A Legacy of Freespirit Floral Fabric

Ever since I was little I’ve loved fabric. My mother bought me a tiny, working sewing machine at the age of 4. As such I spent countless hours beside her as she worked (at home); playing in the buttons, with thread on wooden spools and of course with the font of fabulous fabrics that she had collected over the years. Anyone that sews knows about this fabric drawer of “endless possibilities”.

Finding beautiful fabrics for my dress designs is easily one of the joys of my work. I spend hours choosing from 1000’s of prints, patterns and colours. While there is seemingly an endless supply of beautiful cottons to choose from, I was very sad to discover that this week one of my premier suppliers has decided to close their doors. Free Spirit was my source for many of the colourful floral prints that I love so much.

Cherry Velvet dresses are made from beautiful 100% cotton fabric in prints like these from FreeSpirit

FreeSpirit fabrics especially excelled at floral fabrics. They have been the home of gifted designers such as Tula Pink, Tokyo milk and Phillip Jacob. While I know these talented folks will move on to other mills I thought it would be a fitting tribute to show you some of the beautiful prints that I’ve sourced from this company.

Most seasons I’ve included a Phillip Jacob floral print. His eye for colour and bold vivacious florals is unmatched. If you’re familiar with our brand you may remember this one called Black Dahlia (no longer available).

Cherry Velvet dresses are made from beautiful 100% cotton fabric in prints like these from FreeSpirit

We just released a spectacular new print from Phillip we call Enchanted Garden (below): It’s available in the Doris dress here.

Cherry Velvet dresses are made from beautiful 100% cotton fabric in prints like these from FreeSpirit

You may also be familiar with a famous quilt fabric designer known for her incredible use of colour and hidden animal themes; Tula Pink. We’re keeping our fingers crossed to receive prints from her new magical collection coming for this fall called De La Luna. (before the closure)

Cherry Velvet dresses are made from beautiful 100% cotton fabric in prints like these from FreeSpirit

The prints of this Alice dress in Fox Floral and Pink Chipper  are by Tula Pink.

Originally I was excited to discover that Margot Elena, of Tokyo Milk was designing fabric for FreeSpirit.  You may recognise her iconic octopus design from her greeting cards or perfume line. Her prints (below) will be available as dresses soon. “Mermaiden” print on the left is already in our warehouse (online soon), Octopussy will come later this Spring.

Cherry Velvet dresses are made from beautiful 100% cotton fabric in prints like these from FreeSpirit

While there will always be more prints available, I’ll miss the glory and vivacity of the floral fabrics from FreeSpirit.

XOX Diane 

Diane Kennedy is the owner/designer of Cherry Velvet Dresses.  Wildly passionate about bright, whimsical printed fabrics; ethical, domestic manufacturing and clothing that fits curvy girls; Diane believes she’s found her true calling in life.

FATshion Icon Cynara Geissler – Part Two!

Last week we shared a blog post about our friend, fat activist, writer, media maven and Fatshion Icon Cynara Geissler. We couldn’t fit all the photos and fabulous quotes into one little blog post so without further Adieu, we bring you Part Deux!

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet Lunar Cats dress, 2

Anyone who knows Cynara knows that she has a very distinctive and committed style. She joyfully wears bright colours and amazing accessories to brighten up her outfits and anyone who she encounters throughout her day. Like a ray of fun, fashion sunshine! She is also brilliant and well spoken, natch.

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Marie – Double Feature

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet Lunar Cats dress. 2

Cynara is all ready for her movie date! She has paired our adorable Marie Double Feature Dress with her own red belt, red hair bow, and red and white classic canvas running shoes. This look is super cute but also comfortable and practical for rushing to get to the theatre in time to watch all those previews. Or a post-movie stroll with her sweetheart!

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet Lunar Cats dress. 2

Olivia – Harvest Bloom

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet Lunar Cats dress. 2

 

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet Lunar Cats dress. 2

Cynara is wearing that same sweet red belt with our Olivia – Harvest Bloom Dress and here she has added red Mary Jane flats and a kelly green cardigan to pull it all together. Her own brooch and our Cherry Earrings complete this classic look.

Veronica – Blue Raspberry

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet Lunar Cats dress. 2

 

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet Lunar Cats dress. 2

This vision of turquoise and red is one of our favourite looks Cynara has put together. Veronica Dress – Blue Raspberry is fab on its own but with the contrasting red accessories, it pops with joy! A Cinnamon Hearts Vintage Chiffon Crinoline for fabulous floof is just so perfect for this dress. Here we see Cynara’s own red hair bow, and neck baubles but possibly the best things ever are her lace-up Pom Pom flats! Amazing!!

We hope that you have enjoyed this two-part blog all about Cynara Geissler as much as we have. We always look forward to seeing what Cynara is wearing, almost as much as we love to hear what she has to say!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Cynara is Director of Marketing and Publicity at Arsenal Pulp Press. Her critical writing on fat acceptance, fatshion, feminism, and media has found shelter in various print magazines and around the internet including fatshionista.com, Geez Magazine, and Shameless Magazine. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Milo, Event, subTerrain, and Juice. Follow her on Instagram @cynaragee

Get Stuffed! Christmas Stocking Swag

The Holidays are almost upon us. Are you ready to stuff?… a Christmas stocking that is?  Here are our best suggestions for stocking swag to make their face light up on Christmas morning. There’s not a lump of coal in sight!

Roll The Dice!

We don’t want you to gamble on her present this year but we can’t help but recommend these adorable Pair-o-Dice necklace and earring sets. They’re handmade in Canada and a steal at just $36 for the set. You can choose between red, green or white dice. The odds are in your favour that they’re going to adore this!  We especially love this necklace with our Norma Dress in Parlour Ink print

Christmas Stocking stuffers to make her Cherry Velvet dreams come true!

Erstwilder Brooches

Our hottest selling item at the moment are these cute & quirky brooches from Australia called Erstwilder.  Inspired by all things vintage, rockabilly, pinup, retro and art-deco, they’re a gift choice suitable for any fashionista on your gift list. They come boxed with a special story about the treasure inside that’s the perfect end at their Christmas stocking toe.

Erstwilder brooches make the best Christmas Stocking stuffers!

Cherry Baby!

‘Juicy’ Cherry sets are the perfect gift for any retro Diva. Sets include a necklace, bracelet, and earrings in your choice of Black glass (Cherry Cola) or White Pearl (Cherry Icing). The cherry theme goes with so many of our dresses Like Vanessa, Hard Candy and Marie, Double Feature.

Christmas Stocking stuffers to make her Cherry Velvet dreams come true!

Wish upon a Star!

Make their wishes come true with this sparkling necklace called Galaxy Stars. It features faceted aurora borealis clear crystals, is exclusive to Cherry Velvet and very limited edition. They’ll twinkle like a star! It’s the perfect compliment to Doris Dress in Star Magic, Dita Dress in Golden Galaxy or Norma Dress in Lunar Cats.

 

Cherry Velvet has the best stocking stuffer swag to make her eyes light up this Christmas!

Cherry Velvet Gift Card

Cherry Velvet Gift cards come in denominations from $10 to $200 so you can customize the amount you want to give. You can’t go wrong here! You can’t mess up the size, colour or pattern by leaving all the choices up to them. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the accolades. Now you can handle that, can’t you?

Cherry Velvet has the best stocking stuffer swag to make her eyes light up this Christmas!

Of course, if you need any help at all with gift suggestions or sizing….the elves at Cherry Velvet HQ are happy to help. Please feel free to contact us by e-mail @ cherryvelvetplus@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

XOX Cherry Velvet

Trifecta of Awesomeness Charity Event!!

Dresses + Shoes + Charity! (+ cupcakes!)

Last night Cherry Velvet Dresses, along with Fluevog Shoes held a very special event at the Fluevog store on Granville Street in Vancouver. We were thrilled to team up with Fluevog, our favourite purveyor of shoes on the planet. But even more important than tasty refreshments and goodie bags, and pairing gorgeous dresses with amazing shoes, was the third element of the Trifecta. We felt that Mom2Mom was the perfect charity to put our collective support. We wanted to let you know about this wonderful cause that supports families right here in our own neighbourhood.Cherry Velvet and Fluevog put on a charity event to benefit Mom2Mom

Cherry Velvet and Fluevog put on a charity event to benefit Mom2Mom

 Thank-you to all our wonderful customers that came out to the Trifecta of Awesomeness last night and help us make it a great success! Thanks also to Patrick Davidson, Ben and Eric at John Fluevog Shoes Granville for being amazing hosts :) Veronica Belle Leah Paley Tuttle

 

About Mom2Mom Charity:

Mom2Mom works to improve the lives of children living in poverty by supporting their moms. In Vancouver, Moms in poverty struggle with incredible stress and isolation. This puts stress on the whole family and deprives both mom and children of connection to resources, positive influences, and opportunities.

We believe that when moms thrive, children thrive. Since 2011, Mom2Mom charity has worked to support moms’ wellbeing by reducing the stress and isolation of living in poverty.

Mom2Mom builds strength-based relationships and a caring community through a volunteer program; reduces poverty-related stress by supporting children’s basic needs, and provide opportunities and connection to resources for both mom and children. We envision a future where moms and their children thrive in caring and connected communities!

Our Fabulous Customers!

Cherry Velvet and Fluevog put on a charity event to benefit Mom2Mom

Cherry Velvet and Fluevog put on a charity event to benefit Mom2Mom

Cherry Velvet and Fluevog put on a charity event to benefit Mom2Mom

Cherry Velvet and Fluevog put on a charity event to benefit Mom2Mom

 

Cherry Velvet and Fluevog put on a charity event to benefit Mom2Mom

We couldn’t be more thrilled with the attendance at our event last night. It seems that the combination of fabulous frocks, sublime boots and shoes, social consciousness and wonderful people created just the right atmosphere for the perfect evening. Most of all, we want to thank everyone who took the time to show up and help make a difference in our own community. Ultimately it’s the kids who will benefit with the help of Mom2Mom and we are honoured that we could be part of that!

XOX Cherry Velvet

P.S. There’s a little sneak peak of one of our Men’s shirts coming soon in the last photo!

Modern Vintage Style for Life!

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!

One Cherry Velvet Dress; 5 Ways

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

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

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

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!

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