Cherry Velvet Journal » #cottondresses

  • Mystical Creatures & Fantasy Females: The Art of Megan Majewski

     Cherry Velvet designer Diane Kennedy visits artist Megan Majewski's studio

    When you’re visiting an artist named @deadkittie (IG) this is surely the perfect dress to wear! I stopped by the studio of Megan Majewski (by appointment) and had a lovely visit with the artist herself.

    Cherry Velvet designer Diane Kennedy visits artist Megan Majewski's studio

    Her art is so inspiring to me and the paintings are extraordinary; bright and beautiful. I just love her surreal aesthetic of fantasy, nature, women and dead things. Much like the prints that I choose for Cherry Velvet dresses :) 

    Artist Megan Majewski's studio

    One day on her social media account, I spotted some extraordinary bug and butterfly drawings in her sketchbook. I was thrilled when she agreed to make prints for me, and also a print of a surreal blue jay wearing a gas mask that I had been admiring for years.

    Artist Megan Majewski's prints

    Megan showed me some of her current projects including a painting in the works and plans for new enamel pin designs. 

    Cherry Velvet designer Diane Kennedy visits artist Megan Majewski's studio

    Supporting other local artists like Megan is at the core of my personal and business values. Megan will have her studio open for visits during the Eastvan Culture Crawl this year which is such a fantastic experience! I totally recommend attending the Crawl and visiting the charming Ms. Majewski in her inspiring space.

    Dress by Cherry Velvet, boots by John Fluevog
    You may recognize another local artist in these photos; the Art of Mr. Fluevog and his extraordinary pink and metallic boots! #vog_revna

    Cherry Velvet designer Diane Kennedy visits artist Megan Majewski's studio

    There's a scant few of my Marie - Meowter Space - Unicorn Cat dresses left, find them here. New dresses are coming very soon, I promise!

    XOX Cherry Velvet


  • Cherry Velvet: Buy, Sell and Trade

    We heard you and it took some time but we are excited to announce that we finally launched a 'Buy, Sell and Trade' group on Facebook

    This group was started by popular demand we've received feedback from customers looking for a community of like-minded individuals eager to find somewhere to sell or trade their Cherry Velvet dresses they no longer fit or wear but also those looking for past styles to add to their collection.

    We take so much pride in our dresses' longevity and want people to enjoy them for years to come. What better and more eco-friendly way than to trade or sell them? What's no longer new to you could be to someone else!

    The group can be joined by sending a request directly on the page itself. We've decided to do it this way to keep spam and scammers at bay and to have a positive group of folks who share a similar style.

    So if that sounds like you, we'd love to see you there!

     Cherry Velvet




  • 5 Days 5 Dresses

    Diane challenged herself to travel light by bringing only one suitcase on her recent vacation. She narrowed down the choices to just 5 dresses. Cherry Velvet dresses roll up easily to pack, but Diane prefers to fold hers flat at the top of the suitcase and hang them up right away when she gets to her hotel. 

    Destination: Lake TahoeView of Bonsai Rock from a kayak on Lake TahoeDiane narrowed it down to five dresses, one to wear on the plane and 4 to pack:Designer Diane in her Cherry Velvet Adventure Awaits Travel dress and the 5 dress print she took on her holidayDiane's sun and fun vacation was all about the enjoying the great outdoors but also included dinners out, dancing, and a VIP Celebrity Golf event. The real challenge was footwear, what to wear with a dress when a LOT of walking, dancing and even hiking will happen?

    shoes to wear with dressesShoes from left to right: Vionic Sandals, Ecco Sneakers and Fluevog LE Elif

    Among the highlights of the trip was a gondola ride up Heavenly Mountain to see the amazing view of the lake. First stop was the observation deck. She wears her namesake Diane Dress in Petalicious print. She's the rainbow! Designer Diane wearing her namesake Cherry Velvet Diane Dress at the observation deck, Heavenly Mountain, Lake TahoeThen a hike along Martin's trail and an unexpected rock climb while wearing said dress!

    Where no Cherry Velvet Dress has been before. Martin's Trail, Heavenly Mountain, Lake TahoeHere's the evidence! (check out that healthy glow)

    Rock climbing in a Cherry Velvet DressAlways up for adventure. And what a view from the rock summit! Lake Tahoe How about a mountain roller coaster ride? Yes, she did that too! Riding the Coaster at Heavenly Mountain Lake TahoeA kayaking tour in a completely clear glass bottom kayak was another memorable outing! (Not in a dress this time :)

    Kayaking on Lake Tahoe in a clear kayakThis is just a glimpse into the joy of traveling light. It was so worth it! I hope you all make it to this amazing spot one day! 

    XOX Cherry Velvet



  • A Decade of Darling Dresses

    Milestones are meant for celebration, and Cherry Velvet is about to reach a big one: 10 years of retro class with modern sass!

    paper dolls in lingerie

    For those of you who’ve followed our brand, you’ve likely heard the Cherry Velvet origin story. Diane Kennedy, our founder and designer, already had a line of beautiful clothing designed to fit modern women’s bodies and lifestyle. She then found herself looking for the perfect dress, and simply couldn’t find it. Being the entrepreneur that she is, Diane decided to start making fabulous dresses that she loved to wear. Cherry Velvet was born in July of 2011.

    Cherry Velvet dress with dog sketch

    There are many constants that have defined our brand over time. Our dresses are made to fit and flatter the female figure, with comfort and eye-catching style. With long-wearing fabrics and handy pockets, they’re also tremendously easy to care for and wear. Of course, there are the prints – Diane scours the internet and finds stunning colours, charming prints, and dazzling patterns.

    We’re also so very proud to be consciously Canadian. Our dresses are designed, sold, and shipped from beautiful British Columbia, and our ethical creation process is a defining element of the company.

    But what’s the most critical part of the chronicles of Cherry Velvet? It couldn’t be more simple – YOU. Our fabulous customers have given life to our dresses. Watching your eyes light up when you find the perfect fit, or seeing your gorgeous smiles in the photos you post and send… That’s why we do what do, and why we’ll keep doing it.

    So let’s celebrate! On July 16, we’ll be releasing three lovely and highly limited designs. Naturally, these anniversary dresses will be our most popular and beloved styles: Norma, Doris, and in a very special return, Elly. The prints are just as colourful and unique as you’d expect.

    Happy 10 year Cherryversary

    We want to take that joy you feel when a new dress arrives and multiply it, so we’ll be adding exclusive swag with each shipment of our special releases. Each anniversary pack will also include a limited edition, numbered paper doll print, to commemorating the occasion. Make sure you order early, because these added goodies will only be available while supplies last.

    Stay tuned and be prepared to want them all!

    XOX Cherry Velvet 

  • Vintage Inspiration: Aloha, Alfred Shaheen!

    You’ve likely heard our Cherry Velvet slogan: “Retro Class with Modern Sass”. But what do we mean by “retro”? What is the foundation of our vintage aesthetic, and who are the designers who inspired the modern day pin-up silhouette? This may be the first time you’ve heard about Alfred Shaheen, but you’ve definitely seen his design influences in Cherry Velvet’s dresses!
    A vintage Alfred Shaheen dress worn by his granddaughterPhoto of Alfred Shaheen's granddaughter wearing one of his dresses

    Diane, our founder and designer, is an avid fashion historian. Specifically, Diane takes many cues from the 50's which originated with Christian Dior’s “New Look”: cinched waistlines, emphasized bustlines, and deliciously full skirts. Alfred Shaheen took this style, added his own unique details, and employed it brilliantly.

    Alfred Shaheen Fashion

    Born in Lebanon, Alfred Shaheen was a textile pioneer and designer who operated from his adopted home in Oahu, Hawai’i. In the heyday of 1950s and 1960s fashion, he was the most creative and prolific of all of the Hawai’ian manufacturers, and was famous for that most perfect of souvenirs, the aloha shirt. Who can forget the undeniable appeal of Elvis Presley in one of those bright, flowered button-up shirts?

    Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii wearing and Alfred Shaheen Hawaiian shirtElvis Prestley in the movie Blue Hawaii wearing an Alfred Shaheen Shirt

    Shaheen's unique, trendsetting designs became high fashion thanks to their unique fabrics, high-grade materials, quality construction, and striking prints inspired by the Hawai’ian Islands and their multicultural influences from Polynesia and Asia.

    Alfred Shaheen dresses

    Beautifully cut and fitted sundresses also defined Shaheen's brand, including the famous Hawai’in bombshell dress. Shaheen's signature “halter neckline” may have evolved from a traditional variation of wearing the pareau (pareo), in which a single rectangle of cloth is wrapped around the body from the center back with the top two corners brought to the front and crossed, then brought upwards, and then tied at the back of the neck to form a loose “short dress”. Shaheen’s fitted interpretation was engineered to enhance the bust line, which led to its widespread success. Shaheen’s impeccably constructed dresses are some of the most collectible vintage pieces on the market today, and with good reason – they are seriously flattering!

    Alfred Shaheen dresses

    Alfred Shaheen dresses
    One of Shaheen’s most distinctive innovations was his wing-top bust dress. This design is fitted with an accentuated “wing” or “petal”, often done in a complementary fabric to make it stand out. It has been one of Diane’s most coveted inspirations, as seen on our modern version of the wingbust dress, The Elly Dress. The eye-catching style of the Elly dress was a significant moment in Cherry Velvet’s evolution, and we’re excited to announce that Elly will be returning with a flourish this summer in a stunning range of new prints!

    XOX Kim Palmer

    for Cherry Velvet

  • Dress History 101

    Recently, we made a post on Facebook asking for your best vintage name suggestions for our dresses. You gave us so many wonderful names that we have tons to choose from for upcoming styles! Thank you to everybody that wrote in telling us your stories as well. We loved hearing about your Nana and how she used to wear gloves and get dressed every day in the 50s. Thank you for the pictures of your pets, your favourite movie stars and those that deserve to be remembered. We appreciate you sharing these suggestions with us!
    Cherry Velvet dress styles sketched
    We noticed that many of the suggested names were ones that we’ve already used before. And so we thought you might like to read a Master Cherry Velvet dress name list...
    Master list of all Cherry Velvet dress names
    And now that you know the names of our past dresses you're going to be curious! Right? We're going to expand beyond this Master names list. We want to show you the designs, the photos, the prints and tell you why we named each dress. This is going to be epic! It’s going to be the history of all our dresses. How appropriate as we're coming up to our 10th anniversary later this year!

    XOX Cherry Velvet


  • One Way Prints Explained

    One of the many things that makes a Cherry Velvet dress special is the assortment of wonderful quirky prints that we use. You may not have thought about this before, but printed fabrics come in either a “one way” direction or “two way” direction. We thought you might like to know why we choose prints for certain dresses the way we do.

    Below are two charts where we show you a dress design and its marker, which is the guideline factories use to cut the dress pattern pieces out of the fabric.

    Cherry Velvet dress pattern lay out
    A one way print means that all the pattern pieces that make up the dress need to be cut in one direction. For example, two of the prints you voted to see again, Castle Plans and Atomic Kitties, are both one way. You would not want upside down cats or castles on the front of your dress, right? So all the pattern pieces that show on the outside of the dress have to be cut in the same direction.

    Cherry Velvet dress pattern lay outAlternatively, a two way print can be cut in either direction. For example, one of the skirt panels can be cut one way and the other skirt panel can be cut the opposite way. By the time the dress is sewn up, you have no idea which way the panels went, and it doesn't matter - it's beautiful all the same!

    Certain dresses are designed specifically for one way prints. The fabric that we use is very narrow, high quality 100% cotton. It’s only 42 inches wide, so you can imagine that cutting a full skirt out of a one-way print takes a LOT of fabric! That is also why it's rare to see a full skirted dress in a one way print. 

    Our line-up includes unique dresses that were designed specifically for these special one way prints. They use the fabric in such a way that there is not a lot of fabric waste (more fabric waste = more expensive dresses). The Brigitte, Angelina, Danielle, Marie and the Norma are the one-way dresses we've designed so far. The pieces are fit together on the marker as tightly as possible to save fabric. 

    In comparison, some of the two-way dresses we make are the Doris, Olivia, Paige, and Shelly to name a few. Usually they have fuller skirts, since the two way print allows for better utilization of the fabric.

    We hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about how we make our dresses. Next time you're wearing one of our creations, you'll have a fun bit of trivia to tell about how they're crafted!

    Thank you for reading, and see if you can spot on our upcoming releases if they are one way or two way print dresses! 

    XOX Cherry Velvet