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In 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!
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.
It'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!)
Have 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. A 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!
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
Escape into Fantasy
There’s a reason it’s called “escapism” – the right book or movie can draw you in so deeply, you forget where you are. There’s never been a better time to tap into the joy of a story that helps you disappear for a few hours. We can’t travel right now but we can go anywhere in time (or space) with the right novel or film.
-Grab an old favourite and re-read: has it been a few years since you read the Outlander series? Time to pluck it off the shelf and dive back in. (As fans ourselves, we even found inspiration in Outlander for one of our pieces last year. Check out Style Inspiration – the Claire Capelet.
-Check out some fantasy faves: Hunger Games will take you into a dystopian future and the latest book in the series – a prequel to the original trilogy called The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is out now. Also new and certain to be popular is Midnight Sun, the latest in the Twilight collection, which (if you don’t already know) will let you disappear into a world full of vampires and werewolves. If you prefer outer space, there’s an endless supply of science fiction to help you escape to Mars, or the other side of the universe – and everywhere in between.
We love all things vintage. From the tips of our toes to the tops of our heads, we adore a retro look: shoes, dress, jewelry, old-school hairdo. Now’s a great time to indulge in some vintage fun.
-Enjoy some old Hollywood glamour with a movie night of classic titles. Make some popcorn, pour yourself an Old-Fashioned (if you know how to make one) or a Shirley Temple, and enjoy a film night from another era. Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Ginger Rogers, Mae West … the list goes on.
-Always wanted to learn how to do a victory roll or another hairstyle from the 40s, 50s, 60s, or beyond? There’s hundreds of tutorials on YouTube. Pull out the curling iron, the hairspray, and get started. Upshot: if you mess it up, you can just wash it out.
-Put on one of your favourite Cherry Velvet dresses. Don’t save them in your closet for a special occasion. Every day is a special occasion! Get dressed up for dinner and pull out the best dishes and light some candles while you’re at it – or just throw one on to wear for a walk or around the house. Putting on a dress doesn’t always equal dressing up. Not all dresses feel “easy” but ours definitely do – we even wrote about it in this blog post: Actually Dresses ARE easy. https://www.cherryvelvetplus.com/blogs/news/actually-dresses-are-easy
With autumn on its way, now is a good time to start “nesting.” This year especially, some of us may be dreading the shorter days and longer nights, but if we plan ahead, we can create our own cozy retreats from the world
-String up some little white lights around your living room or bedroom. The warm glow feels cheerful.
-If you’re a tea drinker, stock up on some new varieties. Add a warm blanket and a good book or movie (see the above tip about escapism) and you’re all set.
- Get creative with indoor arts and crafts on a rainy day. We have our very own pin-up colouring sheets to download (https://www.cherryvelvetplus.com/blogs/news/colour-me-cherry) so grab some markers or colouring pencils.
It’s a tough time for many people these days. If there’s ever been a time to make the world a little bit better, in ways both big and small, it’s now.
-Drop off some food to your local food bank. Better yet, make a financial donation online from the comfort of home (most food banks have websites where you can donate cash.) This allows the food bank to target spending to those items most needed. More people than ever are relying on their local food banks.
-Call a friend, even if you don’t think they’re struggling. Sometimes our most upbeat friends may be the ones having the hardest time in private. Reach out to a friend. And if your friends are all doing well, make a new friend: many seniors’ homes and local agencies have opportunities to be matched with a stranger to write letters or make phone calls, to help people from feeling isolated.
-Learn and get involved. We recently wrote about our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and our support for Black Lives Matter. If you’re not sure where to start to become better educated and be an ally, we have a few suggestions on our post here: In Support of Anti-Racism and BLM https://www.cherryvelvetplus.com/blogs/news/in-support-of-anti-racism-blm
Don't forget, we always love to hear from you. Send us your thoughts, ideas, dress and print wishes and of course photos of you in a dress. Don't forget to tag us :-) #cherryvelvet
Christina Meyer for Cherry Velvet
Sharing the joy of your vintage-inspired outfit is just as much fun as putting it together. And choosing a special location to snap your share is just another way to extend the fun, right? For inspiration, here's our insider's list of photo shoot locations and favourite spots in and around Vancouver.
Stanley Park Rose Garden
610 Pipeline Rd, Vancouver
Established in 1920, this is a perfect place for some true vintage romance, which makes it a popular photoshoot location. Visit between June and August to catch the beautiful floral displays, and get your picture among the blossoms or under the vintage gazebos.
Burnaby Art Gallery
6344 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Burnaby's art museum is located at the historic Fairacres Mansion, a 1910 Edwardian style building. Outside are beautiful staircases and grounds surrounded by a pictureque garden as well as the lake nearby. This whole location has many photo-worthy spots!
Sophie's Cosmic Cafe
2095 West 4th Ave, Vancouver
This diner was opened in the '80s, and its style is pure retro glory. The kitschy artwork, eclectic decor, bright red barstools and pink booths will have you snapping pictures the whole time!
Gastown's Hotel Europe
43 Powell St, Vancouver, BC
Incredibly picturesque, this six-story heritage building from 1909 resembles a tiny version of a "flat iron" building. Stand on Gastown's cobblestone streets and have your picture taken with Hotel Europe in the background for a super vintage look!
Lucy's Eastside Diner
2708 Main St, Vancouver
This spot opened in 2010, and it's been an absolute gem ever since. It's open 24-hours (omg right?), and the decor is perfect inside and outside. The turquoise on the wall is one of our favourite colours, and the orange countertops have retro boomerang patterns!
Locomotive 374 at Roundhouse Community Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
This antique engine was retired in 1945 after many decades of transporting passengers, and has since been renovated and placed on permanent display at the Roundhouse Community Centre. It is open to the public, and you can even climb on it for some beautiful vintage shots!
652 Columbia St, New Westminster
This historical location was first opened as the Edison Vaudeville Theatre in 1910, and was later renamed. Currently it offers adult entertainment, but you might recognize it from the movie Twilight or shows like Sabrina. The beauty of this location is the gorgeous neon sign outside, fun to pose with.
Hopefully we've inspired you to take some photos of your own. Make sure to wear your favourite Cherry Velvet dress and share your photos with us!
And if you're not from Vancouver, we would love to know - what retro spots should we make sure to visit in your city?
Stay safe & get clicking!
XOX Cherry Velvet
When wearing our modern vintage frocks, you may be inspired to bring a little more of that old-times-past inspiration into your look. Many of us, in fact, try to dress retro every day. But outside of the perfect dress, we often want an extra detail to give our outfit a definitive mid-century look. And whatever it is, it must fit in our busy routines.
Like, who's got the time to set their hair in pin curls every day?
Unless you have one of these.
The ideal solution for your daily dose of retro needs to be quick and easy, something you can throw on effortlessly. Luckily, our staff has a few ideas!
Julia loves giving herself a DIY mani in red for that extra vintage feel. That usually lasts her about a week. Another excellent way is to go get your manicure professionally done in gel polish like Diane, and that small time investment will last you a whole month. Plus, it's a nice little treat to yourself.
For all your immediate vintage needs, red lips are the way to go! It works well even with clean, neutral make-up. With a quick swipe, you can get much closer to the iconic look of decades past, so make sure to always have one with you! Julia loves the NARS Annabella, Diane is a fan of MAC Russian Red (classic!), and you can even get some authentic vintage shades in gorgeous packaging from Bésame Cosmetics.
Tracy can always be seen wearing black winged eyeliner. We think she may have been born wearing it. She says it's her go-to retro look, and she won't spend a day without it! She uses the Marcelle 2-in-1 Retractable Eyeliner most often, and Diane's favourite is the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. Once you get the hang of it, it can be done in just a minute or two. After her health issues this past year, Tracy had to re-learn how to apply her eyeliner. If she can do it (twice!), so can you!
Tracy wears the Doris dress in "Briar Rose"
Even Logan, the lone male in the office, can often be seen sporting vintage accessories. From him, we hear that a nice hat will cover up any bad hair day situation instantly! ;) He got this dapper one at Goorin Brothers, but thrift stores are also a good bet for unique finds.
Cherry Velvet's designer, Diane, is always impeccably accessorized. Her signature items (other than Fluevog shoes) are her cat-eye glass frames. It's impossible to not look retro with those on! Diane gets hers at MOSH Framemakers and Clearly. For jewelry, she's often seen in Mirror Mirror Bijoux's retro designs (all handmade here in Vancouver, BC!).
There are, of course, many more vintage accessories you can use, but this selection is our staff's usual picks. We hope to have inspired you to get a little more of that retro feeling each day with these easy additions.
Let us know if you liked this post, and if you'd like to see more tips like this!
XOX Cherry Velvet