News

  • Give the Gift of Cherry Velvet

    Published Nov 19 2019 in

    During the holidays, many of us start looking to our loved ones and think - how can I make them feel special? How can I show my appreciation to them?

    If your loved one is a Cherry Velvet fan, our team has got you covered: we pulled together a few special options for your gifting convenience!

    Option 1 - E-Gift Card

    The staple of staples, the quickest and most environmentally friendly option. The one that's there to save the day when you happen to - oops! - forget to order something ahead of time. Our E-Gift Card is a no-brainer: delivered right to their email instantly or set your own custom delivery date!

    Option 2 - Cherry Bucks

    Cherry Bucks are a fun gift certificate with vintage charm, inspired by Monopoly money designs. Mailed by us to your recipient, this gift says: "Treat yourself, it's on me!"

    Cherry Velvet Cherry Bucks and envelope

    Option 3 - Boxed and Bowed Gift Card

    For a more traditional present experience, go with our gift-wrapped Cherry Velvet certificate. Nothing beats the suspense of an old-school box and ribbon - what could be inside? This option adds charming value to the tried and true gift certificate. 

    Cherry Velvet gift card in gift box

    Option 4 - Jewelry Set* + Gift Card Box

    Now, if you don't believe in that gift cards on their own are enough of a present, but would still like to give your loved one the option to choose their favourite, best-fitting dress, we have the ultimate option: A jewelry set in addition to our gift card, wrapped in a box and ribbon.

    Jewelry makes for an elegant, precious gift, with the benefit of being a safe choice: there are no sizes to pick, and the styles are very versatile.

    Everybody loves shiny things in shiny boxes - especially when they come along with a shopping voucher!

    After adding the gift card and the jewelry set of your choice to your shopping cart, write to us in the order that "I'd like to combine the gift card and Jewelry set into one gift box". We will pack them together for the loveliest surprise!

    (*Option not available for Erstwilder Brooches)

    Mercury Glass mirror mirror bijoux necklace and earring set in Cherry Velvet gift box

     

    This holiday season, we hope we can help you provide pretty dresses and pretty smiles to someone special!

    (And if the person reading this blog is that "someone special", then you may want to "forget" to close this tab! *wink wink*)

    XOX Cherry Velvet

  • Cherry Velvet and Fluevog - The Perfect Pair

    Published Nov 08 2019 in Canadian Designer, Cherry Velvet Dresses, Cherry Velvet/Fluevog Match, Customer Appreciation, Fluevog, John Fluevog, Made In Canada, Made in Vancouver

    "One of the best compliments I've ever received was from my customer telling me she has a ton of Fluevogs, but even more of my dresses" ~ Diane Kennedy, designer

    And what a collection our client, Jacqueline has!

    Cherry Velvet Dresses and Fluevog Shoes

    It has been a long-held truth for many Cherry Velvet dress collectors that nothing really goes better with our unique dresses than a pair of Fluevog shoes. We like to think there is nothing so loyal as a Cherry Velvet/Fluevog client. They go together like gin & tonic, peanut butter & jelly or a cup & saucer - You get the idea. ;) 

    Over the years, many of our clients have brought their Fluevog shoes with them when they come dress shopping in our Studio. There have been many happy discussions about which shoes go with which dress.

    Diane Kennedy and Cherry Velvet Collector

    We're blown away by this fabulous photo sent to us by our customer Jacqueline.

    She's laid out all her dresses in a rainbow -
    There was some question about how many there actually were but the final tally is 50 dresses!

    Cherry Velvet Dress Collection

    Jacqueline has her own unique approach to her dress/shoe collaborations. She prefers to pick one perfect combination of matching shoes and dress that she wears more exclusively together. Of course, some dresses have more than one perfect shoe match; But the choices are always fluid, never static.

    Cherry Velvet Dress ad Fluevog Pairings

    Can we just say wow! What a work of art this photo is!

    Also known as @_cuddlefish_ on Instagram, she has an undeniable eye for colour and detail. Check out her lovely IG photos; mostly of her travels and nature. We feel so flattered that she's shared her amazing eye for fashion and corresponding photos with us! :)

    @_cuddlefish_ instagram Autumn photo

    Thank you, Jacqueline! <3

    XOX Cherry Velvet

  • Inspiration Appreciation

    Published Oct 31 2019 in behind the scenes, Dita Von Teese, inspiration, making of, Marilyn Monroe, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, vintage inspired

    In a way, everything that you see and consume can become an inspiration. In the Design field, we call this "repertoire". They are all the things you've seen and learned about, and that serve as an influence for every idea you have. The more you see, watch, read, and consume, the larger your repertoire - and the easier it is to create.

    Although most ideas come organically like that, we also sometimes work with direct inspiration. When it comes to modern vintage style, part of the challenge is adapting interesting features and details into contemporary textiles, techniques, and silhouettes.

    In our collections, we have occasionally created dresses directly inspired by specific references. Today, we'd like to share some of these with you.

    The Dita 

    Our Dita dress was inspired by the one worn by Dita Von Teese a few years ago. In the '50s, contrast details were commonly used to add interest and make designs unique. White and bright colours were mostly used.

    Diane designed the Dita with a black contrasting sweetheart neckline, making it the right balance between vintage and modern.

    Dita Von Teese in Red and Black Dress at Home beside Cherry Velvet Dita dress in Golden Galaxy

    The Norma

    One of the most iconic symbols of the '50s is most certainly Marilyn Monroe in her white dress from "The Seven Year Itch", released in 1955. The airy fabric and gathered halter front are unforgettable.

    Gathered halter tops were a summer staple of the decade. Many dress patterns featured the style. The Norma dress, named after Marilyn's birth name, was designed to have the lovely look of a halter top, with the comfort and wearability of a closed back.

    Marilyn Monroe in iconic white dress beside Norma dress by Cherry Velvet

    The Kate

    Neckline, collar and top details made many 1950's dress designs unique. Buttons were commonly used in creative ways, such as on these overlapping criss-cross flaps. Diane took inspiration from this '50s photo to design our Kate dress.

    Recently, the same criss-cross button feature has been spotted on drama series "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" once in season 2 (2018), and also in the filming of season 3 (2019).

    Vintage photograph which inspired the Kate dress by Cherry Velvet beside The Marvelous Mrs Maisel in purple dress

    We hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit about how some of our designs came to be! If our dresses piqued your interest, you can get yourself a Dita, Norma or a Kate at our online store in a variety of prints!

    See all Dita dresses

    See all Norma dresses

    See all Kate dresses

    XOX Cherry Velvet

  • Slow Fashion for the Vintage Vixen

    Published Oct 24 2019 in Cherry Velvet, Ethical Fashion, Slow Fashion

    What is slow fashion, you ask? It is generally considered to be an approach to clothing production and consumption with a focus on fair practices and sustainability. Clothes that are made in a way that is better for those wearing them, those making them, and for the environment.

    Since the very beginning, Cherry Velvet has been making dresses out of high-quality cotton that lasts. Dresses made and sold in our first year still exist and are worn today (and it's been over 8 years!).

    Barb with the first rack of Cherry Velvet dresses ever made

    Our designer Diane has 3 dresses out of that original bunch that she still wears, especially her very favourite butterfly print. This photo is originally from 2013. It still looks as beautiful now as it did then!

    Diane Kennedy in Cherry Velvet Butterfly dress

    So why are we talking about this? You may know that fast fashion, A.K.A. cheap throwaway clothing, is filling up the landfills. Deliberately poor quality fabrics and manufacturing make for unsatisfying, poorly fitting, disposable garments that get quickly discarded, with an estimated 68 lbs of textiles per American finding its way into landfills each year. Fast fashion brands prioritize selling immense amounts of dirt-cheap apparel, no matter the real cost to society and the environment.



    Diane sewing Cherry Velvet dress
    What makes us different?

      • We manufacture in local factories in BC, Canada, which operate under federal and provincial laws and regulations, enforcing a good standard for wages and worker's rights. This way, we can propel local business, and frequently drop in for pick ups and drop offs - which allows us to be aware of the real working conditions (rather than "visiting once a year").

      • We source excellent quality fabrics that can be washed and worn and will last for many years with very easy care.

      • We design dresses in proven classic and timeless styles that won't be unwanted with the latest trend.

    • We lovingly pattern and grade in a way that will truly "spark joy" (as organization guru Marie Kondo would say) when your dress fits you the way it's meant to - so you'll want to keep it forever!

    The quality and longevity of our dresses have been proven time and time again, as they've been loved for many years by our customers. And when bodies change and we need to start buying a different size, our dresses are in such a good state, they get gifted, sold and otherwise passed on - not tossed in the garbage.

    We are so proud of manufacturing our dresses in BC, and providing you with a truly excellent dress you can be sure is worth your money.

    How to be Slow Fashion Savvy poster

      XOX Cherry Velvet

    • Halloween is Brewing - Our 2019 Halloween Event

      Published Oct 17 2019 in Cherry Velvet Dresses, Customer Appreciation, Halloween, Holidays

      On October 4th and 5th this year, we hosted an event at our Vancouver studio, called "Halloween is Brewing".

      Although it was quite a bit earlier in the month than these celebrations would usually be, we figured it would be a fun opportunity to get in the spirit of the season and shop for themed outfits. After all, for those who wait for this holiday all year, it's never too early to spook things up!

      Diane Kennedy and friend in The Horror print Marie dresses at Cherry Velvet's Halloween is Brewing event

      We decorated our whole studio with bats, spiders, monsters, and all things ghastly. Our dress forms were beheaded and bloody just for the occasion. Upon arrival, we had a special spot for all our flying guests to park their brooms. Diane's inspiration truly came through on our (perhaps intoxicated from too much of that "brew") witch splattered in a corner.

      Mannequin dressed as witch facing the corner at Cherry Velvet Halloween is Brewing event

      And so many hilarious captions were made for this by some of you!

      We also had Kelly, the Booze Witch with her flavour enhancers for sampling. These interesting elixirs and shrubs are made with vinegar and unique flavours such as Elderflower and Strawberry Black Pepper. Just a few drops of these delicious concoctions will add amazing flavour to beverages, seasonings, and of course, cocktails!

      Customers and Booze Witch at Cherry Velvet Halloween is Brewing event

      Julia dressed as green witch in purple Cherry Velvet dressLogan, our photographer, set up an eerie scene with a moonlit path and gate backdrop. He expertly positioned a light from the back, so the glow was as ethereal as it was actually real.

      We were also equipped with a smoke machine, for that extra freaky foggy effect that made you feel lost in the woods on a cold October night - just like Halloween should be!

      Standing in front of this set, it seemed anyone would be inspired to give out a cackle or two...




      As seen on the left, some may have really, really enjoyed the smoke.


      It was so much fun to see our customers come and have a great time at our ghastly studio, taking photos in our Halloween dresses and props. I think we can say we successfully stepped right into the spirit(s). 

      Family at Cherry Velvet Halloween is Brewing event

      Please enjoy these pictures, and if you still need your freaky frock for the spooky season - pay us a visit this week. Our studio is still decorated (although no photo area anymore, unfortunately) and we have a selection of Halloween dresses on sale - also available online!

      Customer in Cherry Velvet dress at Halloween is Brewing eventCustomer in Cherry Velvet dress at Halloween is Brewing eventCustomer in Cherry Velvet dress at Halloween is Brewing eventCustomer in Cherry Velvet dress at Halloween is Brewing eventCustomer in Cherry Velvet dress at Halloween is Brewing eventCustomer in Cherry Velvet dress at Halloween is Brewing eventCustomer in Cherry Velvet dress at Halloween is Brewing eventCustomer in Cherry Velvet dress at Halloween is Brewing event

      Thank you all who joined and hope to see you at our next Studio Shop this weekend!

      Friday, October 18th - 2pm to 7pm
      Saturday, October 19th - 11am to 5pm
      1635 Powell St. Vancouver, BC (Free parking by the Flag Shop or right out front)🚗

      Haunted Hugs!

      XOX Cherry Velvet

    • Happy Thanksgiving!

      Published Oct 11 2019 in Cherry Velvet Dresses, Customer Appreciation, gratitude, Made In Canada, thanksgiving

      By Cherry Velvet Designer + Creator, Diane Kennedy.

      My wonderful customers, if it wasn’t for you, Cherry Velvet wouldn’t be here. I know that’s a bit of a cliché but it’s the honest truth. It's what gets me up in the morning and is a constant reminder that I'm truly blessed... 

      My favourite time of year (fall) makes me remember that I am literally living my dream. I knew I wanted to be a designer and make beautiful dresses for women of all sizes when was I just a little girl. Being able to fulfill that dream and continue to make my clothes exclusively in Canada makes it even more special.

      Cherry Velvet designer Diane Kennedy

      I'm especially thankful for my staff; the hardworking people that support me every single day. Logan Rudrum, my Media Director, has been my rock and unfailing support for the past 6 years. Barb Wilkins, in Customer Service, is the lovely lady that helps me take care of all of you. Julia Leal, my new Social Media Coordinator, is fitting in very well with the team. And, I'm thrilled to say, my marketing assistant, Tracy Po is getting better every day and scheduled to return to us very soon. (She was recently back at our studio for the first time during our Halloween is Brewing Event!) 

      I'm also grateful for the support of my sales agent and model, Leah Tuttle. We just finished a beautiful photoshoot with her that I'm looking forward to sharing with you. 

      Leah Tuttle and designer Diane Kennedy in Cherry Velvet dresses

      Thanksgiving is important. Giving thanks and feeling gratitude for what you have; a simple concept and yet we often forget to feel grateful. Whatever you do to celebrate this time of year, may it bring you happiness and contentment.

      XOX Diane

    • More than a headache - Tracy's battle with Autoimmune Encephalitis

      Published Oct 04 2019 in Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, Autoimmune Disease, Autoimmune Encephalitis, Neurology, Ovarian Tumour, Recovery, Rehabilitation, Tumour, Women's diseases

      Life, for the most part, can feel or appear calculable. Each day unfolds mostly the same as the last and we believe (or like to believe) we have an idea of how it all rolls out. At multiple points throughout our lives, however, life can pull a total M Night Shyamalan and reveal an unexpected twist. Some of these twists can be good, great even, offering us a new perspective, a chance for growth or an opportunity—and others can turn our entire world upside down. The latter of these twists recently popped up in the life of our social media rockstar/ ball of energy, Tracy Po, and we wanted to share with you her story of courage while contending with a life-altering disease.

      Tracy Po wearing a Cherry Velvet Doris dress in Black and red Polka dots

      More than a headache

      Just over 12 weeks ago, Tracy, entered the hospital with chronic migraines. She had a history with these horrible head-splitters, having to visit the ER for them in previous years, but something about these particular migraines was different. Shortly after being emitted to St. Paul's in downtown Vancouver, Tracy's condition began to deteriorate. She started experiencing episodes of psychosis and catatonia (non-responsiveness). While no one knew the cause of her symptoms at the time, she would later be diagnosed with an extremely rare autoimmune disease.

      Tracy Po wearing a Cherry Velvet Doris Dress

      Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis

      Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis is a variety of brain inflammation caused by antibodies. It is relatively new to medical research, only being discovered back in 2007, and is often misdiagnosed. It affects both the body and mind, with symptoms including but not limited to headaches, fever, extreme fatigue, psychosis, hallucinations, seizures, decreased breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate issues. Nearly all patients who develop the disease require hospitalization, many need critical care—and, unfortunately, our Tracy was one of them.

      Tracy_In_Bed

      During Tracy's time in the hospital, she endured a myriad of procedures, including multiple surgeries, lumbar punctures, MRIs, CT scans, infusions, blood tests and a colossal, nearly comical, amount of medications. This disease developed so rapidly and progressed to the point that Tracy had to be put into an induced coma and was completely bedridden for nearly a month. It was a very confusing and scary time for everyone involved, especially Tracy.

      Tracy Po in the hospital recovering from Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis

      A Turning Point.

      After an uncertain stage without any clear conclusion or cause, an ultrasound revealed a small tumour inside one of Tracy's ovaries, which doctors promptly removed. Tumours like this can, in rare cases, trigger an autoimmune response. Almost immediately after Tracy came out of surgery, she started to show some improvement. She slowly regained the ability to breathe and took her first assisted steps out of her bed in weeks. She was transferred out of the ICU to the Neurology ICU and then eventually to the Neurology ward where she began to relearn how to talk, walk, eat and drink again.

      Tracy Po
      Tracy Po and her partner Logan

      Recently, Tracy was transferred out of VGH and into the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, where she is undergoing an intensive therapy program, including occupational, physical and speech therapy. She has been improving every day and the hope is to have her status switched from in-patient to an out-patient, where she can attend her therapy sessions during the day and spend her evenings at home with her partner, Logan, and cat, Moose.

      Tracy Po recovering from Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis

      To Recovery + Beyond.

      While this entire experience has been a painful and terrifying ordeal, Tracy has remained so incredibly optimistic and determined. Her drive to return to her regular life has propelled her forward and we're so incredibly proud of her spirit and unshakeable resolve. We hope to see her back here underneath the Cherry Velvet tree as soon as possible, which, at the rate she's progressing, may not be far off. Until then, please join us in cheering her on as she makes her way through this final stage towards full recovery and beyond—Go, Tracy go!

      Get Well Tracy

      XOX Cherry Velvet 

    • Our Elly Mayday Story

      Published Sep 26 2019 in #onehellovawoman, Ashley Luther, Canadian Designer, Cherry Velvet, Elly Mayday, Ovarian Cancer, Pin-up Perfection Photography

      Today I'm remembering a time with one of our early models, Elly Mayday. Elly was an advocate for women's health, known for battling ovarian cancer throughout her modelling career. This weekend we are joining with Forever Yours Lingerie at their event, #onehellovawoman to fulfill Elly's wish for a high tea to raise funds for ovarian cancer research.

      Looking back to our very first photoshoot in 2013 

      Amongst a group of lovely models, there was a young lady named Elly Mayday at her first-ever photoshoot as well. The location was a classic style Diner called Save On Meats. This was also the very first time we shot with Shimona Henry of Pin-Up Perfection photography.

      A 2013 Cherry Velvet photo shoot featuring Elly Mayday

      Soon after, Elly began to model for Cherry Velvet on a regular basis. In 2014, after struggling for some time with symptoms that were not being diagnosed properly, Elly discovered she had ovarian cancer. 

      Elly Mayday models a Cherry Velvet Brigitte dress

      After Elly started her treatments with chemotherapy, she knew her hair was going to fall out, so she dyed it teal green: the colour of the ovarian cancer awareness ribbon. Elly made a video for us talking about her symptoms, and the importance of being your own advocate.

      Elly Mayday models a Cherry Velvet dress

      Elly lost her hair shortly thereafter from the chemotherapy. As a woman who had also lost her mother to ovarian cancer, I could imagine how difficult it would be to lose her hair at 25 years old, and so I wanted to do something for Elly. I decided to take her wig shopping.  Can you even imagine being 25 years old and having your hair fall out? Just that alone would be so difficult to deal with, not to mention all of the other obstacles she faced. 

      We received a phone call from several of her friends who were planning a fundraiser and fashion show to help Elly support herself during treatments. The event was called Strut for a Cause. They asked Cherry Velvet to help surprise Elly and to get her "event ready" to arrive at the show. 

      Elly Mayday models a Cherry Velvet dress named after her

      Getting her party-ready and to this event...where she was greeted by friends, supporters and TV cameras was quite tricky to pull off without her suspecting what was going on. That day, Elly did a photoshoot with Shimona Henry with the goal of getting her into hair and make-up. Elly had lost so much weight at this point I thought perhaps she wouldn't have anything to wear so I designed a dress especially for her for that night and we named it after her, The Elly dress.

      Model Elly Mayday modelling a Cherry Velvet dress named after her

      It was an amazing evening of fashion and friends coming together to show their love and support.

      Model Elly Mayday and Cherry Velvet designer Diane Kennedy

      Elly continued to pursue her career in New York as a model and worked on a campaign to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Canada among many other achievements. Sadly, Elly passed away from ovarian cancer in March of this year, at 30 years old.

      Elly left her mark on myself and our business. She will never be forgotten.

      XOX Diane Kennedy, designer for Cherry Velvet

       

    • Elly MayDay; Ovarian Cancer Awareness

      Published Sep 19 2019 in #onehellovawoman, Ashley Luther, Cherry Velvet, Cherry Velvet Dresses, Elly Mayday, Ovarian Cancer

      Elly MayDay for Ovarian Cancer awareness wearing a Cherry Velvet dress

      Did you know that September is the awareness month for Ovarian Cancer - a much less talked about, but very serious type of women’s cancer?  Unlike other more well-known types, there is no screening test for cancer of your #ladyballs. (This may be a somewhat controversial name for your ovaries, but it does require both knowledge and guts to beat this difficult to diagnose disease.)

      It's important for our designer, Diane, to spread awareness, as not only did this condition take her Mom at a very young age, but her Sister-in-law as well.

      You may have heard the story of one of our early models, Elly Mayday, who at the age of 25 was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer too.

      Elly Mayday with teal green hair to raise awareness for Ovarian Cancer

      We're pleased to join Forever Yours Lingerie's #Onehellvawoman High Tea and Fundraiser in honour of Elly's life and her wish to spread awareness about this difficult disease. We are proudly offering five "Dress of Your Choice" vouchers for the auction, which will raise funds for ovarian cancer research.

      Cherry Velvet raises funds for Ovarian Cancer research 

      "Please spend a few moments learning about ovarian cancer, as discovering it early enough improves your chances to treat it effectively and survive" ~ Diane Kennedy

      There is no one specific symptom for ovarian cancer, and the symptoms are generally vague and often mistakenly attributed to other causes. It’s called "the disease that whispers" or the "silent killer", as it tends to be overlooked and under-diagnosed.

      Do you do a breast self-exam every month? What about going for an annual pap test? Although these simple steps could save your life, when it comes to taking care of your #ladyballs, it's not as straightforward.

      Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

        We hope we’ve inspired you to catch up on any tests you haven’t taken lately, and brought attention to symptoms you should pay attention to. Please share this post with all the important women in your life so that they’ll be aware, too.

        XOX Cherry Velvet

      • The Tale of the Empty Suitcase

        Published Aug 29 2019 in best birthday present, birthday, Cherry Velvet, Dresses, suitcase, travel, Vintage Inspired

        Last weekend at the Studio Shop a couple travelled all the way from Portland, Oregon, just to see us! We were so thrilled and honoured. And it's such a sweet story....

        Meet Andy and Lisa. Andy's birthday gift to Lisa was a weekend trip to Vancouver and an "Empty Suitcase" to fill up with Cherry Velvet frocks. Can you imagine such a treat?

        Customers Andy Beach and Lisa Weisman visiting the Cherry Velvet Studio

        Lisa has a great laugh! And it was so lovely to watch her happy experience. She loved everything she tried on and was overjoyed with the fit and all the fun prints making it so hard to choose. These are the problems we all like to have: having so many choices of pretty dresses that fit!

        The Paige Dress in Flower Power print was the first dress she tried and it was obvious that this dress lit Lisa up. She absolutely LOVED everything about this dress and it fit her like a glove but it was really the bright, vintage floral print that she connected to. 

        Customer Lisa Weisman visiting the Cherry Velvet Studio

        Next, Lisa tried on the Minerva Dress - Fantastic Beast, Unicorn print. This was a dress that she had on her list and was already excited to try on before she even got here. It didn't make it in her bag though. 

        Lisa Weisman trying on a Cherry Velvet Minerva Dress called Fantastic Beasts

        The final choices included: The Shelly Dress in Slate Gingham, Elizabeth dress in the Graceful Dead print, Norma in the Gamer Girl print as well as the Paige Dress in Flower Power print. After her fun afternoon of shopping Andy took Lisa out for her birthday dinner to Maenam for delicious Thai food. What a day!!

        Lisa Weisman trying on a Cherry Velvet Paige Dress called Flower Power.

        Lots of folks have a heck of a time finding the right birthday gifts for their partner. What to do? A gift card is nice but can feel a little impersonal and a trip is a great way to celebrate another turn around the sun but... our new friend Andy really nailed it in our books. We've told Andy that he needs to spread the word about his magnificent idea! Don't you wish your partner would gift this for your birthday! 

        Barb Wilkins Lisa Weisman Diane Kennedy wearing Cherry Velvet dresses

        Thank-you so much Lisa and Andy! We loved having you visit our shop! Hope to see you next year!

        XOX Diane and Barb