Cherry Velvet Journal » #plussize

  • More Vintage Inspiration - Shaheen's Shine

    Alfred Shaheen metallic fabricsIn an earlier blog, we discussed the work of Alfred Shaheen, a designer who operated from his adopted home in Oahu, Hawai’i. Shaheen was known not only for this iconic aloha shirts and impeccably constructed sundresses - he was also a textile artist.

    One of Shaheen's most beautiful contributions to the fashion world was his collection of metallic prints. The shimmering highlights in these fabrics are the result of innovative metallic dyes. In the early-1950s, Shaheen collaborated with Dr. Edmund Lutz, his close friend and head dye chemist, to create revolutionary dyes including gold, silver, and gem tones. The metallics could be printed on almost any fabric, such as cotton, cotton blends, silks, linen, and voile. Vintage Shaheen garments are coveted fashion collectables, and these eye-catching details are still intact on many of them, despite the fact that it's been almost 70 years since these dyes were first created!

    Alfred Shaheen metallic fabrics
    Cherry Velvet's trademark sass is inspired by designers of the past, particularly those who worked during the 1950s. Shaheen's revolutionary metallics dyes live on in some of our most sought-after fabric choices. 

    Blue Cherry Velvet Elly dress with a wingbust and metallic fabricIt's fitting that the newest releases of our Elly dress will also feature metallic details. The "petal-bust" on the Elly is inspired by similar features on Shaheen's Hawai'ian bombshell dresses, so it only makes sense that some of our Elly dresses are available in glistening fabrics that would make Alfred Shaheen proud. (with one more coming for holiday!)

    Cherry Velvet dresses with metallic printsHave you seen our Jacqueline dress in Violets 'R Blue that boasts bold blooms with delicate gold metallic outlines that shimmer in the sunlight? Our Marie dress in Pristmatic Peacock (right) is a classic we brought back that also features gold outlines on art deco angles. Cherry Velvet Chrissy dress in Paisley plumes worn by Ruby RoxxA brand new release is a Chrissy dress with Paisley Plumes outlined with a delicate gold edge.

    We are also so excited to show you a sneak peek at the fabrics for our Holiday Glamour Metallics Collection. These shimmering, glimmering party dresses sparkle with special designer details in limited editions. Check out these three swatches of the new dresses coming soon! Cherry Velvet dresses metallic prints for holiday 2021
    If you're looking for a dress that will add some sparkle to your day, these designs are for you. Now you'll know that you're wearing a tribute to fashion history when you slip on these sensational looks!

    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


  • Highlights at Hycroft Manor

    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.

    models Ruby Roxx and Charlotte Doering wearing Cherry Velvet dresses at Hycroft ManorOn 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!

    Model Ruby Roxx wearing a Cherry Velvet Dress at Hycroft ManorHycroft 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.

    Model Charlotte Doering wearing a Cherry Velvet dress at Hycroft Manor

    Model Ruby Roxx wearing a Cherry Velvet dress at Hycroft Manor

    Models Ruby Roxx and Charlotte Doering wear Cherry Velvet dresses at Hycroft ManorHycroft 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.

    Model Ruby Roxx wearing a Cherry Velvet dress at Hycroft ManorThe 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.

    Model Charlotte Doering wears a Cherry Velvet dress at Hycroft ManorModel Ruby Roxx wears a Cherry Velvet dress at Hycroft ManorModel Charlotte Doering wears a Cherry Velvet dress at Hycroft Manor

    Model Ruby Roxx wears a Cherry Velvet dress at Hycroft ManorThe grounds of the manor are as impressive as the inside. We shot outside among these ionic columns with stunning views in every direction.

    Charlotte Doering models a Cherry Velvet Dress at Hycroft Manor

    Charlotte Doering and Ruby Roxx model Cherry Velvet Dresses at Hycroft Manor

    Charlotte Doering models a Cherry Velvet Dress at Hycroft ManorWith 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.

    Cherry Velvet designer Diane Kennedy at Hycroft Manor

    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. 

    XOX Diane

  • Missing You & What's New!

    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!

    fabric patterns for Cherry Velvet's Jacqueline dress
    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. 

    Cherry Velvet fabric 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.

    The littlest Cherry Velvet girl

    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?

    Vintage travel poster printed cotton

    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!

    XOX Diane


  • Petites Please

    A customer recently asked me if I would ever consider making dresses for Petites which really surprised me because our dresses already fit many petites very well. Just to clarify a 'Petite' is a woman that is 5"4" and under. The definition of Petite is not about 'size', it's possible to be a small woman and be petite or a plus size and also be petite. We certainly make dresses that fit many types, heights and sizes of women. 

    Cherry Velvet designer Diane Kennedy wearing a printed dress

    As a Petite woman myself, I understand the dilemma of a short woman. In fact this was one of the catalysts for me to begin designing dresses in the first place. Dresses on the rack never did fit me, they were always too long in the waist, which meant that the smallest part on the dress sat right at the fullest part of 'me' (my stomach). When I started designing Cherry Velvet almost 10 years ago, I absolutely made sure the dresses would fit my body. Right?!

    Many of our classic styles sit high on the waist, sometimes also known as a empire waist. The bonus of this empire style cut is that it also gives you more fabric across the tummy and can actually fit taller woman as well. For reference,  we do make also make dresses that fit more traditionally in the waist length for women that are taller.

    But if you're short like me and I know many of you are shorter, (several are 4'10") this is what you need to know. The really important measurement for a petite woman is the waist length. This is measured vertically from the prominent bone where your neck intersects the top of your back straight down to your true waist. Many of our dresses are really quite short waisted and sit right under the bust line which makes them very suitable for petites (Some styles are more suitable than others).

    Sometimes the upper bodice length is too long for petites and this can be remedied by having the strap shortened. If you're concerned about overall length, hemming a dress is the easiest alteration, far easier than waist length. especially in the cotton fabric we use. Any seamstress should be able to do this for you.

    The best Cherry Velvet dress styles for Petites include Brigitte, Doris, Brooke, Chrissy, Olivia, Rhapsody and Marie (in the plus sizes only for Marie). If you ever need help or advice on fit please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail and include your measurements. (instructions here in our fit guide)

    We get asked the question a lot if we ever make custom dresses and the answer is no, nor do we plan to add 'petite' dresses specifically. On a positive note we will continue to vary the cuts of our styles to fit many different body types for as many women as we can and especially woman with the curvy bits we love :)

    XOX Diane