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Every year, the team here at Diane Kennedy looks forward to the Fall season, in part because our city holds a very special 4 day event.
We are thrilled to be participating (instead of attending) in this year's annual 23rd Eastside Culture Crawl. For those not in the know, it's an event that celebrates the tremendous impact that Art and Design has on our community in East Vancouver. The Crawl began as a small group of Eastside artists interested in engaging with the public. They eventually decided to come together as a circle and promote an open studio event.
As one of Vancouver’s yearly cultural highlights, The Culture Crawl provides a great opportunity to explore East Vancouver’s vibrant arts scene and laude our local artists for their contributions to our city. Vancouver’s strong and creative arts community is a key element of what makes Vancouver such a dynamic and thriving city. As a proudly Canadian fashion line, being located in the heart of such an inspiring neighbourhood is such a blessing to us.
In the first few years, attendance was only a few hundred people; participants and attendees included. Fast forward 20+ years and The Eastside Culture Crawl has grown to include over 480+ artists and 68 venues. Participants include visual artists, craftspeople and designers, and the event attracts more than 40,000 attendees, lovingly dubbed, "crawlers".
Be sure to come visit us! We're "E1" (click here or the above map to find our studio!)
We're so honoured to be included in the Crawl's wonderful line-up of textile and design artists; their work is well worth your attention. Textile practices go back as far as humanity's origins. Over history, this "technology" has led to the invention of basketry, weaving, knitting, stitching and ever increasing complexities of design and process. It's only natural that the fashion industry works closely with the artistry of textile production. Together, pieces are created that not only express one's individuality, but can also make statements about social/ethical values, such as our personal commitment to Eco/Ethical fabric and production practices.
From November 14-17, our designer, Diane, will be on hand to chat with you about our inspiration, process and execution of our work. Our design process is created almost entirely on a computer, but using a machine does not mean we simply push a button and the finished product appears. Computer–aided design, for example, is a labour-intensive, highly skilled process. Patterns need to be created and tested, prototypes are sewn and fitted on real bodies. Adjustments are made, patterns are graded for size and a cut layout is created to make best use of the fabric. Each Diane Kennedy garment is then sewn on a machine by a skilled seamstress, all of which happens at factories very close to East Vancouver. We'll be able to go into more detail about these processes to anyone who visits our studio during this event.
The Eastside Culture Crawl is a grand opportunity to learn more about our process. We're excited to show you how much goes into every piece we design & produce!
While searching online I found an amazing photo of Helen Mirren. Stunning! When we posted it on social media the response was overwhelming. Some even commented that it actually looked like a Diane Kennedy tunic she was wearing. Funnily enough, that was exactly what I thought too!
Without really altering the look of the design, I went ahead and created a tunic pattern from our pattern block and added it to my line for Fall. How could I resist? As a designer, I really never copy. I might borrow an idea from here or there but rarely do I borrow from a design this heavily. As best I can tell, her dress looks to be made of wool and cut with dolman sleeves. The Ambition Tunic, as we are calling it, is actually the first piece of our Fall collection that's finished production and is available to our customers now.
Helen certainly inspires us in more ways than just style. At 73 she has a lot of advice in regards to aging: With no shortage of cheek, this might be her best-known quote:
Helen Mirren inspires not only for her illustrious acting career but for the graceful and elegant way she has aged.
As if we needed any more reasons to love Helen Mirren!
I'm always looking for unique prints and textures in the bamboo fabric we love so much! As my customers, you're used to seeing mostly solids from me so I thought it might be a good opportunity to talk about mixing prints together. There are a couple of tops and a jacket that I've designed that do the mixing for you. All you have to do is choose either a coordinating solid colour or pull out one of the prints already in the mix to put your outfit together. Fashion should be fun, sometimes it's great to rework the 'formula'.
But what about mixing prints together when it's not been planned out for you? Is this something you would try?
My thoughts on how to Mix Prints
The first thing you look for is at least one colour in common, but two is better. The scale is important and simple graphic prints are easier to mix than more complex ones. Here's an example of mixing prints with colours that match and the pattern as the only variable. This is a great way to introduce pattern matching into your wardrobe. . .
To mix prints successfully, two patterns is usually enough. It takes a skilled eye to mix multiple patterns together, although it's certainly possible. If you want to try it, stick to a simple colour scheme like black and white. Adding solids to the mix plus a punchy colour in your accessories is another way to go. Fashion used to be about rules, now not so much. Make your own rules! My notes here are meant as a guideline only. Mixing elements like patterns, colours and accessories together is what makes fashion fun and interesting.
Step outside your comfort zone and try some print mixing for yourself!
Published May 31 2019 in bamboo, Barb's Style, capris, design, diane kennedy, ethical, fashion, jackets, jumpsuit, leggings, local, Made in Canada, Personal Style, spring, Spring 2019, spring looks, tunics
We love and appreciate our customers and are always trying to find ways to make your shopping experience better. Sometimes when you see a bunch of clothes online you wonder, how should I wear that? You want to get ideas to style your own outfits, right? We figured, let's look at the collection as a whole and put together some outfits to show you.
That's where I got recruited. I'm not a model. Full stop. I work for Diane Kennedy clothing in the capacity of customer service, I also do all the shipping and write the odd blog post, among other things. But the other day I was challenged with putting together some outfits from our Spring 2019 collection that I would wear in my own way.
I want to say right from the beginning that modeling is hard. I'm not kidding, it's a lot harder than it looks. Lucky for me, I had our newest team member Tracy and our in-house fab photographer Logan to put me through the moves. Tracy knows all about how to get the best out of a model, how to stand, how to walk, what to do with your hands, where to look. It's actually a lot to think about so I was so, so grateful for the guidance. Logan is fantastic, among other things, and he is infinitely talented and extremely patient.
I couldn't wait to try the new Jinx Jumpsuit on. Possibly the most comfortable thing I've ever worn. I wanted to try the Black and White striped Paradox Jacket over top and I just loved this look! This jumpsuit is so casual and yet so easily dressed up.
Another new fave has got to be the fantastically versatile top Add Pockets in Moroccan. Wear it on its own or layer it over almost anything to create the most amazing silhouette. I wore it over the Rejuvenate Leggings also in Moroccan and topped that with the Paradox Jacket in Black and Moroccan stripe. I love the way these layer up and the jacket just pulls the whole look together.
Here I've worn Add Pockets with the Casting Capri in Black and Moroccan stripe. These capris are so fun with their wider leg and are the perfect length. Wear them with flats or a little bit of a heel. Again, casual or dressy but always soft and luxurious.
This is just me, wearing a few of my favourite Diane Kennedy separates. I hope you enjoy seeing my personal choices of Diane Kennedy's Spring 2019 line and that you can envision our collection as part of your own personal style.
Everyone loves Pockets, right? I'm in a lucky position as a designer to be able to create exactly the item that I want to wear. For Spring this year I thought to myself what are all the things that I want in a new top? The Add Pockets Tunic was what I came up with.
The idea behind "Add Pockets" was a top that could be worn in different ways. For me, that means mostly on its own but it can also be worn like a vest over a sleeved top like the Perfect Tee. In this way, it transcends the seasons and "Add Pockets" can be worn all year long. It's a summer top but it's also perfect for fall layering when worn as a vest. It's shown here as an outfit with the Smarty Pants.
So if like me you LOVE bare arms in the summer, this could be for you. Many women complain about their arms, specifically that 'extra area' under the bicep. I choose not to be one of them. I'm kind of indifferent to my arms, bare arms are so freeing and comfortable for my busy workday.
Other than deep pockets for my phone, the Add Pockets tunic was designed to be flattering with lots of room across the tummy, and slimming vertical seams. It's long enough so that it can be worn with Cafe leggings too.
If you're local to Vancouver, come try on all the possibilities at our Studio Shop this weekend:
Friday May 17 from 2-7pm + Saturday May 18 from 11-5 pm