News » Dresses
As we approach the start of Vancouver's own Pride Week (July 27th-August 3rd), we'd like to take a moment to reaffirm our support for the LGBTQ community in creating a world of equality and acceptance.
The LGBTQ community has long sought the ability to freely express their love, with the same rights as other people and couples enjoy. As a brand that champions body positivity, we deeply appreciate the importance of inclusivity, fair representation, and being able to live a life free of judgment. Equal rights and equal opportunities are a necessity for people of all sizes, ethnicities, sexual orientations and genders.
We are proud to be based around Vancouver, a city with a vibrant LGBTQ community. While this year's world-famous Pride week celebrations have been re-imagined in a digital form, there are still a variety of ways to participate.
For this year's Spring/Summer releases, we made sure to include dresses that could serve as an expression of love and support for the LGBTQ community! Rocking the rainbow is not just about how wonderful it looks, but can also be about making it clear as day where you stand: with love.
So you can Fly With Pride with all the rainbow specimens of our Doris dress...
Or bring all the cosmic energies to your outfit with our prismatic Aura Luna Norma!
Although most Pride events are currently being held online, make sure to stay safe if you happen to attend any get-togethers! Our cute Rainbow Cubes mask coordinates nicely with other colourful pieces, and we have many more masks available on our site.
(And yes - you can get yourself this beautiful rainbow necklace right here!)
In support of the LGBTQ community, we will also be donating 10% of the proceeds from the sales of our rainbow products to Qmunity, BC's queer, trans and two-spirit resource centre. (from now until Aug 4th) If you are in need of resources or interested in donating, please visit their page here!
Stay safe, and Happy Pride!
XOX Cherry Velvet
It's the age old question...Which comes first - The shoes or the dress? 😉
It's no secret that our designer, Diane, has a bit of a thing for a certain local company...you may know them as Vancouver's own Fluevog Shoes! Our customers also follow suit (or is that shoes?), often pairing our lovely frocks with this fabulous footwear. In fact, it's not unusual for some of our customers to buy a new pair and then turn to us for a matching dress.
Recently, one of our regulars, Jacqueline, was considering purchasing a pair of colour blocked beauties (called "Fellowships Sandra") and asked if we had a dress that would compliment them. Challenge accepted! Diane suggested our Waterfront Dress in Fables which turned out to be a perfect match!
With an antique vibe, this literary print features heirloom fairy tale covers (with such titles like Pinocchio, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.) You can practically smell the leather bindings. Add these Vogs and you have a perfectly happy ending.
Why stop there? Jacqueline went on to fall in love with a couple of our new Brooke dresses. She requested a personal shopping appointment and brought with her a bagful of beautiful shoes, including a pair called "Hopefulls Bliss". In the past, we haven't had a dress to match this particular shade of pink. But our Brooke in "Love Triangle" dress fits the bill admirably.
Fluevog Shoes just celebrated their 50th anniversary, which is an incredible milestone. To celebrate, they designed a pair of platinum gold shoes, called "Minis Zaza" and Diane was lucky enough to score a pair herself. When they arrived in the mail, she immediately knew our Brooke in "Sherwood Shimmer" would be "The One".
So many of our dresses have a subtle touch of gold in them - They make beautiful pairings for these stunning shoes! Check out below, some of Diane's favourite pairings: From left to right - Our Waterfront Dress in Regency, Angelina in Dragonfly in Amber, and Brooke in Sherwood Shimmer.
Congrats to John Fluevog for his amazing achievement of 50 years in business. It always brings us great joy to see our Cherry Velvet dresses paired with his beautiful "Works of Shoes".
XOX Cherry Velvet
Did you know Cherry Velvet has a sister brand, Diane Kennedy? Our designer Diane originally designed each line for a specific customer, but we're starting to see a bit of overlap, a meeting of two worlds so to speak. You may have noticed the Diane Kennedy brand coats and capes on the Cherry Velvet shop in the past few months, and there will be more crossover items to come.
No matter the label, Diane designs classic, timeless styles that fit and flatter many body shapes and sizes.
Let us introduce you to the Waterfront dress. You'll notice a Diane Kennedy label and hangtag on these dresses, but other than that, there will not be any difference in the fabric or quality. Just like Cherry Velvet, all of Diane Kennedy's garments are consciously created and ethically produced in beautiful Vancouver, BC in women's regular and plus sizes.
With a slightly extended shoulder and a tailored fit around the armhole, it fits very similar to our Olivia dress through the upper body. It fits with room in the waistline (not too tight); while still coming in at the waist, it is more reminiscent of a looser shift style dress. It also has a higher, softened V neckline for coverage; a longer, mid calf length and quite generous inseam pockets. The looser fit and longer length are the most noticeable differences between a Cherry Velvet dress and this new DK style.
From left to right: Enjoy the paisley-like filigrees of "Regency", abstract teal brushstrokes in "Ocean", tropical leaves in "Palm", and vintage storybooks in "Fables".
We have more new dresses are coming throughout the season as usual. Diane is working in the office every day, shipping orders to make sure you can all get your hands on your dresses asap. Our business continues pretty much as usual, except for the social distancing keeping all our staff apart.
Thank-you so much for your orders. We are incredibly grateful for your support!
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
XOX Cherry Velvet
These past couple of weeks, the whole world seems to have implemented preventive measures against a certain virus. The order is clear: Stay home (if you can)! Many of us are working from our living rooms and home offices, while others are simply staying home, without much to do.
Although the initial impulse when staying home may be to relax, perhaps stay in your pyjamas, or wear your hair in a messy bun and abolish pants altogether, we are here to say: Halt!
Stop right there if you're wearing your nightgown past noon!
It is known that staying in PJs all day can be a hit to your self-esteem and overall mood. On the other hand, it is beneficial to your productivity (whether you are working from home or doing other activities) to change into day clothes. At the end of a productive day, getting into your loungewear is a great way to relax and "leave work".
To look after you (because we care!), we're challenging you and all your friends to Stay Dressed - And what's more, there're prizes!!
So put on a frock, and show us how you rock it at home - be it doing your chores, doing your job, working out, or passing the time in any way (such as doing our coloring pages!)
And with a dress, you still don't have to put on pants!
* Take a photo or video of yourself passing the time while sporting a retro-inspired dress/look - Bonus marks for creativity and styling!
* Share your look via Instagram or Facebook, and tag #staydressedchallenge in your post to be entered into our draw to win 1 of 3 Cherry Velvet E-Gift Cards - You could win a $100, $150 or $200 E-card. Don't forget to nominate your friends!
**For every 3 nominations, you'll get an extra entry to the draw, so tag your friends and challenge them, too!**
We can't wait to see your entries, good luck!
XOX Cherry Velvet
During this complicated time, we have still decided to open up for shopping on the 20th and 21st of March. We’d like to talk about this decision, and the current state of things.
Here at Cherry Velvet, we typically don’t have much close contact. There’s only 4 of us (Hi from Diane, Logan, Tracy and Julia!), and we sit about 12’ apart in the office. We only have customers in occasionally, on scheduled appointments and, twice a month, for our studio shops. As it is, we’re usually pretty isolated.But we have fun here so it’s okay!
We’ve decided to open up for shopping amidst the current COVID-19 situation largely because… we’re not that large! Your regular shopping mall retailer will, each day, receive hundreds of customers and be manned by over a dozen staff members. But the nature of our business means that much of it is done online, and only a limited number of shoppers come by when we open up.
In our province (British Columbia), social gatherings of over 50 people have been cancelled for the time being. That said, our studio’s capacity is about 10 people at maximum, and we normally have under 5 guests at a time. It’s a comfortable shopping experience, and you will still maintain a reasonable distance.Hugs were allowed around Christmas time, but not currently encouraged ;)
We will, of course, maintain our standards of hygiene, and have our bathrooms equipped with the most luxurious, delicious hand soap (by Barefoot Venus) for all your disinfecting needs. We also gently ask that if you or someone very close is ill, that you stay home and rest for this one! You can always shop online!
Another reason why we’d still like to open up shop is that we’ve just received brand new frocks in super exciting prints! We have not made these available online yet (although we’re hoping to soon), so the best way to see them at the moment is to come try them on in person!
We believe that, in this trying time, we should not fall into despair. Even during periods of seclusion, dressing up for the day and treating yourself well can have a powerful impact on your mood.
So, wear a pretty dress and lift up your spirits!
We’ll make it through this!
XOX Cherry Velvet
As many of you know (almost 300 of you in fact!), we asked you, our wonderful customers to do a survey. We wanted to know what you think, so we can better provide you with the frocks that will most delight you. Thank you so much for your participation. We have a lot of fun and interesting statistics to share!
First of all, congratulations to the 13.6% of you that's part of the "Cherry Velvet Collector’s" Club. You've got yourselves more than 10 different dresses of ours over the years!It’s not a problem, really. It’s a solution!
And thank you to all who have responded our survey from far and wide. We even had a respondent all the way from... Russia!? Spasibo! (That's "Thank you" in Russian 😊 )
Here's something we found out about your style preferences: 60% of you are all for short or cap sleeves. Over 70% like their skirt right below the knee. And about 70% like your skirts either full or A-line, with many of you requesting very full or straight skirts. It’s clear to us that many of you enjoy a very balanced fashion - not too much and not too little!
And finally, the juicy stuff:
Our most popular prints are, by far, the florals and the polka dots. These timeless classics have been remixed in many ways over the years, and we always make sure to bring them back! We currently have many of those available, including the Doris in Black & Red Polka Dot or the Chrissy in Bird of Paradise for example.
Here are some hot takes from what you requested.
1 - Cats Rule and Dogs Drool
Not by a lot, but cats still definitely took the lead here: Cats got 23% preference, and dogs only got 14%. It's nothing to bark at, but it's certainly the cat's meow to hear!
2 - You really looooooove Space
With an incredibly high amount of mentions – between stars, space, and galaxy, we have just about 20 specific requests for Space themes. Don’t worry, ladies, we’ll keep them coming (out of this world)!
3 - You want Dinosaurs, Books, Music, and Geometric Prints
What does that say about our audience?
Maybe you're a math-loving brainy bunch, with a palaeontology hobby, erudite music training, who love spending time in libraries familiarizing yourselves with the classics of English literature!
We're not sure we can find a print specifically with all those factors in at once (what a print it would be, huh?), but we hear you! We'll make sure to incorporate (or perhaps already did... mua-ha-ha!) these very hotly requested themes into our next seasons. Stay tuned!
And the most unexpected requests were...
Krakens and Yetis.
Nothing against them, but those prints might be hard to find!Best friends forever
On our Survey, you also had the chance to tell us anything you like, and it was so delightful to hear your feedback and concerns. Most of the comments were so sweet - we were smiling all day reading them!
We’d also like to answer a couple of the more frequently asked questions here. Although we’ve addressed some of these before, we’re more than happy to revisit them.
- Manufacturing issues (slight fit inaccuracies)
All our garments are handmade, very carefully by local seamstresses here in metro Vancouver. As such, we can often deliver a much higher standard of quality than clothing manufactured overseas. There can, however, be some small variations from seamstress to seamstress. No different than getting your latte from different baristas There is also the off chance that a garment can get the wrong size label. While it is RARE to see a manufacturing flaw, they do happen, so please inform us immediately so we can fix that for you.
- Limited sizing
All our dresses are limited edition runs; if you love a style, you may want to grab it in your size quick. We enjoy knowing that as each limited run sells, our clients will have the satisfaction of knowing they are one of a few to own that special print.
As much as our mission statement is to provide amazing dresses so you can be lovely and stunning at ANY size, it is not always possible to have every print in every size. Running a fashion business that produces ethically poses some unique challenges that brands which manufacture overseas won’t face. Costs can often be prohibitive, and there are minimum quotas and specific requirements when it comes to placing orders. In general, we try to have a broad selection of sizes. We do, however, occasionally opt to produce fewer in certain sizes or skip them altogether for these reasons.
- What’s up with the pricing?
The pricing reflects much more than just the fact that most of our dresses come in limited edition availability. Our frocks are ethically manufactured in the same city as our headquarters, Vancouver BC, Canada. Wages in Canada are much higher than other countries and our minimum wages are very much on the rise (which is a good thing for workers!) Our production does not rely on certain “more affordable” options, we choose the best quality zippers and fabrics we can get our hands on. It’s ethical production, and that's how we've chosen to function. We strongly believe this is a necessary step for the fashion industry. We want no part in the suffering of workers in unsafe conditions. Although our garments may take more saving up for, we 100% stand behind the fact that they are worth it.
We always love to hear your feedback, please feel free to write us and tell us what you think!
XOX Cherry Velvet
P.S. Hope to see you this weekend at our Warehouse Sale / Studio Shop:
Friday Feb 21 from 2-7 pm
Saturday Feb 22 from 11-5 pm
@1635 Powell Street, Vancouver BC
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?
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.
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.
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!!
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!
Thank-you so much Lisa and Andy! We loved having you visit our shop! Hope to see you next year!
XOX Diane and Barb
Just so you know our designer Diane is 53 and believes that you should wear fashion that makes you happy no matter what your age. It's a form of self-expression/art that you carry around with you wherever you go. Cherry Velvet dresses are made to fit many sizes and body types so that women of any age can enjoy wearing them. That's the whole idea! Wearing dresses that make you feel fantastic and look amazing but also are the foundation for your own personal style.
"I designed Cherry Velvet as dresses that I want to wear and feel good in. Age or body type doesn't come into this equation because I make clothing to be fun and beautiful no matter how old you are or what size you are." ~Diane Kennedy
Recently we received an email from a customer from Montreal asking us if 60 years was too old to wear one of our dresses. Absolutely not! We assured her that we have customers of all ages and even sent her a couple of photos of one of our favourite zoomers that absolutely ROCKS our dresses. She ended up buying the Norma - Magical Garden - Fairy Dress with a Purple Samantha Shrug and matching purple crinoline and plans to wear it to her niece's wedding in a few weeks with her lilac shoes and matching jewelry. We're hoping she'll send us some photos. We LOVE getting photos of our customers in our dresses!
~Photo and Fashionista credit to one of our most inspiring customers, Terri from Louisiana.
There are so many rules out there about what women can and can not wear and to them we say HOGWASH! Well, more to the point we feel like society should stop telling women what is appropriate to wear based on their age or their size for that matter. After all, a woman knows very well who she is, what looks good on her and what makes her happy. This is an earned right and no one else really needs to weigh in.
Just the other day we had a woman come into our studio to shop for a dress for a special occasion. The first dress she tried on looked amazing on her and fit like a glove. She stood looking at herself in the mirror for a long time and then I noticed she was tearing up. She assured me that she wasn't a big crier but she was so surprised by the emotional reaction she had by just finding a garment that she felt was made for her size, that included her and made her feel like she was beautiful. At her age no less. Imagine that!
Diane is wearing the Norma - Midnight Beauty Dress.
Diane loves to watch customers reaction when they come out of the change room. When you see a persons face just light up at their own reflection and especially when they dance or twirl in the mirror, it's obvious they are in love with the way they look. She never gets tired of hearing people say, "OMG I need this dress because I look fabulous!"
XOX Cherry Velvet
Find your perfect dress this weekend at the Studio Shop:
Friday August 23rd from 2pm-7pm.
Saturday August 24th 11am-5pm.
@ 1635 Powell Street, Vancouver B.C.
We'd love to see you!
...We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post for an ANNOUNCEMENT!
Ever since we started holding regular open studio shop weekends, we've wanted to make sure ya'll can Save-The-Dates on our events as soon as you can. We understand how busy life can get and want to ensure everyone has a chance to get some retail therapy in. #selfcare is a thing, after all 😉
Have a peek at this month below & bookmark our new Events Page!
Can't make it out? Can't wait? :: Book a Personal Shopping Appointment with us! ::
We can't wait to see y'all! ♥️
XOX Cherry Velvet
BLOGGIN' NEXT WEEK :: PART 2 of our customer spotlight on The Snow Family.
There’s a part of me that never outgrew the dress-up stage of childhood. Back then it was pretending to be an empress or witch-queen – anything that was equal parts regal, mysterious, and magical.
These days, give me a halfway good reason, and I’ll still spend the better part of an afternoon getting all dolled up for an evening out. It’s a lengthy process that starts, of course, with deciding which dress suits the occasion and my mood. After that, a host of secondary decisions: does it need a crinoline? Which shoes will match? How should I do my hair and makeup? Then there’s jewelry, accessories, a purse, hosiery, and various underthings. It’s dress-up, but for adults: less “witch-queen” and more “grown-up glamour” – but still full of whimsy and pleasure. Admittedly, getting “dressed up” like this can take a lot of time, and most of us wait for special occasions when the extra effort seems worth it. In the meantime, our dresses end up relegated to the back of the closet, on hold until a special dinner, wedding, or some other equally fancy event crops up. But wearing a dress is not always the same as getting “dressed up.” Believe it or not, wearing a dress can be just about the simplest wardrobe decision to make, and the most comfortable and efficient way to get dressed and out the door in the morning.
Everyday Easy Dresses
Without fail, when I wear a dress someplace casual – like picking up the kids after school or having a quick coffee with a friend – I get a compliment for taking the time and energy to get “dressed up.”
But pulling that dress over my head and popping on a pair of shoes was likely much more simple - and more comfortable – than any other outfit I might have chosen. More often than not, the dress was the easy solution. Pants and tops have to be coordinated. Waistbands pinch and pull. Shorts ride up uncomfortably. Trousers rarely fit properly in length or inseam without tailoring. Blouses come untucked, skirts twist around. To be honest, it feels like I’ve cheated my way into this compliment when I get it - and I almost always confess this sentiment to the person offering it. People see a dress and assume it’s taken a lot more effort because we’ve married the idea of dresses to the notion of being dressed up. Or, even worse, we’ve concluded that dresses themselves are uncomfortable and unwieldy – usually because we’ve worn styles that didn’t suit our bodies, made out of unpleasant or cheap material, or were constricting and uncomfortable in some way.
Keep It Simple
Obviously not all dresses will do for everyday wear. Leave the satin and sequins for evening glamour and fancy events. Instead, go for less structured shapes (I like an empire waist because it feels so comfortable for my body type) and try a cotton dress, in a simple colour or with a fun, lighthearted print. Skip the fancy hair and makeup. Pop on a cardigan and wear it with a pair of white Keds, simple sandals, or even flip-flops. Pull on a pair of matching capri or full-length leggings underneath, if the weather is cooler; in warm weather, don’t worry about hose or tights at all. Finish with a ponytail or messy bun. No doubt, dresses won’t work for everything. You’ll still need the right kind of clothing to hit the gym or weed the garden (although I’ve been known to mow the lawn in a simple t-shirt dress). But for almost all other settings and activities, don’t overlook the ease of a dress. It really can be as simple, or as complicated, as you want it to be.
Fancy is Still Fun
Wearing a dress doesn’t need to be a major production – it can be as easy as pulling on a pair of pajamas, but just a lot more fashionable. The notion that a dress is complicated, fussy, or time-consuming is largely a reflection of how we perceive fashion, and the abundance of ill-fitting, constrictive, overly stuffy or too-formal dresses many of us have in our closets. But if you find the right dress, the simplicity will surprise you … and you won’t want to keep it tucked away in the closet for a special occasion anymore. And if even the easiest of easy dresses still leaves you feeling a little bit fancy? Take a deep breath and just go for it anyway: you’re never too old for dress-up, even if you’re only going to the grocery store.