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Welcome back to part 2 of the sassy, sexy "S" dresses. We hope you are enjoying a look back at these feisty frocks designed to fit and flatter your curves.
Diane introduced Sophia to give a little extra va-va-voom to your style (à la Sophia Loren). This fetching party dress appeared in fall of 2012 with flirty peek-a-boo shoulders, a sweetheart neckline, three quarter sleeves and a beautiful full skirt that was lovely with a crinoline. This one was especially flattering for a fuller bust and only made once. The Sophia dress debuted at our Save-On Meats photo shoot, don't you love the nostalgic, retro diner vibe?
The Stacy dress was first conceptualized in 2014 and from the beginning was designed to be made for striped fabric. If you look closely at the pattern, you can see how Diane planned it to be compatible with stripes which are notoriously difficult to match up and look good. The first sketch is the original design with cap sleeves.
By the time Stacy was produced in spring of 2019 the design was modified to have three-quarter sleeves and was offered in a jaunty banker pin stripe in two colours; Black and Navy. The V-neckline and gathers at the bust added interest while the vertical stripes were slimming (we love that!)
Stela was a fabulous party dress introduced for Holiday 2013. She was made in a stretch cotton sateen and her full skirt looked amazing with a crinoline. The scoop neckline was accented with a flirty notched detail. There was a bow at the empire waist and three quarter sleeves with gathers finished off the look.
Suzy Sundress was a fun one; this cheeky shorter dress was designed for summer picnics and beach days. The cheerful prints, wide straps and sweetheart neckline were completed with Ric Rac trim around the bodice and pockets for a vintage look. This adorable dress was featured in our unforgettable Retro Road Trip photo shoot.
Revisiting these dresses brings back happy memories of good times at these fun photo shoots. We appreciate being a part of your celebrations and hope our dresses add joy to your events.
The next exciting installment of our dress archives will be the last one, T - Z dresses. Stay tuned ...
XOX Cherry Velvet
This new chapter of our dress history series is a major one! One of our most frequently released designs is featured, plus a couple other gorgeous past looks and many nostalgic fabrics.This week is all about the dress designs that start with the letters "N" & "O"!
Who remembers the Natalie dress? It was named after Diane's lovely niece and was one of very few dress designs that came with a wiggle skirt. Finished at the hemline with a flirty flounce, the Natalie made it supremely fun to flaunt a little wiggle. With a short sleeve, square neckline, a row of colour matched buttons and best of all a cheeky keyhole cutout in the back, the Natalie was memorable indeed.
Inspired by Marilyn's famous white halter dress in the movie the "Seven Year Itch" our Norma gives something extra special to everyone who wears her. Norma is possibly the best loved of all our dresses because the cut of the bodice and waistline give this dress a fit like no other. While there's no doubt that she fits a curvy girl best, this dress noticeably gives a lift to your "girls" and seems to give everyone more of the much-coveted hourglass figure. The next batch of Norma are on the horizon and are coming in amazing new limited edition prints for summer because Some Like it Hot!
Aside from the beautiful cut of the dress, the Norma is extra special because Diane designed it for one way prints. As this is Diane's favourite dress, she also tends to put the most whimsical prints into this style. Follow along in our social media accounts to enter the "Name That Print" Contest for a chance at winning a gift certificate while helping us name the prints for the next batch of Norma's coming soon...
Another much loved style, the Olivia is the dress that can be worn to work and then dressed up to dance the night away. While the scoop necklace is demure and office appropriate, her lovely full swing skirt just begs to be twirled. Olivia first appeared in the fall of 2016 and has been a popular style for her charm and flexability. Olivia is available to buy right now in these beautiful prints here.
Thanks for following along with our history of Cherry Velvet dresses.
You'll see the new Marie's dresses are coming next! We're working hard on getting new dresses ready for you.The Normas will be after the Marie's and we have surprises coming too!
XOX Cherry Velvet
As promised, here's the final 4 marvellous 'M' named dresses. Enjoy this stylish stroll down memory lane in our ongoing herstory of Cherry Velvet designs.
"A wise girl knows her limits, a smart girl knows that she has none." ~ Marilyn Monroe
Inspired by the one and only Marilyn Monroe, Diane designed the Marilyn dress as something she could imagine this icon wearing back in the 1950's. The original concept behind this popular style was to design a halter style dress that could be worn with a regular bra. She knew that having to find and buy a special bra just for one dress was neither practical or desirable. The Marilyn was created with straps that cover your bra plus a halter tie neck so you could wear a normal bra for support and still have the style of a halter neckline.
Birds have always captivated the hearts of Cherry Velvet gals and this print started the love affair. How much do you love this cute tie-neck back bow and the adorable 'Wind Song' print? The romantic vibe made it the perfect summer dress.
Marlene made a first appearance as one of our very first festive frocks for Holiday 2013. Marlene was a holiday party dress with a dramatic flounced hem of ruffled chiffon for added flourish.The original version was designed to add decadence to your evening look with beautiful damask and jacquard-like fabrics.
Marlene came back one more time in the Fall of 2019 with an updated new look. She now had Glow-In-The-Dark capabilities or a metallic shimmer. The sleeves offered coverage with a stunning neckline that really captured attention and this skirt looked beautiful with a crinoline.
Melody brought a Polynesian twist with a low cut sweetheart neckline, wide contoured straps, and an adjustable tie front which emphasized the bustline. A longer length skirt balanced out the design. She came in some seriously cute prints including the memorable "Tea Room" design. Diane has been looking for a 'tea' print for years and has finally found one that is particularly flirt-TEA and will be available this summer!
If you already have a best-selling Norma dress (more arriving soon) you'll imagine how cute it would be to have a variation that offered sleeves for cooler weather. Minerva was designed to accommodate a wonderful witch print from the Tula Pink fabric collection called De La Luna. This was an extra design challenge too because of the scale of the print. Diane designed the Minerva to have a solid colour bodice and a printed skirt.
That's all of our 'M' dresses wrapped up for your enjoyment. Hope you are loving these fun chapters as much as we are. On to "N - O" next week!
XOX Cherry Velvet
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
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
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!
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...
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
It's hard to believe it's been 6 years since we did this catalog shoot for Spring/Summer 2015! So many people came together to carry this out without a hitch: Ruby Roxx and Charlotte Doering were the two stunning models. We were also lucky to have the incredible Glam Queen, Shimona Henry to transform these lovely ladies into Pin-up Perfection.
On shoot day, the models and the Pin-up Perfection team arrived with pin curled hair, curling irons, make up kits and large coffees! There were 40 dresses to shoot; we knew it was going to be a long day. For two models, that's a hard day's work of pose-smile-repeat. Standing and posing in freezing January weather while wearing a summery cotton dress and teetering on high heels is much harder than it looks!
Hycroft Manor was the perfect location; a combination of the classic retro feeling we love and traditional architectural detail. We arrived with a plethora of fluffy crinolines, boxes of colorful shoes, a suitcase full of pretty jewelry, and of course the beautiful dresses.
Hycroft is a magnificent Edwardian mansion, originally built for Alexander Duncan McRae, at the beginning of the twentieth century. McRae made his new home a spectacular show place for legendary parties and masquerade balls. Every room in the mansion is spectacular; like this Art Deco conservatory.
The guest book at Hycroft read like a Who's Who of the 20's and 30's with names of visiting royalty, well-known business associates, politicians and the social elite of Vancouver. It was said to be an honour and a delight to be invited to Hycroft and if you were, you would most likely sit in this stunning drawing room.
The grounds of the manor are as impressive as the inside. We shot outside among these ionic columns with stunning views in every direction.
With my favourite photographer -Shimona- on hand and such a beautiful setting, I couldn't resist getting my photo taken too. I'm wearing "vintage" Cherry Velvet. This one was called the Charlotte; I just love all the beautiful green and blues in this butterfly print.
I can't believe how fast time flies and it was so fun to look back at this blast from the past with you. I hope you've enjoyed these highlights from our epic photoshoot at Hycroft Manor.
Hey guys this is Diane, I sure miss seeing all of you and being able to chat with you in person. So for just a minute try to imagine you've arrived at our studio and we are hanging out, having a visit! Maybe you'd like to know what’s happening here at Cherry Velvet?
The next dress that's coming is a brand new style called Jacqueline named after a very lovely customer. There were two long delays and the fabric finally arrived, 3 months late! Then, we had some computer issues which delayed production another few weeks. (yep that's 2020 for you!) So if you’re wondering why you haven’t seen very many styles lately, that is why.
Remember when you lovelies joined in to name the new prints? Well, you will be seeing them soon. The good news is that the new Jacqueline dress is in production now!
All year I search for unique fabrics and this year is no different. I have a lot of beautiful new prints on order. I'm also considering bringing back a few 'past prints' back. What do you think? Would you like to see one or more of these prints again? If so please weigh in on our Facebook or Instagram post of January 12, we'd love to hear your feedback on these prints.
Right now, I’m designing a brand new style that I think you will love. I’m calling it Isobel named after the littlest Cherry Velvet girl. Isobel is the daughter of two very good customers and she has been coming to visit us for many years. She told me she liked coming to Cherry Velvet better than going to Disneyland! True Story! The Isobel dress will be a sundress style with a front zipper, because of all the great feedback we've gotten about our other super popular front zip style, the Marie.
I'm dying to show you this vintage travel poster print I've been saving for a dress coming this Spring. While we're not able to travel right now, we can dream about it, right?
You may notice that we have been putting new zippers in our dresses starting with the Olivia dress. We heard feedback from some of you it was difficult to get zippers done up by yourself. The only way to solve this issue was to change to a new zipper that allowed the attachment of a zipper helper. I'm interested to hear your feedback about this new zipper. It definitely has a different look, it’s more exposed and visible than the invisible zipper that we’ve been using for many years.
Thank you again to everybody who sent in those wonderful entries for Cherry Cheer. We hope you’ll continue to send us photos of yourself and tag us with #cherryvelvet. We love to see you in your dresses!
So, please keep in touch and stay strong guys! I miss you!
Put on something pretty everyday to boost your mood!
Thanks for sending in your Cherry Velvet questions! We caught up with Diane as she opened up about what she's doing next, her process and her take on the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
I have a lot of trouble doing up the zippers in the back of the dresses. Would you ever consider changing your zipper to have a pull that would allow the use of a zipper helper?
Great question. I'm so glad a few of you brought this to my attention. I've always cheated and pulled the dresses over my head without ever undoing the zipper. (as a plus size this is possible, but not for the smaller sizes) So going forward I've changed the zipper we're using away from the invisible style zipper. The tiny pull does not allow the attachment of a ribbon or hook to help with doing up the zipper. So starting with our next dress, the Olivia, most of our dresses will come with this new exposed zipper that allows for the attachment of a longer zipper pull. I want getting dressed to be easier for you!
What trends do you follow when picking prints?
As a dress company inspired by vintage dress designs, I admit we really don't follow a lot of trends. Every season I comb through the fabrics offered by a multitude of fabric companies in search of the prints that I think you will love to wear. Lately, I've found a beautiful 70's inspired floral, and as 70's fashion has seen a resurgence in the past year or two, that's probably the closest we get to a 'trend'.
Do you follow colour trends? Is that a byproduct of fabric trends?
Again I have to say, I don't really follow colour trends much. Perennially popular are black dresses with bright prints. I do try to keep a nice assortment for all of you with colours like red, blue, aqua, purple and the occasional green. Less often you'll see colours like pink, orange or yellow, even though I truly love these colours. Right now I'm considering a print with a goldenrod yellow background.
Are you the only designer or is there a design team?
I am the only designer, however my staff does provide feedback and input on choosing new fabrics. I did have an assistant designer a while back, but she left on maternity leave and I have not replaced her.
When will the Vanessa dress come back in stock? I am looking to update my wardrobe with dresses that cover the chest area a bit more.
Thanks for your feedback. I agree the Vanessa was a great style, however it was hard for the factory to sew the tip of the V neck accurately and I was not 100% satisfied with the result. Hence I decided to discontinue this style. There is going to be an updated version called Jacqueline that will be loosely based on the Vanessa but with a change to the neckline design.
I think you will like the Olivia, this classic dress is suitable for work as it covers the chest nicely. I had planned to cut this new style weeks ago but, unfortunately there have been two unforeseen delays with the fabric. The Olivia dress is in production now and I'll have this one for you very soon in 6 lovely prints.
Do you make any styles that are longer?
This is a question we get asked a lot. I would love to make a few dresses that are longer, but the reality is that takes a lot more fabric to do that. The cotton we use is very narrow, only 42" wide, so making longer dresses really adds to the cost of the dress. I did make a style that is longer called the Waterfront dress and it comes in 4 beautiful prints here.
Have you watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Did any of the dress styles in it inspire you?
I ordered Prime just so I could watch Mrs. Maisel. I was not disappointed, the clothing was fabulous! There was an adorable stripe dress that caught my eye later on in the season. I'm always looking for a stripe fabric that's just right to make a sundress. I did find one for Spring that's inspired by the bands on vintage Pyrex kitchenware. Making a stripe dress offers unique challenges but the results can really be striking. Besides her dresses, I was enamoured with her coat wardrobe! Just WOW. So many beautifully cut and tailored coats and those beautiful bright colours!
I would love to know what the process is for when you make a new dress design. Are there special ladies that inspire you and you create a dress that you feel is "them"? I ask because I have noted that all your dress designs are ladies names.
I confess that usually I have an idea of a dress I'd like to wear myself and I go ahead and make it happen. Sometimes I see a photo of a dress that inspires me that was worn by a famous star like Marilyn or Dita. Or I imagine one of my girlfriends or customers that I think would look amazing in my design. I am absolutely inspired by the female figure. It's so important to me that my dresses really look good and flatter a women's curves. Not much makes me happier than seeing my ladies looking and feeling amazing in my dresses.
I really love the Marie dress with the zipper in the front. Will you ever make any other front zip styles?
As a matter of fact, I'm planning a sleeveless style with a front zipper in the Spring. I'm guessing it'll show up around March as long as the fabric fairies are on our side and the Spring fabrics arrive in a timely manner.
How do you encourage/support your creative spirit during this pandemic?
Other than slowing down a bit mostly due to delays with the fabric supply, really my creative drive is still strong. I truly love my job and so it's not like work to me. I love to look through fabrics and plan what's coming next. The pandemic has impacted my social life far more than my creativity. If anything, the slower pace has encouraged more time to be creative. I have new dresses and prints already planned into next summer.
How do you measure for the varying sizes when making dresses? (Some companies are so off)
When I make a dress pattern for the first time I start with a block which is the technical term for a base pattern. By reusing the same base pattern each time it allows for more continuity of fit. In the final result there will be some variation in the fit between styles, but that does allow for the variation that happens naturally between women's bodies. There are other natural variations that occur with fit, for example if the fabric changes, the fit can also change. After the pattern is finalized the grading rules are applied to create the other sizes. This means the pattern grows and shrinks from one size to another by the same amount no matter the dress style.
What are your top 5 favourite Cherry Velvet dresses ever?
Oh well, that's easy and hard to answer at the same time. Often my favourite dress is the one I'm currently wearing! My all time favourite dress is the Norma, I just love how it enhances the feminine figure. My favourite Norma prints are Unhappy Hour and Santas in Space; both amazingly artistic and special prints. My next favourite dress is Doris, because I love the cut of this style around the bust. My favourite Doris print is Enchanted garden, it's a spectacular large scale floral in shades of pinks, blues, purple and jade. The Shelly dress is another favourite named after my girlfriend Shelly and my favourite print is called Party dot. It was black with vintage coloured dots. A classic! The Brigitte in the Camera print will forever be my favourite sundress. I love the shorter length (I'm short) and the open keyhole back detail. *Please note none of the prints I've mentioned are still available
What is your inspiration for choosing new prints for each season?
Customer requests are often my motivation for looking for new prints. I also might look for a colour we haven't had for a while. But mostly I just look for the the coolest, the most beautiful and unique prints that I can find that I think are worthy of becoming a Cherry Velvet dress. Last year when we did a survey the top requests were dinosaur prints and florals. So I've been looking hard to find these prints for you. You might have noticed our amazing "Dino-might" glow in the dark print, and there is another Dinosaur print coming very early next Spring. Also, I've found lots of beautiful florals for Spring and can't wait to show them to you.
Thanks again for sending in your questions!
We're always happy to hear your opinions, suggestions and feedback. Feel free to send in your comments anytime!