How to: Shelly Style

20 Jan

 

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We make our dresses for you, so it makes perfect sense to reach out to you when representing our line. Our dresses are as unique as your own personal style and we love to see how our Cherry Velvet girls style their dresses. Enter Shelly! Our regular readers will recognise her as a friend of Diane (our designer), whose fun and whimsical fashion sense makes her a perfect choice for this. A self-proclaimed, “sexy, fat chick” with a penchant for dresses, she’s an avid Cherry Velvet aficionado.

With her approachable smile, she’s a beacon of Retro-inspired style and has remarked that Cherry Velvet are her favourite dresses. We were so pleased to hear that she often gets stopped on the sidewalk when she’s wearing them!

On top of that, we knew Shelly has amassed an envy-inducing collection of darling shoes (including our favourite shoe brand, John Fluevog) –

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and jewelry…

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So we asked her to choose a few dresses to style along with her pretty things, as well as model for us – to show off her unique, CV-style. As always, we were delighted by Shelly’s cheerful and confident personality. She tells it like it is and exemplifies the body positive, self-assured attitude that pairs perfectly with our dresses.

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We knew the Olivia Dress was the perfect choice for her when we heard her explaining her style philosophy, “fashion is a feeling.” Fittingly, as soon as she donned the delicate Violet Ribbon print, she exclaimed, “it feels like something out of 1950’s Paris!”

 

 

 

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She went on to explain that she enjoys the juxtaposition of “simple with fancy.” She suggests pairing a denim jacket with our dresses or jazzing up a more subdued print with statement shoes.

 

 

 

 

Our dresses look absolutely fabulous with belts and this thick patent leather one is a lovely complement to our subtle take on the pinstripe. It really makes those fierce heels pop!

 

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She definitely had a blast trying out our brightest Doris Dress yet, The Pixel Party. It was hard to contain her enthusiasm! As soon as she saw it when she was picking her choices, she had to show it to her husband.

“He’s a bit of a geek and this dress just screams ‘Comic Con’! He loves the pixelated print.”

Shelly’s colourful personality definitely comes out in this trendy, statement dress. We’re not surprised she chose it, considering her other favourite dresses are our Brooke Dress in Vanilla Stardust (now sold out) & Danielle Dress in Bazaar.

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Check out those adorable shoes. Pixels & holograms? Flawless!

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These Cosmos Meteor shoes from Fluevog are out of this world!

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Stay tuned for another upcoming post, wherein Shelly shares her thoughts about body positivity and more of her beautiful charm with us.

XOX Cherry Velvet

Find one of Shelly’s favourite dresses, The Danielle in Bazaar & many more Retro-inspired, Plus Size dresses  at Cherry Velvet Plus!

The Retro Reconnect

7 Jan

These days, amazing technology allows us to have so many people’s lives “@”our fingertips. It’s very easy to get caught up in “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out) and forgetting the simple pleasure of connecting with people through something other than a glowing screen. With many making the new year’s resolution to make more time for people, we thought it’d be neat to talk about a couple of ways you can put your cell phone down and be more present, socially-speaking.

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It started with the typewriter, then those darn BBMs and now it’s safe to say the text message reigns supreme. Remember when “msg” used to be that stuff you found in bad Chinese food? Now it’s the auto-corrected alternative to making time for people. What a shame!

But thankfully, with scrapbooking becoming such a trend and crafting megastores so common now, it’s becoming clear that the long-lost art of the handwritten note is coming back in full force and we think that’s swell!

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Despite the convenience of sending an email, nothing beats that feeling of delight when the mail arrives and you see a handwritten envelope addressed with your name. With card companies releasing cards for practically every occasion, and Pinterest tutorials inspiring everyone, there are so many ways a note written by hand can have as much personal flair as your unique fashion sense. Who wants a Vacation Snapchat that will disappear in a day, when you can send a little postcard keepsake! Or show off your love of nostalgia with retro inspired card designs for niceties such as thank you cards and…

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Which leads us perfectly into our next suggestion…

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why not create a little FOMO for everyone, yourself – Send out darling Retro-inspired invitations & host an old fashioned house party!

No, we don’t mean

We mean

These days, people have taken to packing bars and restaurants to the ceiling with party reservations for every occasion. Why subject you and your guests to shouting over obnoxious music and overpriced food & drink when you can show everyone what a party that has Retro Class and Modern Sass looks like!

And the best part? Being hostess  means getting to suggest cocktail attire! Whether you’re holding a dinner party or just getting everyone together for drinks, going that extra mile to get gussied up always turns a simple get-together into a glamourous evening out for your guests. Even if everyone’s technically staying in!

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…And it just so happens we know the place to get a cute dress (or two)… <3

Do everything you’d do out on the town; dance, take fun pics with the girls…
…and never have to worry about someone spilling a drink on your Cherry Velvet dress. 😉

So go ahead, unplug! Disconnect* and reconnect the old fashioned way.

XOX Cherry Velvet

**And after your retro recharge, ease back into modern communication by joining our mailing list & following us on FB, Twitter & Instagram!**

A Wink At 2016

31 Dec

As we look forward towards 2017, we thought it’d be nice to look back at all the looks we’ve gotten over the last year…if you know what we mean 😉

We put a little Spring into the beginning of 2016 with one of our first in-house photoshoots for our Spring catalogue:

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and we had a lot of fun getting creative with our advertising for that season.

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But as the weather lightened up, we wanted to get outside, so we followed that up with shoots at a fairly hidden gem location, Momiji Gardens. It’s a stunning nook that seems like a match made in heaven for our lovely prints.

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If you put that many cute looks out, don’t be surprised if you get noticed! This year, Cherry Velvet had been getting noticed in a lot of places, thanks to awesome collaborations! At the beginning of the year, we had the opportunity to work with “Kim’s Kitchen” and provide wardrobe for their host, Kim Hayden.

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It was such a pleasure to participate in this and Kim looked absolutely stunning in our dresses. We detailed the experience in a blog near the beginning of the year.

Thanks to such an encouraging experience, we decided to embark on a similar wardrobe sponsorship with another media outlet – an interesting new streaming TV show called, “Plus This”, hosted by the sassy and fun Kathy Deitch & Eva Tingley.

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Have a peek at how lovely these two ladies look in some of our other dresses and learn more about their show in this blog from later this year. 

It’s been such an encouraging year for Plus Size Fashion and we’re excited to be featured in magazines such as FabUPlus and it’s such a wonderful feeling to know that Plus Size fashion is slowly but surely receiving attention and we look forward to contributing positively to the community. In 2015, we released a hashtag campaign that exemplified this idea, called “#stunningatanysize”. At the beginning of 2016, we had the opportunity to further expound on this campaign and released some inspirational images:

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We enjoyed adding our special touch to these positive affirmations and it’s fitting that 2016 only continued what we started with #stunningatanysize. As we move into the new year, we look forward to always being a reminder that beauty is what you make of it and that you are truly stunning. At. Any. Size.

From all of us at Cherry Velvet, we wish you a wonderful new year, full of retro class & modern sass! We appreciate not only all the lovely businesses we have the pleasure of working with, but we extend deep gratitude to all our customers. Without your continued support, we would not be able to enjoy the success every year brings us.

We hope your New Year’s Eve is full of laughter & joy!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Diners, Dresses & Dames (Save-On-Meats Photoset)

23 Dec

We wanted to keep the 2nd to last blog of the year light & cheery, so what better way to do that than with a #flashbackfriday!

Being located in East Vancouver, we’re lucky to be surrounded by so many local businesses with amazing history and connection to our community. One such business has been serving the neighborhood since 1957.

May we (re)introduce you to a local favourite diner on East Hastings Street, Save-On-Meats.

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Did you know that as of 2016, the building itself is 125 years old? We love that Vancouver has so many historical buildings!

Originally a quaint butcher shop with a small sandwich counter in the back, it quickly became legendary for its amazing burgers and excellent prices, leading to its expansion as a full diner. (While still maintaining the busy butcher side!)

While the original owner decided to close up shop in 2009, operations were picked up by a local entrepreneur in 2011 and Mark Brand has continued to run Save-On-Meats with the same standards and commitment to the community that it has become well known for.

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Besides its wonderful history with Vancouver, Save-On-Meats boasts one of the most adorably legit retro diner interiors in the whole city. When it reopened 5 years ago, we knew it would be the perfect spot for our Spring 2013 Catalogue photoshoot.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 4 years to date since we shot this. January 9th, 2013 to be exact! We had an amazing cast of models with the likes of Ruby Roxx, Elly Mayday, Miss Lucky Dee…and despite the threat of delicious all beef patties, we even cajoled our gorgeous Veggie pattern maker at the time, Genesis, into striking a pose or two. We were also lucky to have an incredible Glam Squad, to transform these lovely ladies into Pin-up perfection.

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Which, of course, was entirely necessary, when we had the famous Shimona Henry of Pin-Up Perfection Photography at the helm, ensuring maximum pout & poise. We absolutely love her style!

Check out a a few pics below:

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We hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past!
(And who knows…maybe we need to drop in for a burger & shake again in the New Year…)

Click here to view the rest of the photoset!

XOXO Cherry Velvet 

 

‘Shopping For A Dress (A Note on Photoshop!)

17 Dec

Recently a follower on Facebook noticed that we used Photoshop to edit an image. The photo was one of our Plus Size models, Veronica Belle and this person was quite upset. We believe it was because they thought we had altered the size of our model, which we hadn’t done at all. What we had done was Photoshop a new fabric on top of an existing photo. In the end, we thought this feedback was an excellent opportunity to explain why and how we use Photoshop.

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There are three main reasons we use Photoshop. First of all, our main goal as a company is to create and sell beautiful dresses. When we show an image of a model, it’s not our goal to alter the size of the model; but we do clean up ‘imperfections’ so as not to detract attention from the dresses.  If a model had a very unsightly blemish on her cheek while wearing one of our dresses, would you notice the blemish or the dress? So, yes, we make minor cosmetic edits, to ensure nothing distracts from our dress. In addition, we often remove a few wrinkles in the dress, or a stray piece of hair that’s lying in the wrong place. We also correct the colour to match the true colour of the fabric or the print as best as we can, as well as fix the lighting, if necessary. Those are the kind of things that we Photoshop on models.

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Another reason is timing & efficiency. When we get a brand-new dress in stock, we’re so excited to show it to you that we don’t always have time to wait for a photoshoot. Because we are constantly introducing new dresses and/or new prints, often a dress might arrive after we’ve just held a photoshoot. Instead of waiting until we have enough dresses to warrant another photoshoot (and the resulting the cost of hiring models, a make up artist, and a photographer) sometimes it just makes sense for us to Photoshop the new print or fabric on to an existing image.

It’s not our intention to misrepresent and we don’t feel like we do. We are just trying to release the newest dresses we have in stock in a timely manner.

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We have one more reason to Photoshop, and this one is the most creative. We use the magic of Photoshop to create all the amazing effects that we share with you in our images. We want to tell a story with our brand and show off why our dresses are so fun to wear!

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We hope this explains what we do and how we use Photoshop. We embrace the size of our models and as a company that promotes size inclusivity, we would NEVER misrepresent how our dresses fit on all shapes and sizes.

XOX Cherry Velvet

Take Your Sweet Time In Slow Fashion

9 Dec

In a previous blog, we recently discussed the concept of “Fast Fashion”, but now we want to take some time to explain the other side of the coin. The positive opposition to “Fast Fashion” which Cherry Velvet holds close to our heart. A concept fittingly named, “Slow Fashion”.

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To encourage needless spending, the Fashion Industry thrives on the concept of “Buy to toss”. Slow Fashion turns this idea around and defines itself by giving proper value and weight to a garment through its slower, more deliberate production process – from design to finished garment. Our designs remain classic and stand apart from passing trends, exemplifying style longevity. By sourcing high quality fabrics and offering traditional cuts, we design dresses that are not only beautiful, but timeless.

As a Canadian company that prides itself on making socially conscious choices, we know that our business is interconnected with not only our environment, but the globe’s social structure as well. It is our responsibility to make business decisions accordingly, in order to lessen the negative impact our choices have on the world. By simply decreasing the volume and frequency of fashion production and ensuring it is managed with a certain level of standards, we make sure our participation in the industry leaves as little unnecessary pressure on our global community as possible. Furthermore, by supporting local factories that uphold codes of conduct, instead of hiring overseas production, we encourage the fair treatment of workers. We even print our labels locally, to support the development of local businesses and skills.

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When you purchase a piece of Slow Fashion like one of our dresses, what you’ve bought will not be an “impulse buy” because of a “good deal”. What you’re buying is the idea that your style reflects a sense of creative individuality, as well as your willingness to act responsibly with how and where you spend your money. By spending more and buying less, you understand that style integrity is directly affected by the quality of material & labour involved, while being a socially conscious consumer. Instead of filling your closet with dresses you may never wear more than once or twice, you’ll collect a cohesive, classic wardrobe, all the while supporting fair wages and the sourcing of ethical production methods.

XOX Cherry Velvet

Miss Lucky Dee ‘Keil’s it Again!

3 Dec

Miss Lucky Dee wearing Cherry Velvet's Ava Dress in Black & White Polka Dots

 

 

Once Upon A Time, Cherry Velvet HQ had themselves a double threat in the office…

Long before the team we have right now, Cherry Velvet had themselves a Sales & Marketing Coordinator who would occasionally pinch hit as model, too! By day she went by Danielle Keil, but in front of the camera, she’s Miss Lucky Dee!

 

 

Born & raised in Hope, BC, Danielle moved to Vancouver to be the first in her father’s family to pursue a degree. She ended up earning her Bachelor’s of Arts & Social Sciences, majoring in English Literature & minoring in Women’s Studies. But, of course, you can’t study 24/7! A girl’s got to have a bit of fun, don’t you think? When she wasn’t studying, Danielle was spending her evenings and weekends moonlighting as Miss Lucky Dee.

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It wasn’t long before she put the “Luck” in her name by winning a modeling contest & contract with one of our favourite retailers, Lucy Clothing. After catching Diane’s eye and building a rapport with Cherry Velvet as a model, we hired her right after her graduation to help out with the office and be a cheerful face & voice to our customers.

Alas, Cherry Velvet couldn’t stay Lucky forever and eventually Danielle moved on to coordinate something else…a family!

Thankfully, we never lost touch with her and when we can, we love to have her in to shoot. At her most recent gig with us, we had a chance to ask her for her thoughts on her time with Cherry Velvet.

This is what she had to share!

What was it like working for Cherry Velvet?

I love working with Cherry Velvet!  Diane and everyone here is so awesome and supportive. I always feel comfortable and confident working with you all.  And of course, Diane’s designs make me feel amazing too!

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Working for Diane was a dream come true for me! I had just graduated from Simon Fraser University and was looking for a new job.  When I heard Diane was looking for help in her studio, I immediately emailed in.  I had modeled for Diane once before and she was already someone I looked up to and admired. Diane is very generous and would often give me clothing! (Like I said, it was a dream come true!)

I’ve learned so much from her and continue to take any opportunity to learn more.

With all that said, working for an artist is not without its challenges…Diane can make quite the mess during her creative process. That’s hard for a neat freak like me! lol

What’s your favourite Cherry Velvet dress?

I love the Lana Dress in Monochrome Lace.  I took that one home after my last shoot. It’s comfortable, classy and has pockets! It was a hit at my husband’s Christmas party. Also The Leah Lace Dress in Royal Blue! It’s to die for!

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I could go on.  I can’t pick just one!

What does body positivity mean to you?

For me, “body positive” means loving my body and having confidence regardless of what other people, society and the mainstream media may think.  It’s just being happy with whatever size I am today.  It means appreciating the amazing things my body does, rather than the fact that I don’t have a thigh gap or flat stomach.

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As usual, Danielle was an absolute pro in front of the camera, always game to try something new! This proved perfect, since we had a cute Video Game-themed idea for one of our newest dresses, The Doris in Pixel Party. Check out our little animated video below here!

Doesn’t she make a darling sprite?

We think she’s super!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Why Fashion Shouldn’t Be Fast

24 Nov

As the gifting giving season rapidly approaches, we want to take a moment and address an issue that is seriously affecting both consumers & retailers…”Fast Fashion”. This is a term coined to describe a current trend in fashion, aimed at ensuring that consumers buy as many garments as possible, as frequently as possible. With the rise of online retailers such as RoseGal and Dresslily, that sell their garments at ridiculously low prices, consumers have come to expect these prices without the thought of the consequences.  But are these garments truly a great price? We want to explain what Fast Fashion really means and why it’s too good to be true.

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With cheap and rapid overseas production allowing some retailers to release styles weekly, Fast Fashion’s goal is to make the consumer feel out of style after the first few wears. Yes, that dress may be $20, but there might easily be 100+ dresses to purchase by the end of the season. It’s not much of a deal if you feel obligated to buy every week, just to feel on trend.

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Which leads us to another point – Fast Fashion is literally designed to fall apart about as quickly as it’s purchased. Retailers know that if their garments fall apart, it will give the consumer a reason to purchase something new. Deliberately poor quality/low grade fabrics are not only dishonest but also lead to much unneeded waste, with an estimated 68 lbs of textiles per American finding its way into landfills each year.

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These cheap materials often include chemicals such as petroleum & heavy metals like lead. In addition to being potentially harmful to your health, these materials take decades (at the detriment of our environmental footprint) to decompose. In short, by participating in Fast Fashion, you are guaranteed an inferior piece of clothing.

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If that’s not enough to deter you, we would be remiss not to address the ethical repercussions of supporting Fast Fashion. In addition to cost-cutting measures like poorly graded Plus Size designs (or excluding Plus sizes altogether) Fast Fashion also manages their bottom line by contracting factories overseas that do not have and uphold employment standards like here in Canada. This leads to extremely unfair wages and poor working conditions, in addition to the illegal use of “informal workers” that work from their homes in some of the poorest regions of the world. This unfortunately also includes children; Children whose small fingers are more cost-effective for companies to employ, than purchasing the expensive machines required to sew on embellishments such as beads and sequins. In fact, if you purchase a relatively inexpensive garment with beads and sequins, they were almost certainly sewn on by children.

For Cherry Velvet, we simply cannot participate in a trend like this. When we say we are Retro/Vintage inspired, we aren’t only referencing the unique prints and style of our dresses. We truly believe in the old fashioned mentality of being careful and deliberate in designing. We want our Regular and Plus Size dresses to echo the days where fashion was all lovingly patterned and graded by hand and a dress had good structure and a long lasting quality behind it.

Unless you’re purchasing from a company that is transparent about where and how they manufacture their garments, you can’t be sure that you’re purchasing guilt-free, quality clothes. It is a little-known fact that many outlet stores (Like Winners, TJMaxx, Marshall’s, to name a few) do not actually sell a brand’s out of season pieces or excess stock; In actuality, an outlet’s broker deals with large brand names, in order to put their designer labels on the cheaply made clothing manufactured in their own low-quality factories.

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We hope that this “insider” information has helped educate on the global effect that Fast Fashion has on the global community and industry. It’s time we all slowed down and made a conscious decision to be more thoughtful about what we wear.

XOX Cherry Velvet

Cherry Velvet’s Holiday Lookbook!

11 Nov

With the Holiday season rapidly approaching, we wanted to make sure all our ladies’ halls have been decked…out in Cherry Velvet Fashion!

Presenting our 2016 Holiday Lookbook!

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We’re showing off a full complement of dresses, perfect for every special occasion this season. View some lovely looks featuring CV favourites like our Doris & Chrissy dresses, as well as a brand new fabric for one of our newest best seller, The Lana!

There’s also a little seasonal surprise print inside…
…What’s the holiday season without a Candy cane, cocktail….maybe both?

Guess you’ll just have to look and see! Check out all our dresses at Cherry Velvet Dresses.

If you’re local to Vancouver, see (and try on!) all these gorgeous frocks along with the rest of our collection, during our block of open studio shop dates this month (in participation with the Eastside Culture Crawl):

Thursday, November 17
5 pm – 10 pm

Friday, November 18
5 pm – 10 pm

Saturday, November 19
11 am – 6 pm

Sunday, November 20
11 am – 6 pm

Hope to see you all there!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Vintage Inspired Fall 2016

31 Oct

Fall into Winter with our newest Lookbook!

Spend the last few months of 2016 feeling #stunningatanysize in our latest collection of vintage inpsired dresses. In these pages, you’ll find new looks for favourites like our Paige & Kate dresses, in addition to a whole slew of new styles, such as The Olivia & Tracy.

From the convertible quality of our new Shimona dress, to the rich and luxurious new fabrics we have to offer for our Tracy & Sabrina styles, we have a style that suits everyday and every occasion!

XOX Cherry Velvet