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Body Positive for the Win!

12 May

The time for body shaming is over.

At some point, roughly about 100 years ago, a shift occurred within the mainstream perception towards what the modern woman should “look like”. While no one is 100% certain to why this idealism was created, we do know that since its creation this unrealistic goal has managed to cause a whole lot of pain and frustration for millions of women around the world—women that have spent decades and decades trying to fit into the “perfect woman” mold. When you think about it, the idea that there’s a so-called “perfect” or “ideal” body or appearance for everyone, it’s crazy. While this message is still trying to be sold by magazines, websites, television and movie screens today, we’re certainly not buying it anymore…

Body Positive image of models in two sizes wearing the Cherry Velvet Brooke Dress

Enter the revolution of body positivity, aka healthy body image, aka #StunningAtAnySize!

Body Positive image of models in two sizes wearing the Cherry Velvet Kate Dress

Although it’s been an uphill battle, women of all shapes and sizes have begun to make major positive strides in achieving mainstream body acceptance and inclusion. Women across the globe are proudly speaking out with messages of self-love, body-positivity, healthy body image and more. These words, images, and videos are being heard by the media. It’s a movement that’s spreading like a (healthy) wildfire and it grows every day as more content is created and shared by a network of talented designers, bloggers, photographers and social advocates of all types.

Body Positive image of models in two sizes wearing the Cherry Velvet Brooke Dress
#StunningAtAnySize is our message of dedication to this amazing movement for women and women’s fashion. Beauty cannot be measured and that’s why we create dresses in such a wide selection of sizes. Every woman should have the opportunity to wear something that makes them feel feminine, sexy and confident. We always create our dresses with this in mind.

Body Positive image of models in two sizes wearing the Cherry Velvet Paige Dress

 

Body Positive image of models in two sizes wearing the Cherry Velvet Brooke Dress

The message #StunningAtAnySize can be worn as a declaration of one’s confidence, utilized as an empowering mantra and serve as a model for a new and positive mindset. Its meaning represents the core values of Cherry Velvet; it’s the reason we make dresses the way we do, it’s what we support and believe in.

XOX Cherry Velvet

Plus Size Labels, who needs them?

7 Apr

Labels.

We can spend our whole life avoiding them, living up to them and proving them wrong, but when it comes to your clothing are they really that important? Many articles have been written about the use of the term plus size. Many feel that it’s an outdated and marginalizing term that tries to put larger women into a less exciting and frumpy box.

The plus size clothing industry has come such a long way and smart consumers expect the same quality and attention to fit and detail as anyone else. Why wouldn’t we?
What if we just forgot about that label and concentrated on clothing companies that spend the time and effort making sure that what they make really fits properly and makes you feel fabulous?

Plus is not a size but it is a definition of clothing sizes and that’s really all it needs to be. In the clothing industry garments are grouped into different sizing clusters like Missy, Petite, and Tall and Plus is just another range of numbers that literally corresponds to a group of sizes. Before retailer Lane Bryant coined the term “plus” in it’s advertisements for “Misses Plus Sizes,” way back in 1922, women who didn’t fit the flapper form of slender and boyish figures were called “Stout.” It wasn’t until the fifties that the term “plus sized” came to be the norm, and the rest is history.

Cherry Velvet's Shimona dress available in regular and plus sizes

This is what allows me to stick my head into a cute clothing store and ask, “Do you carry Plus sizes?” If the answer is no, I am on my way.

Fashion rules are made to be stretched and broken according to what rocks your world and lights you up. Labels that we despise will always be around and one of the best things we can do is ignore them and create our own words and meanings to describe our fabulous selves. Don’t get hung up on the terminology. We aren’t saying that a world where size is just a number, and a size 2 and a size 20 are marketed and sold exactly the same wouldn’t be a wonderful dream, but until that happens the term “plus” can just mean “more”.

More Awesome! More Joy!, More Love! More clothes please!

Barb for Cherry Velvet XOX

P.S. The Dresses in the photo are the Shimona dress in Plum stag and can be found here

‘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

#stunningatanysize in 2016

12 Mar

Stunning At Any Size Title

Fresh off the heels of last Tuesday’s International Women’s Day, we wanted to reiterate Cherry Velvet’s not-so-secret MO, #stunningatanysize.

Retro Class with Modern Sass has always been a cheeky way to describe what our dresses are all about. But we’re also about giving women confidence. As a fashion line inspired by vintage designs, it’s important for us to acknowledge how nostalgia inspires us while taking down old-fashioned mentalities and espousing modern feminist values.

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Last year, we decided to take that approach and make it clearer with a declaration of Body Positivity. Looking back in history, we all know that somewhere along the line, a perception was created that women needed to conform to a certain size and that their self-worth was quantified by it. This unrealistic goal has caused generations of undue stress and frustration as women throughout the years have attempted to comply with this “perfect woman” image.

So, we wanted to challenge the mainstream perceptions of beauty. We decided to create the #stunningatanysize campaign to proliferate a message that has always been the heart of Cherry Velvet:

Beauty cannot and should not be measured by anything but who you are. Everyone should have the opportunity to slip into something that makes them feel feminine, sexy and most importantly, confident. Women have the right to feel as beautiful as they truly are. 

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What started as a core value to Cherry Velvet has now become our mission statement and driving force for the content we create for our social media outlets.

While we’ve always made an effort to represent an assortment of sizes in our promotional images, we wanted to highlight the range of sizing in our most recent catalogue shoots by using models ranging from XS to 0X. We love showing off how our dresses look on shapes and sizes!


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It is our honest wish that every woman who puts on one of our dresses feels as gorgeous as our designs. After all, we design them after you.

 

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And you are….

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 XOX Cherry Velvet

Welcoming Dawn in Cherry Velvet fashion

27 Feb

We recently made an addition to the Cherry Velvet Tree and we wanted her to get pumped about our dresses. What better way to do that, than to try them on! We spent the day giving her a little makeover and we think she looks STUNNING! Don’t you think so?

Thank you so much to Katie of Pout Beauty for doing such an amazing job on Hair & Make-Up.

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Dawn is wearing Doris Dress in Black Cherries

Dawn is wearing Doris in Black Cherry Dot

While we were shooting, we tossed a few questions her way and she handled them like a pro. Without further ado, let’s get to know Dawn!

Tell us a little about yourself. Outside of the office, what definitively makes you Dawn?

Up until fairly recently, I’ve been a student for most of my life, while juggling a full time position as an aspiring author. I like words! I like books! I also spend a lot of time on the computer, gaming and learning stuff off the internet.

What are you looking for in a dress? What’s your favourite dress so far?

I don’t wear dresses very often, but when I do, I’m always looking for something that will make a statement and keep me comfortable at the same time. My favourite dresses so far are Brigitte & Brooke. At 5’1, I love that the hemline on the Brigitte is just a touch shorter, so it hits me perfectly at the knee. As for the Brooke, I absolutely love the full skirt. Nothing makes you feel more pretty than twirling around in such a lovely dress.

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Brooke Dress in Scotty Toss

 

Dawn is wearing Brooke in Scotty Toss

What’s your favourite part of working for Cherry Velvet? If you weren’t working here, what would you be doing?

Having worked in the Automotive Industry for 6.5 years, it is SO refreshing to work in a creative environment in the women’s fashion industry. The best days at work are when I get to be a fly on the wall during photoshoots in our studio. It was neat to show off my Cherry Velvet in front of the camera for once! If I wasn’t loving it here, I think would be writing fiction or learning how to draw! Something creative, for sure.

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Robin Dress in Silly String

 

Dawn is wearing Robin in Silly String 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I’m a gamer geek! I love spending time gaming online. I could easily spend my vacation days exploring the World of Warcraft, casting healing spells and vanquishing ogres with my guild.

We had so much dressing Dawn up. Thanks to Logan, our Media director, for taking such amazing shots!

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Elly Dress in Ivory Pearlized Jacquard

Dawn is wearing Elly in Ivory Pearlized Jacquard. Logan is wearing whatever was clean at the time. 

Welcome to the team, Dawn!

XOX Cherry Velvet

#stunningatanysize – Video Premiere!

12 Sep

A few months ago, Cherry Velvet decided to make a declaration of Body Positivity. We wanted to challenge and bring down mainstream perceptions of beauty. We decided to create #stunningatanysize to proliferate a message that has always been the core values of Cherry Velvet:

Beauty cannot and should not be measured by anything but who you are. Everyone should have the opportunity to slip into something that makes them feel feminine, sexy and most importantly, confident.

Over the summer, we took the opportunity to compile a handful inspiring videos full of gorgeous women telling us what body positivity means to them.

We’re proud to premiere the teaser for a series of little videos dedicated to reminding you that you are #stunningatanysize

Empire waists on Plus size dresses

10 Nov

A comment popped up on our survey that a customer thought our waistbands fit too high on our dresses. This is especially true for our plus sizes, and yes, our empire waists do fit high on purpose. Our regular dresses fit a little high on the waist also, but the Plus sizes are more so. We make our dresses with empire waists for a very good reason and so I’d like to explain why we do it.

 

WaistBandsHigher_Title
If you really look at a plus size body, the majority of women have the the smallest part of their torso right under their bust. Now of course this isn’t true for everyone. If you’ve never had a baby your natural (real) waistline might still be smaller. But for most of us, this is the smallest part by measurement.  The smallest circumference is also the right at the top of your stomach where it extends the least. Yep…we’re talking about my least favorite body part here  …the tummy. If you stand naked in the mirror and look straight forward you may notice it’s the smallest width. Then if you stand looking at your side, again you’ll maybe notice that your tummy narrows right under your bustline. I find a higher waist to be the most slimming place for a plus size waistband.

 

So, the reason that we make the empire waists high is because it’s the most flattering. It also fits many body shapes as well as heights. So if you’re short like me (5’2″), it will fit and if you’re tall like many of our models, it will still fit. The other big advantage of a high waist is it gives you more fabric and more room across the tummy (especially on the full skirted styles). So if you’re like me and your tummy is not your favorite body part, the higher waist may be just the ticket for you.

 

Empire Waists - Waist Sizing Diagram
If you’ve ever had the impression that Cherry Velvet plus size dresses only fit women with perfect hourglass figures, you’d be wrong. Actually they are mainly designed with both apple shaped (bigger in the tummy) and pear shaped (bigger in the hips). While they are definitely also designed for women with boobs, we know not all plus size women have big boobs. Generally speaking if you have a pear figure and smaller boobs our dresses will still fit if you choose a dress with a full skirt and go down a size so that the bodice will also fit.

 

If you’ve read our blog posts before, you’ll know fit is hugely important to our brand and making dress that fit ‘you’ is of utmost importance. Don’t settle for mediocre fit…. you deserve a dress that fits well!

 

XOX Cherry Velvet

 

P.S. We’re excited to have added new sorting features to our on-line store to help you easily find your perfect fitting dress. Check it out and our new fall dresses here

Proper fit of a Cherry Velvet Dress

24 Oct

After watching many women try on our dresses, I thought it was worthwhile explaining the proper way to fit a Cherry Velvet dress and what to wear underneath. Think about when you go into a bra shop and someone fits you for a new bra.  They ask you to lean forward to let the girls fall into the cups. Then they adjust the straps so that the girls are in the right position. These are very important steps when trying on a Cherry Velvet dress too!

 

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What goes under any dress is important. It’s great to have a proper fit on a bra for sure.  At the least, we do recommend making sure your bra straps are adjusted so the girls are sitting ‘up’ correctly (you know how the straps can stretch out!). So then when you go to put on one of our dresses, the girls should sit should above the waistband. This will make the dresses look and fit better and should eliminate the girls being cut in half by the waistband. Yes ladies, lean forward, pull your boobs up and over the band and then complete the pulling up of the zipper (much like when you put on a bra).

 

This is especially important when trying on our best selling Brigitte Dress as it tends to require a well supported chest (so excited to get more Shutterbug print Brigittes back in stock soon!). These little extra steps will help you get the proper fit and of course you and your girls will look their most attractive and perky.
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What you wear on the lower half of your body is totally your preference. Personally I just wear regular (but pretty) undies. I’m not a fan of tight spanks or control tops, because I find them uncomfortable. Full skirted and A-line styles should give you enough room that it’s not necessary to wear anything special on the bottom. It’s totally up to you!

 

So when you come to try on your Cherry Velvet Dress please make sure you’ve chosen a bra that fits well with good support. We know you want to look your best and feel totally gorgeous when you’re wearing one of our beautiful dresses.

 

XOX Cherry Velvet

 

A Little Update on Elly

12 Mar

We were thrilled to have a couple of pretty visitors to our studio last week!  Jen Kaboom (of hair flower fame) came to pick herself out a new Cherry Velvet dress and her bestie –Elly Mayday– came along with her! Jen had a tough choice to make but in the end went with one of my favourite patterns -the Brigitte dress in Rosy Dots.

It was so great to see Elly’s smiling face. It never ceases to amaze me how lovely she is and always so positive. She came for her visit quite au naturel and sans wig. She is truly beautiful with no hair and hardly any make-up.

I thought I’d share a little bit about Elly as she has not been on facebook much these days and we know many of you are following her. She is taking some time off for a while and, in her words, “just doing the things that she wants to do”. I think this is a wonderful idea; time is our most precious commodity. We should all spend it in ways that make us the most happy, as much as possible.

Elly told us a bit about what’s she’s been going through and shared some advice for my brother in law, just recently diagnosed with Cancer. Probably the most important thing she’s learned….(and this is super relevant to all of us….not just those fighting Cancer): she recommends alkalizing your body.  That means choosing Alkaline foods and avoiding (or reducing) acid causing foods.  Good advice…which, in a nutshell, means eat more veggies (especially green veggies)!!! I know she drinks a green smoothie every day and I’ve watched her eat salads on shoots with us.

These gorgeous photos were taken by Shimona Henry (Pin-Up Perfection Photography). Doesn’t Elly look amazing? She’s pictured in the dress we named after her –The Elly Dress….it’s coming soon!

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XOX Cherry Velvet
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Pin-up Beauty Secrets! (part 3)

4 Oct

Part 3 – Starring Stela Licina and Elly Mayday

Part 3 – Starring Stela Licina and Elly Mayday

Pin-Up Models Stela Licina & Elly Mayday are back to share more of their trade secrets.

Stela demonstrates how to properly apply and blend eye shadow and how create picture perfect brows:

Pin-up Beauty Secrets! (Part 3 – Eyes and Brows)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y24UXBOvf50

Some of the beauty products Stela mentions in Pin-up Beauty Secrets! (part 3)

Some of the beauty products Stela mentions in Pin-up Beauty Secrets! (part 3)

Stela Licina - model and artist

Stela Licina – model and artist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xox Cherry Velvet
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