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  • A Gander At Our Entire Spring 2020 Collection

    Published Mar 27 2020 in bamboo, Behind the Scenes, catalogue, diane kennedy, ethical fashion, online shopping, Spring Catalogue, Spring Fashion, spring looks, Vancouver fashion

    We thought you might enjoy seeing something we've never shown you before...our original Spring catalogue. It's not normally something we do. Because we release it so far in advance, things get deleted or changed. It's the catalog we create to show our retail stores so they can make their buying decisions.  

    Please understand that some of these designs, ultimately, may not get produced. Additions are made too, like for example, the Mandala Print in our Sightsee Shirt, along with the Regency print on the Waterfront Dress featured on Page 7. You can see below how well these prints go together! 

    Mandala and Regency Prints

    Currently, our local factories are still in production for this year's Spring collection, despite these difficult times. Our factories do not have the option of working from home, unfortunately. Although mindful of social distancing standards, Diane remarked that on her most recent visit to one of our factories, they took care to check her temperature prior to entering the facility. We're so glad that they're taking the necessary precautions to keep their workers safe. 

    So here's your inside look at how Diane originally designed her Spring collection. We always love feedback and comments, so share and share alike :)

    We hope you enjoy this "Virtual Fashion Show" in your own home and sincerely wish everyone safety and good health.
      
    ...without further ado...

    Diane Kennedy Spring Catalogue Cover Page

    Diane Kennedy Spring Catalogue Page 2

    Diane Kennedy Spring Catalogue Page 3

    Diane Kennedy Spring Catalogue Page 4

    Diane Kennedy Spring Catalogue Page 5

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  • Why your tights are too tight

    Published Jan 03 2020 in bamboo, design, ethical, fashion, fit, fit expert, Made in Canada, plus size fit expert, Proper fit

    Recently I broke my rule and purchased some footed tights that had been highly rated online. I was excited when they arrived, until I put them on. Even though they came in plus sizes and "were meant to fit women with hips and thighs", the cut of the pattern was all wrong. And I want to explain what I mean by that to you, so you can be informed.

    Way back when I was in college for design, my instructor explained to us how crotches work from a clothing pattern point of view. I've never forgotten what he taught us. We discussed how cheaper brands save costs and fabric by cutting crotches very shallow (arrow on the right). Then he taught us to draft a pattern for tights (or pants) that actually fit by building the required room for the crotch into the pattern (arrow on the left). For any woman who has hips, thighs or a stomach - yes, all of us - it's my mission to explain to you what to look for in a truly comfortable fit at the crotch.

     A comparison of legging pattern showing the crotch

    You know what I'm talking about: That nasty "squeeze your butt cheeks together" feeling because your tights are too tight. (Perhaps that's why they call them tights?)

    It's really quite elementary; our bodies have width, but also depth. Turn sideways to a mirror and visually determine the distance between your belly button and your back. To fit properly, a pattern must incorporate this distance in the crotch. 

    Diane Kennedy leggings and pants are cut to fit properly in the crotch

    So next time you're buying pants or tights, pay close attention to the crotch for the correct fit. If you're buying footed tights or pantyhose, look for brands that add an extra panel down the back to give more room. 

    Obviously, our leggings and pants have this room built in the crotch already, which is why we've always said: "They're cut to fit comfortably in the crotch and seat in every size" 

    We hope this has been informative and will help you choose the right garments.

    Wishing you all a much more comfortable crotch in the future ;)

     

  • What makes our Bamboo Fabric different; Part 1

    Published Oct 17 2019 in bamboo, eco friendly, garment manufacturing, Made in Canada, sustainable

    There are very few fabrics that get a perfect report card in terms of what's best for the environment. To access any fabric, it's important to look at the whole process; where it comes from in the beginning, how it's made and the end of the cycle as well. As an eco-conscious company, we want to share with you the reasons we've chosen to use Canadian made bamboo in our designs.

    If you have worn our bamboo clothing, you'll already know that it is naturally soft, drapes beautifully and is extremely comfortable to wear. This was our original inspiration for using organic bamboo for our designs. As awareness grows for the health and wellness of our planet, using natural fabrics has become a movement rather than just a trend.

    It's important to us to source our fabric in Canada as much as possible because the standards for (water) waste management and pollution are so much higher than other countries where Bamboo usually comes from.

    Water pollution in Jian River, China

    photo credit: RiverBlue

    Natural Fibers

    Sustainable fabric is sourced from the environment, this can occur in one of two ways, either plant-based fibers (like linen, cotton, bamboo) or sourced from animals, (like silk, wool, cashmere) The fibers are grown, extracted and spun into yarn that is then used to either knit or weave textiles. By contrast, polyester; a synthetic petroleum-based fiber, is made from a carbon-intensive non-renewable resource.

    Bamboo, the Plant

    Bamboo is a wonderfully beneficial plant and just might be the world’s most sustainable resource. It does not require the use of pesticides and herbicides for crop production, as a result, plantations can easily be kept organic. Additionally, as the plant is flood and drought resistant, water irrigation is not necessary for production, requiring very little maintenance.

    It’s extremely fast growing and can grow up to a meter or more per day. It produces a huge biomass, both above and below the ground. Growing bamboo improves soil quality and helps rebuild eroded soil. The extensive root system of bamboo prevents soil erosion by holding the soil together and retaining water. It doesn’t require replanting each season because its vast root network continually sprouts new shoots, all the while converting sunlight and greenhouse gases into new growth. One study found that when planted in large groves, it can store 4 times the CO2 as a stand of trees of a similar size. 

    Diane Kennedy Bamboo Made in Canada

     

    Sustainability

    The second step of sustainable fabrics is how the fabric is manufactured into textiles and the impact that manufacturing has on the environment. This includes energy consumption and water consumption during manufacturing. The objective is to keep both consumption rates to a minimum. 

    Energy Use

    We purchase about 85% of our bamboo fabric from a mill in Canada, which uses hydro-electricity, and green energy. The natural flow of water in rivers offers kinetic power that can be transformed into usable energy. To produce hydroelectricity, the water flow is directed to the blades of a turbine, making it spin, which causes an electrical generator connected to the turbine to spin as well. This generates electricity. Our supplier uses a combination of hydroelectricity and natural gas, which is used to heat the boilers that heats the water used to dye the fabric. In contrast, fabric made in China uses coal to fuel factories which causes so much pollution it can be seen from satellite photos.

    These are just some of the reasons that make our bamboo fabric different. Please, visit our blog next week to read part 2.

     

     

     

  • A Legacy of Natural Fibers

    Published Sep 26 2019 in bamboo, design, diane kennedy, environmentally friendly, fabric, inspiration, Made in Canada

    My love of natural fibers began at an early age. As a gift, my mother bought me a miniature sewing machine and as a result, I spent hours near her as she worked. Some of my early 'toys' were often boxes of buttons, spools of wooden thread and of course her drawer of beautiful fabrics.

    Spools Of Thread - Diane Kennedy

    My mother sewed beautifully and taught me to sew. She had wonderful clothes made of natural fibers; wool coats, cashmere sweaters, silk and cotton dresses and lovely garments made out of Viyella (cotton and wool blend). I learned early to appreciate the feel of the quality fabric.

    My appreciation for natural fibers continues to this day. 99% of my designs are executed in natural fibers like bamboo.

    Swatches - Diane Kennedy

    Natural for the Planet

    With so many brands made from polyester, especially in the plus sizes, I prefer to be the alternative. Part of the allure of polyester is its inexpensive cost, which brings down the price of the garment. While the polyester fabric may be affordable to purchase, the cost to our planet is high. Did you know that Polyester and indeed most synthetic fibers are derived from crude oil drilled right out of the earth? Polyester is a polymer, or a long chain of repeating molecular units, which is a plastic derived from crude oil.

    What about the cost to our bodies as well? I personally can't stand the feel of polyester on my body and immediately begin to perspire. I far prefer the feeling of soft natural fibers against my skin and the breathability and comfort that these fibers afford me. Like the food I put in my body, the clothes I wear I want to be in a natural state or as close to nature as possible.

     



    New arrivals made from softest bamboo can be found in our online shop here. Or visit us at our studio for one of our shopping weekends. We're open for shopping Oct 4 from 2-7 and Oct 5 from 11-5 @ 1635 Powell Street, Vancouver B.C.

  • What a Great Jacket Can Do For You

    Published Jun 14 2019 in #style over 50, bamboo, colour, eco friendly, ethical fashion, jackets, jumpsuit, shop local

    Sometimes all it takes is that perfect jacket to take any outfit to the next level. We often choose a jacket as a 'basic' item. But what if we thought of it differently? What if we treated a jacket as an accessory to the outfit?

    Barb Wilkins wears outfits by Diane Kennedy; Vancouver designer

    Our Jinx Jumpsuit is great on its own - just step in, zip it up and you're dressed. Add The Paradox Jacket with its graphic black and white stripes and you're ready to take this look to the office or out for the evening. This is a great example of using a jacket as an accessory.

     Dancer Gia Holman wears designs by Diane Kennedy

    Gia is wearing The Jinx Jumpsuit in Moroccan and has paired it with a Black Paradox Jacket. The same two pieces as the photos above but a completely different look. Would you have thought of wearing a 'tailored style' jacket over a jumpsuit?

     Barb Wilkins wears outfit designed by Canadian designer Diane Kennedy

    A great jacket can completely change the outfit. Here we have the same Casting Capri and Clever Cami base but with two different Jackets. Barb wears the Paradox Jacket on the left and the Downtown Jacket on the right. It changes it completely, doesn't it?

     Dancer Gia Holman wears designs by Diane Kennedy

    Don't be afraid to mix your stripes! Elevate your style with some contrast. The Casting Capri, Clever Cami, and Paradox Jacket with a great pair of shoes in a contrasting colour (Fluevog here) to really make a statement.

    Dancer Gia Holman models outfits designed by Diane Kennedy

    One Jacket with two different styles of pant. This changes the look dramatically. The Downtown Jacket paired with The Pacific Pant a palazzo-style pant is office or dinner appropriate. To make it casual zip it up over a pair of Rejuvenate Leggings. This super versatile jacket can also be worn as a tunic. 

    There it is. Consider adding an "accent" jacket to your wardrobe. It is just about the best way to elevate your clothing collection.