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.

Cherry Velvet Customer Survey – Spring 2018

We want to hear from you!

You, our customers are the reason we’re here. It’s a goal of ours to always be improving your shopping experience with us. You can help us do that for you by taking a few minutes to fill our our Customer Survey. This is a perfect opportunity for you to tell us what you like, what you’re not so crazy about and what you would like to see in the future. We are listening!

Take the Cherry Velvet customer survey to have your opinion count!

Your Opinion Matters!

We have questions about what you’d like to see in fabric and colour choices for future dresses. We also want to hear about the prints that you would love to see turned into Cherry Velvet dresses. How do you feel about polyester? Would you be interested in a solid colour dress with no print? Are there any new clothing items or styles you’d like to see us carry? ( P.S. We’ve made a new Shrug / Cardi and it’s super cute!) Inquiring minds want to know!

To thank you for taking the time to share your opinions with us we would like to offer you a $25 discount on your next online Cherry Velvet order of $100 or more. New Spring styles are arriving as we speak! The discount is valid until the end of March 2018. Take the Cherry Velvet Customer Survey to receive your discount code.

Here is the link to the survey

Thank you for being our amazing customers and for helping us make Cherry Velvet Clothing even better!

XOX Cherry Velvet

P.S. Our model Lexi is wearing our new Doris Dress in Rose Crush!

FATshion Icon Cynara Geissler

Cynara Geissler is a woman who wears many hats (and cute cardigans, adorable shoes and vintage brooches). We discovered Cynara on an Instagram post where she was wearing one of our Cherry Velvet dresses with the hashtag fatshion. Her body positive style blows us away.  After hearing her speak at the “Embrace The Body You Have” event we knew Cynara had a message that we wholeheartedly agree with and want to share with you.

“Fat acceptance–also known as size acceptance, body positivity, weight neutrality and not-waxing-rhapsodic-about-dieting–is a social and corporeal justice principle, founded on the revolutionary idea that it is not productive to spend every waking moment of every day actively hating your body”~Cynara Geissler

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet dresses.

Cynara doesn’t just talk and write about fatshion and fat politics, she lives it every day. Every outfit she puts together is washed in colour, whimsy and joy. When Cynara enters the room you just want to know more about her. We thought we would feature Cynara in some of her favourite Cherry Velvet dresses and let her accessorize to her hearts content. This is the result. Enjoy!

Chrissy Dress – Chrysanthemum

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet dresses.

Cynara has added her own flavour to Chrissy Dress – Chrysanthemum Print by adding a gold coloured cardigan, cowgirl boots, brown leather belt, vintage earrings and an Erstwilder Brooch.

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet dresses.

Norma Dress – Lunar Cats

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet Lunar Cats dress.

High level of accessorizing achieved here with the Norma Dress – Lunar Cats! Cynara has added her own cute cardigan and black patent leather belt. She has added our adorable little Carla Cat stud earrings by Erstwilder and Catastrophic Fright brooch also by Erstwilder. Head to toe this outfit is a winner. This purrfect look is pulled together by her cat ear headband and kitty cat shoes. Meow!

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet dresses.

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet Lunar Cats dress.

Fashion Icon Cynara Geissler styles Cherry Velvet dresses.

We will leave you with one more quote from Cynara. The more you get to know Cynara the more you realize that her being an extremely articulate person encompasses not only the things she says but the way she dresses and the way she greets the world. Be inspired!

“When you open up to the possibility that you can live your life right now instead of waiting for an arbitrary number on the scale, or on the tag in your dress, it blows your world apart.” ~Cynara Geissler

Stay tuned for part #2 next week.

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

 

Gratitude!

“Joy is the simplest form of Gratitude” ~ Karl Barth

Thank YOU to all the beautiful people who are reading this, and for making us what we are today. Without you, we simply wouldn’t be here. It’s been a pleasure to serve you and make Cherry Velvet just for you, our Classy Sassy customers!!

It fills our hearts with Gratitude and Joy to read things like this:

“I’ve been wanting to say thank-you for making such amazing dresses. As a girl who’s been plus sized and tall my whole life I’m not used to being complimented on my fashion choices or appearance. Since I discovered Cherry Velvet dresses and crinolines, I walk out of the house feeling like a million dollars every morning, I rarely wear jeans anymore and I’m starting to be less shocked when someone compliments me 🙂 I seriously got up one Friday morning in November when I was going to a volleyball game later in the day and thought, “hmm I think I can totally rock a Cherry Velvet dress and a crinoline with my tall boots at the game” instead of just pulling on jeans. *YAY!* And I love that Cherry Velvet is made in Canada and that so many of the dresses are high quality 100% cotton (I’ve been trying to move toward more natural fibres in my wardrobe and less rayon and polyester — which is a tall order for plus sizes).  Thanks for giving this plus-sized girl a whole new level of fashion confidence :-)” T.H.

“Wow is all I can say. I received my dress today… Early as a matter of fact … and Wow .. I LOVE IT .. it fits so perfect and looks absolutely gorgeous .. I cannot wait to wear it out and about to show it off. I will admit I was very nervous about spending that kind of money ( I have never spent that much on one article of clothing)… The fit and finish are stunning… it is totally worth it, every penny of it. I will be shopping with you again in the near future and thank you for everything you have done” A.M.

“Thank you again for making my dress shopping experience awesome I’m so excited now to wear my beautiful Angelina dress on the big day the lady who helped me was great she made me feel welcome right from the minute I walked in I was so stressed to shop for a dress and that completely disappeared when I walked in I still want to thank you again for making me feel beautiful and my fiancee is thrilled that I’m wearing your dresses. All I ever wear is jeans and he’s not stopped complimenting me since I put the Lisa dress on when we left your studio. You make more than just gorgeous dresses you helped us make a fun memory and helped me get some self-confidence “ A.B.

Your gratitude is truly a gift from you to us! Thank-you for making Cherry Velvet what it is today and we look forward to creating more beautiful items for you, our beautiful customers!

With Gratitude we wish you all the Happiest of Holidays from all of us!

Love the Cherry Velvet Team; Tatyana, Diane, Barb, & Logan 

Halloween Cosplay; Cherry Velvet Style!

Halloween cosplay, Cherry Velvet style !Cosplay can be fun at anytime of year, but well duh, it’s Halloween! Squeee!! We love to play dress up so much we made an excuse to create fun costumes from Cherry Velvet dresses!

We love the idea of having a tickle trunk and are starting one here at the shop. A great starting point for so many ‘girl’ costumes is a crinoline and a corset. You’d be surprised at how many amazing costumes can start this way! Add a few items you may already have plus one or two from your fav Halloween shop and Voila! you have an original costume!

Barb the Barmaid

Picking a character or theme that you resemble makes cosplay easier. Barb is just a natural for this Hofbräuhaus style outfit, don’t you think? A little white apron is another great staple for your tickle trunk…it can become Alice in Wonderland, Belle, a French Maid or a Barmaid to name a few. She’s wearing the Olivia dress in Harvest Bloom and a corset from Lace Embrace.

Halloween cosplay, Cherry Velvet style : Barmaid

Ms. Frizzle

Diane, our designer’s red curly hair was a natural for this outfit. You knew we’d do this one based on our Vanessa Final Frontier Dress, didn’t you!? Fluevogs Shoes.

Halloween cosplay, Cherry Velvet style : Ms. Frizzle

Buccaneer Barb

Using Jack Sparrow as inspo, anyone can be a pirate wench, although having long hair helps. We made the headpiece from a scrap of fabric but a scarf would also work. Next we strung some beads and added narrow braids in Barb’ hair. Originally we were planning a Brooke dress as the basis for our Pirate cosplay but then well…the Norma dress in Parlour Ink arrived! We used one of our fav tricks and hitched up the skirt with a kilt pin to show a little more leg and the Lace Chiffon Crinoline underneath.

Halloween cosplay, Cherry Velvet style : Pirate

The ‘Not So Wicked’ Witch

Just in is a new party dress called Dita in Golden Galaxy, which we made into a decidedly elegant witch. We layered on the crinolines…all the more fun to ride a broom! Costco had old fashioned corn brooms which we witchified with some brown and black craft paint. Diane’s fav eyeliner (Stila Stay all day Waterproof liquid eyeliner)…for eyebrows, eyes and lips. Fluevog shoes.

Halloween cosplay, Cherry Velvet style : Witch

We’ll have lots of fun things to check out online and at our Studio Shop (1635 Powell Street, Vancouver BC) coming up… New dresses plus a shipment of crinolines are on the way (and will be here in time for Halloween) and Erstwilder brooches too!!

Friday Oct 21 from 2-7

Saturday Oct 22 from 11-5

Love Cherry Velvet XOX

 

One Retro dress; Three Ways

One retro dress, three ways blog postWe had so much fun putting outfits together with our retro dresses, we did it again! This time we wanted to show you classic vintage styling plus a few more alternative looks. Barb, our Client Relations Specialist, was the model; great job, Barb! That’s what style is all about, taking an outfit and really injecting your own personality into it.

We choose an Olivia Dress in Harvest Bloom; so appropriate to the season. It was such a beautiful autumn day, we went to a park in full fall foliage called Momiji Gardens. Why stay indoors when you can work outside?

Every day is a Retro day!

Barb loves to wear boots and tights with her dresses. How about these amazing vintage plaid Doc Marten Boots?! Take chances—plaids and florals can look amazing together. Erstwilder Red Poodle Brooch, Lands End Cardigan

One retro dress, three ways blog post

One retro dress, three ways blog post

 

Classic Retro Evening

Add a pop of colour like this beautiful Vintage Chiffon Crinoline in Cinnamon Hearts and lil’ sparkle from some retro jewelry and voila! You’re ready for a dinner date. Cotton tights (from Cherry Velvet, coming soon to our online shop) Miz Mooz Shoes.

One retro dress, three ways blog post

 

Rockabilly Retro

Maybe you’re the lead singer of a band (like Barb) or going to a funky event like a burlesque show… What to wear? Layering a corset over your dress is a great way to add alternate style to your dress. Barb’s wearing her own hat, shrug and boots with a Lace Embrace Corset and a Vintage Chiffon Crinoline in Black Licorice.

One retro dress, three ways blog post

 

Cherries

Our Cherry Cola necklace and bracelet set went so well with our Olivia Dress, we mixed up the accessories all over again to make this bonus look…

One retro dress, three ways blog post

One retro dress, three ways blog post

We hope we’re giving you lots of ideas and fun ways to wear your Cherry Velvet dresses year round and for lots of different occasions!

Love Cherry Velvet XOX

 

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 

 

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