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Take our walk down memory lane this week to revisit the "L" dresses. Many of these dresses were especially designed to go out on the town and party in style. Remember those good old days?
Beginning with the Lana party dress; this one was designed to dazzle after dark in Jacquard and sparkle fabrics. This dress was perfect for dancing the night away; with a shapely V-neckline, glimmering fabrics and a full-circle skirt. It was especially pretty with a crinoline to emphasize the fullness of the skirt in a twirl.
The Leah dress was named after our sales agent, that's been with us for many years (like more than 10 years!) and also models for us. There were two version of this dress, the first of which being the Lace version. It had a layer of lace over a comfortable cotton lining. There were three versions: Royal lace over nude, Black lace over nude and Black lace over Black.
This was also a limited edition version in jade green with a black flocked velvet damask print.
The Leanne dress was named for a lovely and very clever customer that collects Cherry Velvet dresses. One day, Leanne came to visit us at the studio and showed us her library on her phone with all the prints and dresses she owned. This was her way of making sure she knew what she already had in her collection and what she wanted to buy next. What a great idea for coordinating her closet!
Leanne is currently available now and all are on Sale here!
Lisa was an adorable sun dress. This easy-going beauty debuted the Summer of 2016 in cool cotton. The prints were carefree and perfect for a pool party or beach BBQ. The photos show the sweetness and whimsy of this fun style.
Lucy made her appearance in the fall of 2014, debuting at our Canadian Museum of Flight photo shoot. This vintage inspired dress was special with only two colours offered. Lucy featured a sweetheart neckline edged in ric rac. The fabric was stretch-cotton sateen and looked amazing on curves with a crinoline. She was named after Lucille Ball, because who doesn't love Lucy!
That's it for the "L" dresses of yesteryear. It is so fun to see these styles again as we plan for the new ones that are coming in soon. Cheers to soon having more occasions to celebrate with party dresses!
XOX Cherry Velvet
Wow, we've sure made a lot of styles over the years for you to enjoy; so many that it's hard to remember them all! It's been so fun to look back at our dress designs, remember how they came about and reminisce over the prints that were carefully chosen for them.
This week is all about the 'G' dresses (we never found a cute 'H' name to make any 'H' dresses). We're even giving you the story of our newest dress that's almost here; even though it's not officially online yet...the Isobel dress! (P.S. We just added a few to "Coming Soon"
The Gigi sundress debuted in the Spring of 2012. With it's wide, bra covering straps and sweetheart neckline, it was a real charmer. Popular prints included gingham, birdcages and Moorish tiles. The brightest colour combos were the first to sell out.
It's also fun to look back at some of our early marketing....
Think of a perfect dress for a Hawaiian vacation and something close to the Ginger might come to mind. Even the prints were tropical. Named after Ginger from Gilligan's Island, she had some serious sex appeal. She was one of the few dresses we did with a pencil skirt. It also had the sweet addition of a tie belt.
The Grace was a sweet and flirty little sundress. She appeared only once in the summer of 2013 although we did make a similar style later called the Phoebe. She had some seriously cute nautical prints and also one that was aptly named Spirograph.
ISOBELOur youngest fan is the inspiration for the name of our newest sundress. Isobel, also known as "The Littlest Velvet", loved visiting our studio with her parents. Her mom, Brandi, is a long-time customer with a full closet of fabulous CV dresses, and her dad, John, modelled our men's shirts for us. Isobel herself owns 3 Cherry Velvet dresses that she used to wear just for dress-up to be like her mom. This photo was from a very early visit to our studio with her Dad. For a school project she was trying out being a fashion designer for the day. It warms my heart to name a dress after this sweet girl.
Isobel's namesake is a fun and versatile sun dress with a little something extra; a front zipper that allows you to decide whether or not you want to share a peek of cleavage. You'll want one of these if you've owned a Marie dress and love a front zip. Isobel will debut in a series of bright and flirty prints any minute now - we can't wait to share them with you!
XOX Love Diane
*The story of "Strut for a Cause" to benefit Elly MayDay and Ovarian Cancer was originally posted on Jan 20, 2014. Since we've been sharing the history of our dresses, this addendum to the Elly dress is an important part of the story. Elly had a message for all of us women: to be aware of our #ladyballs, the Silent killer "Ovarian Cancer" and the symptoms to look for.
It was truly a surprise! In several short weeks, Katherine Dockrill (Helly Hepburn), Nadine Eberts (Rain Hair Salon) and Jen Kaboom (Jen Kaboom Designs) planned a spectacular event for their close friend Elly Mayday. #strutforacause was both a fashion show and fundraiser to benefit Elly and Ovarian Cancer. A unique event space, the Arthur Erickson designed "Waterfall Building" was chosen. Then the mad dash began to line up models, sponsors and volunteers. So many people helped put this event together, and everyone involved deserves a thank-you, but my purpose here is to tell you the story of this special surprise for Elly.
To get Elly 'party ready', what better than to plan a photo shoot? Gal pals Shimona Henry (Pin-up Perfection Photography) and Stela Licina (model and make-up ninja) whisked her out to a studio in White Rock, did her hair and make-up and spent the day shooting. Elly had graciously agreed to take a few photos for me on this last day of shooting before her scheduled surgery. So we quickly sewed up a new Cherry Velvet wingbust dress design with a full skirt, and named it the 'Elly', with the hope that she would wear it to the party. We kept our fingers crossed that we'd gotten the size right (as Elly has lost 45 pounds) but we did. From our size large at the start of her modeling career about a year ago, she's now a size XS in our dresses.
With a ruse to pick up Nadine at Rain Hair Salon (adjacent to the Waterfall building), they got Elly all the way to the door without her really suspecting what was planned. With a full house including family, friends, photographers and press, the look on her face was both touching and priceless.
Elly Mayday and Nadine Eberts (photo credit to Brian Perkins)There was a total of 5 segments of fashion shows, including ours, with a huge line up of models all donating their time to the show. I'd like to thank all the amazing models who enthusiastically strutted their stuff down the runway. We're in the process of producing a video of the show which we'll share asap! But I'd like to personally thank all the girls that represented Cherry Velvet:
Jihan Amir (Wilhelmina Models) in 'Brigitte Shutterbug" Patrick Rooney Photography
Charlotte Curve Model in Brigitte "Turquoise Orchard" Patrick Rooney Photography
Sarah Lexi Lafontaine (Lexi Whitewall) in Elizabeth "Floral Bouquet" photo by Zemekiss
Christine Barham (Chrissy Noir) in Trudy "Chatroom" photo by Zemekiss
Nadine Eberts (Rain Hair Salon) in Trudy "Cherry Blossom" photo by Zemekiss
Tracy Cake (Tracy Cake Make-up and More) in Brigitte "Anime Flowers" photo by Zemekiss
Leah (MissLuscious Ness) in Brigitte "Rosy Dots" photo by Zemekiss
and of course Elly Mayday in the Elly Dress in "Black Damask" photo by Zemekiss
Elly took her turn walking down the runway in her new "Elly" dress. Patrick Rooney Photography
Elly's story and legacy is meant to be shared. She brought awareness to Ovarian Cancer and through her advocacy; Elly helped many, many women who struggled with this silent killer.
XOX Cherry Velvet
This post is all about our beautiful dress designs that start with the letter "E". A word of advice, you may need a box of tissues handy. I have a heartfelt story to tell you about one of our models and the dress that was named for her.
The Elizabeth dress was first released in the Fall of 2013 and then again in Fall 2018. It has a similar cut and fit to the popular Chrissy dress. These first prints; as modelled on lovely Bianca Bombshell and Ruby Roxx were made from a beautiful stretch cotton sateen.
In our later release of the Elizabeth dress we switched to our regular 100% cotton in these stunning prints:
Of all of the dresses I have written about so far, this one is the hardest to write. These photos bring back memories of a young 25 year old girl that was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, the same disease my own mother died of when I was 12 years old. I know most of you remember Elly Mayday (aka Ashley Luther) she was a Cherry Velvet model for a number of years. At the time of this photo shoot she was very ill and had lost all her hair from chemotherapy. She is actually wearing a wig that I bought for her in these photos. I imagined how I would feel as a 25 year that had lost all her hair and my heart went out to her.
The Elly dress was designed and made especially for her, for an event called Strut for a Cause. It happened the night before she was scheduled to go in for major surgery. Since the blog about this event was on our old blog (and no longer accessible), I will repost it for you to read about if you wish as next week's blog.
The eye-catching wingbust design of the Elly dress was a vintage design inspired by the dresses of a very influential 1950's (and beyond) designer; Alfred Shaheen. I am launching a much anticipated remake of the Elly dress that will be ready for release in summer 2021. The prints are inspired by the original Elly dress with some updated additions (the original fabrics are no longer available).
Released in 2015, the Emma dress was made only once for our Spring 2015 collection at the Hycroft Manor photo shoot. The most popular print was predictably "Cool Cats" as modelled on Ruby Roxx.
This was an extremely limited run of dresses. Only a few of these Eva Lace party dresses were ever made.
I hope you all understand why I wanted to share these memories about Elly Mayday with you. I feel it was important to honour her memory in this post; by sharing some of her images and story with you. She was certainly an important part of our history and I will never forget her and the lessons I learned while working with her.
XOX Love Diane
D is for darling, delightful, decadent, divine... dresses! This post is all about the beautiful designs released with a "D" name. Come continue this journey through Cherry Velvet history with us!
Named after a darling previous staff member and model, this design was released for the first time way back in 2015. Ironically, we never did get a photo of Danielle, in her namesake dress. However, we'll always remember Danielle fondly anytime we wear one. We once did a photo shoot of the Danielle dress right in Fluevog's Granville store! What a treat that was to have a wonderful selection of shoes on hand to pair with the dresses.
After many requests for dresses with sleeves and due to the popularity of the Brigitte dress, Diane, our designer, combined those desires into one dreamy dress. You might recognize the back detail from the Brigitte as the neckline in the Daphne. Sometimes, that's how a new dress is born, from customer requests or details re-imagined into a new style. This first image is of our long time model Danielle of the 'Daneille' dress fame, here modeling the Daphne at our Save On Meats photo shoot. The Daphne dress debuted in our Fall 2012 catalog.
The Dina dress was named after a very lovely lady that was the buyer for a company called Gwynnie Bee. They bought many, many dresses from us over the years for their dress subscription service. The Dina was only released once in Fall 2013. (P.S. it was never made in the Camera Print)
This iconic dress was named for none other than Dita von Tease herself. It was a design that was directly inspired by a dress that Dita wore. It was originally released in 2 colours in the summer of 2014. And once again in the Fall of 2017 in the Golden Galaxy print with white and gold stars on a black background.
Named after 1950's songbird Doris Day, this dress is just as lovely as the lady. With a bustier style top, the details are fabulously flattering and just perfect for the summer, with straps that cover your bra's. She was designed with unique seaming at the bustline to not only emulate a corset but some of the classic Alfred Shaheen styles of the 1950's. You may not realize this but the Doris is actually the exact same cut as the Elly, the only difference is the addition of the 'wings' on her sister dress, the Elly.
Aside from our iconic Cherries and Dots print, there were several wildly popular and often asked about prints in the Doris. One was called Pixel Party....we even made a video game out if it!
Another super popular style was Octopus Garden. A fabric designed by Margot Elena of Tokyo Milk.
And how could we forget Starmagic? Glow in the Dark dresses are a fan favourite and this was the very first one we made that #glowedinthedark.
I hope you've enjoyed this chapter from our dress archives. Stay tuned for the next library instalment all about the letter "E"!
(...this is starting to sound like Sesame Street! :)
XOX Cherry Velvet
We sure hope you're enjoying looking back at our history of dresses as much as we are enjoying writing it and reminiscing! We got to know so many lovely women in all the photo shoots we did over the years, and it's an honour to share all these stories again.
On to the letter "C"!
The Celeste dress was a one time only design that came out in the Spring of 2014. We designed it especially to accommodate this metallic border printed fabric. To make a border print work, the pattern pieces need to fit sideways on the fabric so that the border runs along the hem of the dress. This style and the Sally dress were the only two styles we ever set up for a border print so far.
The Charlotte was the very first dress Cherry Velvet ever made. You can imagine our excitement in the office when the first shipment of dresses arrived. Even though the caption reads 10 prints, there were actually 14 prints all together, all on the chart below plus the Butterfly print. Only a very small handful was available in some the the prints. What made the Charlotte especially unique was each of the 14 prints had it's own special trim around the 'V' neckline.
Some of you may remember our original studio in Railtown, Vancouver. A customer is modelling the butterfly print that is an all time favourite of our designer Diane's. She still wears this dress to this day.
The Chloe dress made her only appearance in the Fall of 2013. She was a very pretty style with a scallop detail around the neck. Even though the Chloe never came back again, the bodice and fit of this style was the precursor to quite a few other styles like the Brooke and the Olivia. The green colourway modeled by Ruby Roxx was the most limited pattern in this design.
Many of you will recognize this classic Cherry Velvet style, it's a design that has been recut many times throughout the years. It was named after our model Chrissy Snow (in this first photo) The mock wrap of the bodice is universally flattering to many figure types and indeed is a style that fits whether you have a larger or a smaller bustline.
The Chrissy first appeared in the summer of 2015. She was often cut in a polka dot or a floral print as this design requires a 2 way print.
The Christina dress was the third style we ever made in the Fall of 2011. It had the addition of vintage trim on the collar and cuff. This Kimono Fan print was especially adorable with it's red ric-rac edging.
The Colette came out in the Spring of 2014 and again one more time. It was made of cotton sateen with a bit of stretch which lent itself well to this wiggle dress design. Colette's sassy style featured unique cut outs at the shoulder and a cheeky flounce at the hem.
I hope you've enjoyed this chapter from our dress archives. Stay tuned for another chapter next week!
P.S. When the whole library is complete, we'll save it permanently on our website so you can look through it any time.
XOX Cherry Velvet
We're overdue to write an update and tell you all about Julia; our talented Cherry Velvet Social Media Coordinator. We're grateful to have this amazing artist working with us since 2019. Recently, Julia has taken over as our Digital Designer and also writes the Cherry Velvet newsletters among other important creative contributions. Her attention to detail, sweet personality and great sense of style make her a highly valued member of our team.
Julia first came to Canada as an exchange student in 2014 and soon met her future husband here, whom she wed in 2019.
As sometimes happens in life, things don't go according to plan, and Julia was not permitted to extend her stay in Canada at this time so they are choosing a dramatic change of location. The happy couple is currently en route to Europe and their new home in the fantastic city of Berlin (her husband is an EU citizen). Julia says she's trying to stay open to what the universe is bringing her and she will make the best of this new adventure. She's looking forward to seeing more of the world, learning a new language, and trying out lots of new foods... once the pandemic restrictions are lessened of course.
The silver lining is that Julia will still be part of our CV team once she is settled in her new home, and her artistic skills will continue to be appreciated here. We are sad that she's leaving the country but glad that she's still going to work with us. We wish her a heartfelt Bon Voyage; a safe journey and look forward to seeing some of her adventures. Julia's next chapter is just beginning...
XOX Cherry Velvet
Join us as we continue our pictorial history of 10 years of Cherry Velvet dresses, this chapter all about names starting with the letter "B".
The Barbara was the second dress style we ever made in 2011. It was named after a former Cherry Velvet employee, Barb Wilkins. The Barbara came in a whole range of prints with contrast banding around the neck and sleeves. Can you pick out which prints were the most popular?*
Betsy debuted in the Summer of 2016. Another employee Dawn modeled these for us as well as Charlotte Doering at our Hycroft Manor shoot.
The Bianca dress named after our model, Bianca Bombshell, was the wiggle dress version of the wingbust Elly dress. The wingbust style was popularized by a designer named Alfred Shaheen in the 1950's. It's a name used to describe the petal or wing shaped accents on the dress bodice.
Our most popular dress of all time is also the one that we made the most of by far, is the Brigitte dress. Named after the gorgeous starlet, Brigitte Bardot, she was first released in the Spring of 2013. The following is only a small selection of the prints that were made in the Brigitte dress. This first image is of Model Elly Mayday photographed by Pin-up Perfection Photography.
The Brooke dress is a really special dress with a full-circle skirt. She needs the most fabric of all our designs, taking a whopping 4 yards of fabric in some of the bigger sizes. This photo is from our January of 2013 Hycroft Manor photo shoot.
More exciting 'C' dresses to see next week...
XOX Cherry Velvet*P.S. The most popular prints for the Barbara were "Good Luck Tattoo" and "Polka Party", although once we introduced the Sugar Skulls, that one quickly became the most popular print for the Barbara dress.
Later this summer Cherry Velvet will celebrate it's 10th Anniversary! Can you believe it!? We've been making beautiful dresses in Canada for you to love and having a blast doing it!
We're starting to mark this milestone by reminiscing on these past 10 years. We thought you would enjoy seeing a complete pictorial history of all our dress designs. You'll get to revisit each of the names, designs, favourite prints and all the lovely women that have modelled our dresses for you to collect over the years.
Let's begin our journey down memory lane with the letter "A"....
Named after the famous singer songwriter, the Adele was an elegant wiggle dress we could imagine the woman Adele actually wearing. She made a one time only appearance back in June of 2013 here on beautiful and curvaceous Ruby Roxx.
ADALINEInspired by the movie and beautiful dresses from The Age of Adaline, the Adaline had a vintage inspired, 1940's appeal. She made her appearance in 2015 at our photo shoot at historic Galbraith Manor on Ruby Roxx and Kaleigh Almond. Adaline's unique cutout neckline sure did turn heads.
ALICECroquet anyone? Models Veronica Belle and Ruby Roxx show off the Alice dress while playing lawn games at beautiful Momiji Gardens at Hastings Park. The Alice dress featured several hidden animal prints by fabric designer Tula Pink. The Alice was released only once in the summer of 2016.
The Angelina made her first debut in the Fall of 2015. She's a style we've since repeated many times. With a longer, more natural waistline, Angelina is a great choice for average height to taller girls. She features a stunning back detail; two straps twisted in the middle to make your exit as memorable as your entrance! She's a long time favourite of many customers and is still available to this day.
Our very first big official photo shoot was at the historic diner, Savon Meats with photographer Shimona Henry of Pin-up Perfection Photography in January of 2013. This was also the very first ever photo shoot for our patternmaker Genesis Hiles and model Elly Mayday. The Annette dress made an unforgettable apperance with her unique U shaped Peter Pan collar and a lovely open back detail all accented with contrast piping.
Annette came back once more in Spring 2018, but this time with the addition of a full skirt.
In all these years of making dresses, we've only made one actual velvet dress called the Audrey named after our designer Diane's Mom. For Holiday 2012, it came in three colours of sumptuous rayon velvet; royal blue, dark green and midnight navy.
Named after the Disney princess from Sleeping Beauty, this dress was certainly made for a girly girl. It had a mock wrap, pleated bodice, short puffed sleeves, a very full skirt and a generously wide tie belt to tie in a bow. We made it in cotton prints but also in several solid special occasion fabrics too.
Named after the elegant 1940's star, Ava Gardener, the Ava was the only peplum style we ever released. She was an early style that debuted in 2012. This was Danielle Keil first photo shoot with us, she was a Cherry velvet employee as well as a favourite model.
I hope you've enjoyed the first chapter from our dress archives as we look back at designs named with the letter "A". Stay tuned for more...
P.S. When the whole library is complete, we'll save it permanently on our website so you can look through it any time.
XOX Cherry Velvet
I always remember this big bodacious plant in our house when I was growing up in the seventies. I hadn’t given it any thought in years, until a vacation when I visited the Hawaiian Botanical Garden on the Big Isle. It was an experience I’ll never forget. This lush tropical paradise had every houseplant I'd ever seen, growing like a shrub on steroids. And there it was. The Monstera plant from my youth, growing up these massive palm trees. Wow!
I’ve never had much inclination to care for indoor plants, but as you know, we’re now spending lots of time at home. And so, a rather large Monstera came home from my favourite garden center one day. It’s got the premium spot by the window right next to where I sit to read or watch TV. Apparently they are very easy to grow and do get quite large. One day, it’ll be that monster monstera that I remember growing up!
"And what's Swiss Cheese got to do with it?", you might wonder. It's one of the common names of Monstera, given because of the leaves. As they grow, they form holes which eventually split open. Pretty cool!
Meanwhile I sit in my spot, gazing out at my little garden, with my hummingbird coming to feed right outside my window. I’m enjoying this little corner sanctuary with my newfound time to nurture.
And if you didn’t already recognize it, the Monstera motif is echoed in our Waterfront dress in Palm print. (P.S. they’re on Sale!)