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  • Let's Make Outfits; Barb's Style

    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.

    Vancouver Designer Diane Kennedy's Bamboo separates

    The City Tunic and Casting Capri in gorgeous Moroccan. Could an outfit be any easier to wear?

    Vancouver Designer Diane Kennedy's Bamboo separates 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. 

    Vancouver Designer Diane Kennedy's Bamboo separates

    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. 

    Vancouver Designer Diane Kennedy's Bamboo separates

    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.  

    Vancouver Designer Diane Kennedy's Bamboo separates

    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.

    XOX Barb

     

     

  • How to "Add Pockets" to your Wardrobe

    Published May 17 2019 in bamboo, bare arms, body positive, design, ethical, fashion, local, Made in Canada, pockets, tunics, vests

    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.

     Jennifer Pistor wears a Diane Kennedy outfit of the Add Pockets Tunic and Smarty Pants

    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.

     Jennifer Pistor wears a Diane Kennedy outfit of the Add Pockets Tunic, Perfect Tee and 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. 

    Scarlet wears a Diane Kennedy outfit of the Add Pockets Tunic and Travel Pants

    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

     

  • Happy Shopping! Is That Even a Thing?

    Published May 07 2019 in appointment, bamboo, body positive, confidence, design, ethical, fashion, happy, local, Made in Canada, Proper fit, shopping

    There is so much negativity around shopping, body image and fashion in general. How about Happy Shopping? What if you could shop for clothes that were designed by people who not only understood your body shape and how to fit it properly but also really GOT you? How often do you have a happy shopping experience? The truth is, there are companies that exist right now run by women just like you, who want to give you a positive experience every time you shop. They do exist!

    Models wearing Diane Kennedy clothing

    Staying in the moment.

    When I had my own retail store that catered to sizes 10-24 you wouldn't believe how many people would spend their time, in my shop, that catered to them, talking about how there was nothing out there for them. That may be true but right then, at that moment they were standing in a space that was inspired by their wants and needs. A safe, happy space with quality clothing and lots of choices IN THEIR SIZE. It's kind of like going on a date with someone for the first time and spending the whole time talking about all the bad dates you've been on. I don't blame them at all, it's like being triggered by a trauma or something. One of the reasons I love working at Diane Kennedy is that I find it so easy to help create a happy, positive experience for our shoppers AND we have the goods to back it up.

    Shopping at Diane Kennedy's Vancouver Studio

    They totally get me!

    What a wonderful feeling it is to enter a space that honours who you are. In many cases, it's because the people who created that space are a lot like you. Or maybe they just possess the empathy needed to make you feel welcome and comfortable when you enter their space, whether that's a retail store or an online store. Those are the businesses you want to support.

    You do You.

    This year I turn 53. So far my 50's have been pretty great. At this time in my life I have a pretty clear idea about the battles I want to fight. Shopping isn't one of them. There are so many different types of folks out there and everyone has their own shape, size, and story. I'm done with being pissed off because a store doesn't carry my size. They aren't after my dollar and I'm not their customer. That's okay. I'm sure they are filling a need for someone out there or they would have gone out of business long ago. I do think that cheaply made fast fashion is bad for everyone and there's no excuse for badly cut and poorly fitted clothing, but that hasn't made me immune to it. We're all just doing our best to get dressed in the morning without regretting what we are wearing all day. Right?

    Look, fashion and clothing isn't everything, but it is something. All I know is when I feel well dressed I find it pretty darned easy to feel good about myself. It gives me confidence. It's one less thing to worry about.

    I will leave you with this story...

    I ordered some cotton underpants online. You know the type that comes in all sizes and 5 in a package. They fit ok but not great. I didn't want to return them and they were a good price but they ended up being second stringers right away. Never the first ones out of the drawer and only worn when it was laundry day. I decided to order a different style the next time and also to go up a size. When I got my package I unrolled the first pair and they were just enormous looking, full coverage, what I might call a granny panty. My first thought was to send them straight back but then I decided to try them on for a laugh. The laugh was on me because omg, these are the most comfortable underwear I've ever owned. They cover everything that needs covering, and a bit more, and they stay put, no riding up. I never would have bought them if I'd seen them in a store but now I'm so glad to have them. They make me happy!

    panties

    There's no real moral to this story except sometimes your bum is a bit bigger than you think it is. As long as someone makes the size that fits YOUR bum, life is pretty good! Sometimes it's the little things and the slightly bigger things...

    Find out more about happy shopping at Diane Kennedy here.

    Warm Regards,

    Barb

  • Keep Cool in Capris

    Published Apr 05 2019 in capris, design, ethical, fabric, fashion, local, Made in Canada, Preview, spring, Spring 2019, spring looks

    What do you do when the going gets hot? Maybe shorts don't really work for you? Everybody needs a hot weather option to get them through the dog days of summer. That's where the cool comfort of our beloved Capri comes in.

    Model wear Diane Kennedy clothing designs ethically made from Bamboo

    From the widest leg to our slimmest leg, there's a Capri here for every body.

    Casting Capri

    Based on our Serene Pant, this Capri has a wider leg for anyone that has a preference for a wide, flowy leg. Designed to perfectly complement any of your warm-weather tops or jackets. Black and white stripes give this Capri a modern graphic look.  The Casting Capri can be dressed up or down to suit your needs. We want you to be cool and comfortable from top to bottom this Summer!

    Flight Capri

     

    If you love our Flex Pant, you are in luck! The Flight Capri fits just like our Flex Pant but with flat to the body pockets. These capris aren't tight on the leg but cut just right to give ease of movement and a more relaxed fit.

    Motion Capri

    This design started out as a unique sleeve.  We were fooling around with a twisted detail and it found its way into the leg of our Motion Capri.  With our signature smooth waistband, it fits just like all our classic pants. It also features handy, flat to the body pockets, a mid-calf length and the openwork detail at the hem.

    Cafe Legging

    Our classic Capri tights are back! They're a 3/4 length and a great warm weather bottom you can live in all summer. If you like our Rejuvenate Leggings you will love these shorter tights. The perfect thing to wear under a flowy tunic.

    Uptown Capri

    Coming soon are the Uptown capris with a wider leg and fun, asymmetrical pockets on the leg. Stay tuned for this new style by Diane Kennedy!

    Capri-length bottoms made from softest bamboo can be found in our online shop here.

    Visit us at our next Studio Shop to see everything in person. We’re open for shopping Friday, April 12th from 2-7 and Saturday, April 13th from 11-5 @ 1635 Powell Street, Vancouver B.C.

    XOX Barb

  • The Zero Waste Goal & Garment Production

    Published Mar 01 2019 in fabric, fashion, fashion industry, garment manufacturing, zero waste

    This is a time when we're all thinking about our impact on the earth and what we can do as individuals to reduce our waste. As a designer it's something I do consider while designing my garments. The truth is that pre-consumer "almost" zero-waste fashion is really only attainable with garments that are very simplified and made from very boxy shapes. A classic example of a zero waste garment is the traditional Kimono. But when a garment is cut to fit our womanly curves, square and boxy shapes are not ideal. Our new Scrunch Scarf is a good example of "almost" zero waste as the pattern pieces are rectangular and I purposely chose widths to fit the fabric. If you look at the bottom of the image below, you can see the "efficiency" is 98.3% of the fabric. 

    Still as a small batch designer with a very hands on approach I'm able to mitigate my use of fabric during production. I do consider how a sleeve is cut for example and how the fabric is utilitzed in the production process. My approach is quite unique as I often modify the designs as the pattern is being made. I sketch an idea, start making the pattern and make adjustments to the design as I go. As a last step It's not unusual for me to do a mock lay out the marker (the pattern pieces of the garment laid out single layer for cutting of the fabric) to see how well the design makes use of the fabric.

     Once the garment is ready to go into production a cut lay out of the pattern pieces is made (a production marker) using the Optitex CAD system. The use of the fabric is noted during this process. What I'd consider an unacceptable use of the fabric would be a marker that utilizes only 70% or less of the available space. Trust me when I tell you this would not be an uncommon use of fabric in the fashion industry. (30% waste) Commonly a style like a pant or a tunic would use 75% - 80% of the fabric. Anything above 80% is considered excellent. Kind of surprising right? This is the reality in the garment industry. The marker below is an example of how I put parts from 2 garments together to get a better yield. By doing so I was able to use 84.1% of the fabric. Without making this change the use of the fabric was way down at about 67%.

    We do whatever we can at this stage of production to minimize this waste. Our markers regularity use 82% - 87% of the fabric. And truthfully that's about as good as it gets. The only way to improve that would be an example like a shirt that has many small parts like cuffs, collar and tabs to fill up the spaces.

    While I know this is not something the average consumer ever considers when purchasing a garment, I wanted to share some of the thoughtful processes that go into making a Diane Kennedy garment.