the photo were wearing Cherry Velvet dresses and eventually showed off my Canadians Ass…though my wife thought it was supposed to be Canadian Sass!!

 #Canadiansass Contest winners!

Farideh Olsen

“I thought long and hard about a deeply Canadian thing to do. Stand in an open field? Go through a Tim Horton’s drive-through? Hold a sign that says “I’m sorry”? And then, of course, there was maple syrup.
None of them would do.
In the end, I felt that an RCMP officer would make the PERFECT accessory for my beautiful dress.
I had to interrupt him on official business.
However, once he saw my ravishing apparel, he happily obliged.”

 

Canada Day Contest Winner eh!

Janice Kurylowich

[A] Couple of my favourite Canadian eats, Nanaimo bars and a Caesar… maybe not the best combo, but hey, it’s sweet and savoury! Here I am petting a beaver!! Lol, Canada’s national animal 🙂 My daughter thought that it would be great to go on down to the Made in Canada exhibit at Science World, so here I am, a keener for Cherry Velvet!

Canada Day Contest Winner eh!

 

Holy Cow, you guys really ran with this theme. We said “give ‘er” and you guys hurried hard!  Who would ever believe there could even be so many purely Canadian moments captured by you, our loyal customers?? Well, we sure do believe it now and we have the photos to prove it. To see all the contest entries, please check out our Facebook album here and show these girls some love (and likes) too!

There were so many wonderful contest entries, we want to reward ALL our beautiful customers with a little token of our appreciation! (check your inbox next week!)

And, before we forget, here’s one from our neighbours to the south….thanks, eh!

Jennifer R. Prichard: Here am I celebrating Canada’s Sesquicentennial in with three of my favorite Canadian exports: CC, #CherryVelvet & the incomparable Margaret Atwood.

Thank-you for entering our Canada Day Contest eh!

Thank-you truly from the bottom of our hearts for all these amazing entries, eh!

Love you guys!!!

Team Cherry Velvet XOX