If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that everything is so much more fun with a friend. Think of shopping and what do you think of? Hangin’ with your bestie! Vancouver is filled with so many beautiful souls who rep our dresses so well and we are so lucky to know two lovely ladies that stand out not only as gorgeous Cherry Velvet models, but incredible friends with a magical bond.
Seeing Vanessa and Erin model together, you can tell that these two girls really “get each other’s crazy” (as Erin so aptly puts). Vanessa is Samwise to Erin’s Frodo…Lilo to her Stitch…Ron to her Harry…We could obviously go on.
Models by day, Fangirls…always!
From Disney obsessions to Simpson References, these cuties are the perfect example of kindred spirits. Friends since 2006, they both met acting for a local playhouse – quickly bonding over assorted geekery and a shared passion for performance.
Just like true sisters (from different misters!), not only was Vanessa one of Erin’s Elven bridesmaids for her themed wedding, but they’ve also supported each other in things like auditioning for the same role in a local production of “The Graduate”!
Cherry Velvet followers will already recognise Vanessa as one of our favourite models, so it’s only fitting that she inspired Erin to connect with us as a model shortly after she became an official Cherry Velvet Girl.
Awhile back, we had the pleasure of shooting with these charismatic chickies for our Spring 2017 Lookbook. But between the impromptu singalongs and all the face pulling, we couldn’t help but feel like we were all hanging out like old friends. You definitely see how much fun these girls love to have.
…but when it came to lights, camera, action, these Princesses of Poise knew how to turn it on!
New Doris dresses coming soon!
“Together, we are… The ULTIMATE Plus Model!…” Vanessa exclaimed.
“…She’s the T & I’m the A! Whenever we go lingerie shopping we always joke that she can’t find anything to fit her boobs, while I can’t find anything to fit my butt!” Erin added. (It’s adorable how they finish each other’s sentences.)
She also points out that they both love the Retro aesthetic and it was a dream come true to get the same chance with us that Vanessa had. After seeing her in our dresses, Erin realised she wanted a chance to model dresses that were as unique as her. “It’s nice that curvy girls get to wear fun patterns and feel great!”
All it took was faith & trust (…and a little bit of pixie dust) and here she is!
As they slipped into this season’s gorgeous dresses, they commented that our pieces fit like a glove whether you’re an “Erin” or a “Vanessa”.
Our straps are designed for comfort and support, so Vanessa never has to worry about anything other than stopping traffic! No bra-strap slippage here. And Erin loves how our dresses nip at the waist so perfectly. Identifying as “pear-shaped”, she was delighted at how our fun and full skirts accentuate her curves without resorting to uncomfortable body hugging.
Vanessa nodded knowingly, “I honestly feel like they’re cut and designed so that women can actually wear them.”
Well, hey! We can’t argue with that, can we? We just love the classic dress silhouette!
It certainly was an adventure with these daring Gryffindors & we hope you enjoyed this little glimpse at the unique people who help bring Cherry Velvet to life!
XOX Cherry Velvet
In the Vancouver area this weekend?
Bring your BFFs & come down for our first Studio Shop of the season –
today from 2-7pm (Feb. 24) + Saturday (Feb. 25) from 11-5pm.
Happy Valentine’s Day! We thought today would be a perfect day to post a recap for the fun little party we held at the beginning of this month! So Pucker Up and have a peek at how Cherry Velvet celebrates a shindig!
The day of the party it looked like we were fixin’ for a storm but we decided to go on with the show, anyway! How could we let all our careful baking & decorating go to waste? We’re cray, that way.
That being said, we were sad to hear so many were unable to make it out in such inclement weather. Someone even ended in a ditch on the way here! Even some of our guests who made it in didn’t escape unscathed; Our dear friend, Danielle, got soaked by a rude car. Thankfully, we had a showroom of dresses for her to wear. 😉
Despite the record-breaking cold weather, we kept it hot in our studio with a Love-themed Munch ‘n Mingle night featuring a photoshoot for anyone who showed up in a Cherry Velvet dress! We were a little worried that the epic snow storm we were in the midst of would put the kibosh on our fun night, but thankfully, one by one, 5 years worth of Cherry Velvet dresses came sashaying through the snow and in front of our photographer.
From live music that had everyone bumpin’, to impromptu complementary hair curlin’ & victory rollin’, there were tons of antics and adorable pics.
We thank all the guests who braved the blizzard and we’re so excited to share these photos with you! If you want to see more photoshoot shots+, head over to our Facebook Page!
We had so many charming and delightful ladies come in, we don’t want to exclude anyone! But we simply couldn’t get over how much energy party girls, Cynara & Dina, are! East Van beauties, through and through.
We even had esteemed Editor-In-Chief, Shannon Svingen-Jones, of FabUplus Magazine come out for a snap or 2. Also a Vancouver girl, we’re so proud of how far FabUplus Magazine has come in such a short time and it’s such a thrill to see Shannon’s hard work being recognized as an amazing new magazine, by the likes of publications like Elle & People Magazine.
What’s a party without music? We are so blessed to know so many talent artists to collaborate with and were lucky enough to have Wichita Trip, fronted by Diane’s good friend & long time Cherry Velvet girl, Barb Wilkins. Any shoppers from Vancouver will recognize her from Bodacious, a lovely shop which used to be on Main Street and was one of the forerunners of the Plus Size community in Vancouver. Wichita Trip provided some peachy keen Rockabilly tunes backed by Barb’s husband, Rupert, with Back up vocals & keyboards by Mike Van Eyes from The Revel Room’s famous Duelling Pianos Night.
The entire night went off without a hitch and a great time was had by all. Again, we wish to thank all our amazing guests for coming out. It is always such a great pleasure for us to see our dresses making girls feel stunning at any size. This party was a small gesture of our appreciation for everyone who’s supported us all these years and we’re excited to share so much positivity & pretty dresses for many more years to come!
Last year, for the first time ever, we offered size 4X. Later, the Plus Size community was buzzing about an article by Marcy Cruz of Plus Size Magazine, along with some prominent bloggers in the community, regarding size inclusivity (including sizes 22+).
At the same time, an avid Cherry Velvet Enthusiast and Plus Fashion blogger, Muffin Queen’s Closet, featured one of our 4X styles, the Brooke Tangerine Stardust.
Caught up in all this lovely press, we found ourselves in the rather (un)fortunate position of being sold out of 4X! It was wonderful that our 4X’s were a hit, but we felt terrible disappointing anyone who wanted a piece of Cherry Velvet for themselves.
Fast forward to a brand new year and we are delighted to announce that a new slew of gorgeous curvy dresses will be released, including the much sought after 4X!
When Cherry Velvet began, we were deeply committed to creating great fitting plus size dresses, originally offering sizes XL-3X. As we began to sell our dresses, we received feedback from our shops that Regular sizes were asking about our gorgeous dresses, too!
We soon made the decision to expand our size chart to include sizes small to large. Despite our commitment to Plus Sizing, it seemed like everyone wanted a little bit of Cherry Velvet. By the time we added XS, we were up to nine sizes!
After much feedback from admirers, we discovered that there were still women who wanted to be a Cherry Velvet girl, but were unable to! So we’ve decided to replace our XS option with 4X, to further refocus our shop’s mission to offer unique dresses and retro inspired prints to those who don’t have has much variety in their size.
This Spring, we’ll be offering 4X sizing in a few of our signature vintage inspired styles. All these dresses feature full skirts and pockets!
Brigitte Our best selling dress for a reason, our Brigitte features a flattering scoop neckline and a peek-a-boo back, finished with an adorable knot.
These 4X prints are available now! Regular (S-L) + Plus Sizes (XL-4X)
Doris One of our most classic designs, our Doris features a fitted bodice with bra-cup seaming to emulate a retro corseted look!
Brooke With a gorgeously full skirt, our Brooke features a sweetheart neckline and cute cap sleeves for even more added sweetness.
Moving forward, we’re keen to continue expanding our 4X Styles with more selection and would love your feedback. We’re always interested in hearing what your thoughts are. Please e-mail us @ cherryvelvetplus @ gmail (dot) com
We make our dresses for you, so it makes perfect sense to reach out to youwhen 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) –
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.
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!”
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!
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.
Check out those adorable shoes. Pixels & holograms? Flawless!
These Cosmos Meteor shoes from Fluevog are out of this world!
Stay tuned for another upcoming post, wherein Shelly shares her thoughts about body positivity and more of her beautiful charm with us.
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.
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!
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…
Which leads us perfectly into our next suggestion…
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
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!
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:
and we had a lot of fun getting creative with our advertising for that season.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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…)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!