Peony Garden Party; Herbaceous Semi-Doubles

The Peony bloom is an exceptional and fleeting moment caught in time. So perfect and memorable in the instant when the petals unfurl like the loveliest vintage party dress.  These luscious coral blooms caught my eye at the florist and became the inspiration for this post.  And so I’ve been reminiscing about all the beautiful peonies that used to grow in my garden.

Coral Charm Peony
Coral Charm Peony (herbaceous perennial)

Shortly after I bought my first house, my new neighbour told me about a yard they were going to rebuild on. She suggested I rescue the peonies lining the front pathway.  Sure enough little red shoots we’re pushing through the dirt and so I dug out five beautiful healthy looking clumps from this abandoned yard.

Peony shoots
Beautiful reddish shoots in the Spring are the perfect foil for small, early bulbs. Indeed the Peony foliage spreads to cover the bulb foliage as it dies off after blooming.

A Flower of Tradition

Peonies are very long-lived and can live for a hundred years. It was totally worth my effort as I got many years of enjoyment out of those original clumps. I even dug them up and took them to my next house.  They’re very garden worthy; and easy to grow in a completely organic manner. Even after blooming the foliage is handsome and somewhat shrubby in the garden. The large flowers are heavy and so it’s important to place the obligatory peony ring (metal support) in place before the shoots have gotten too high.

Peony Bowl of Beauty
Peony ‘Bowl of Beauty’

Bloom Time

The anticipation builds from the moment the buds start to form. They get  bigger and fatter and tend to burst open right as some heavy rain is eminent. Run out and clip a generous bunch as they open and bring a bouquet into the house to enjoy. Such beautiful petals in a ruff of overlapping deliciousness deserve to be admired up close!

Peony 'Yellow Crown'
Peony ‘Yellow Crown’

Garden Party

While the doubles are probably the most recognizable form of the Peony, I’ve always been partial to the semi doubles myself because of the contrast of the beautiful stamens in the center.  Peonies come in many lovely colours;  butter yellows, white,  many shades of pink through to crimson red.  The bloom of a peony is one of those moments in the garden that is truly memorable. Just like the most special moments of our life; your first kiss, when your grandchild is  born….the bloom of the Peony is fleeting but no less worthwhile.

Love Diane

 

Diane Kennedy Style Over 50

How wonderful for women of style over 50 and 60 to finally be recognized as fashion icons and worthy of attention.  If you’re a long time DK customer you may remember Viola, from a shoot we did way back in Spring 2010. We asked her to come back and model for us again.

Diane Kennedy Style over 50. Viola wears the Diane Kennedy Box Office Jacket, Clever Cami and Smarty Pants
Viola wears the Diane Kennedy Box Office Jacket, Clever Cami and Smarty Pants. Fluevog Shoes. Erstwilder Lobster Brooch (available @ dianekennedy.ca)

When she arrived at my studio with her hair cut to her shoulders just so,  I thought WOW!  And she looks FABulous in my clothes! How’s this for Style over 50? This goddess is over 60, 64 to be exact.

Diane Kennedy Style over 50. Viola wears the Diane Kennedy Screen Playsuit and Perfect Top.
Viola wears the Diane Kennedy Screen Playsuit and Perfect Top. Fluevog Shoes. Erstwilder Flamingo Brooch (available @ dianekennedy.ca)

Women feel they become more invisible the older they get. It’s time for that attitude to change. We all know women who just seem to get more fabulous and more sure of who they are as they age. These are women who inspire and who we aspire to be. It can be someone like Viola with her gorgeous aura going through life being amazing.  The media and public spotlight is starting to recognise these women too and it’s about time!

Diane Kennedy Style over 50. Viola wears the Diane Kennedy Screen Playsuit and Perfect Top.
Viola wears the Diane Kennedy Screen Playsuit and Perfect Top. Fluevog Shoes. Erstwilder Flamingo Brooch (available @ dianekennedy.ca)

Isabella Rossellini; Ageless Beauty

In 1996, when Isabella Rossellini was about to turn 44, she was sacked. After 14 years as the face and spokesperson of Lancôme cosmetics, she was told in no uncertain terms that she was past it.

Twenty years later  Lancôme had a change of heart and hired Isabella Rossellini back into the fold, returning to her position at the age of 65. Beauty truly is ageless and to prove it Rossellini’s photos for her new campaign are being released un-retouched.

“I am old: this is what 65 looks like.” ~Isabella Rossellini

Style over 50
Isabella Rossellini; Photo by Authur Mola

“When people tell me, ‘You look so glamorous, you look sophisticated or elegant,’ it’s wonderful. But when people say, ‘You’re beautiful,’ I find it a little condescending. Worse now, because they say, ‘You’re still beautiful.’” ~Isabella Rossellini

Have you heard of Lyn Slater;  @Accidental Icon ?

At the age of 64 Lyn Slater decided to start a fashion blog because she was constantly being stopped in the streets due to her unique fashion choices. To her own surprise she quickly became an internet star: The Accidental Icon. She models her fabulous style all over the streets of New York. She’s a professor, a social worker and now a fashion icon. She is also an inspiration to people of all ages.

“Women (like me) who are not famous or celebrities but are smart, creative, fashion forward, fit, thoughtful, engaged, related and most importantly clear and comfortable with who they are..” ~Lyn Slater

The Accidental Icon; Lyn Slater is the embodiment of Style over 50
Lyn Slater; @Accidental Icon

“This project is me saying: I’m not twenty, and I don’t want to be twenty,” Slater explained. “But I’m pretty cool, and here I am.”

I’m going to leave you with one more image of a gorgeous customer, Ingrid that came shopping yesterday. I thought she was in her fifties! But she’s closer to 70!! and man, she has great style! She’s wearing our new Screen Playsuit!

Diane Kennedy Style over 50. Ingrid wears the Screen Playsuit and Perfect Top
Ingrid wears the Screen Playsuit and Perfect Top

Love Diane

Dressing for a Rectangle Shaped Body

The last instalment of our blog series, dressing for your unique body shape is all about the Rectangle.  If you missed our last three body shape blogs you can find them here; “Dressing for an Apple Shaped Body” ,  “Dressing for a Pear Shaped Body”, “Dressing for an Hourglass Shaped Body”.  So what exactly is a rectangle shaped body? Read on…

Suggestions for your Body shape whether it's Apple, Pear, Hourglass or Rectangle

You’re most likely a Rectangle body shape if:

  • Your shoulders are as wide or wider than your hips
  • Your waist is undefined and about as wide as your hips
  • You have a small to average size bust
  • You have long legs and probably a flat bottom

Many women would kill to have a figure like yours because there is no particular area you’re trying to minimize.   Your Rectangle body shape is already well-balanced, so have fun with your shopping and be more adventurous with your choices.  

Be adventurous when dressing your Rectangle Body shape in Diane Kennedy Screen Playsuit

Be adventurous when dressing your Rectangle Body shape

The Screen Playsuit,  has a modern silhouette that begins with a tank shaped front bodice, front zipper and a capri length, fuller pant.  Side seams hold generous pockets and shape the lower leg into a funky trapeze hem. Rectangle body shapes can look great in fuller pants like these that create more curves and a pleasing silhouette. (Fluevog shoes)

Diane Kennedy's Verve Zip Jacket is a great choice for a rectangle figure type

Diane Kennedy's Verve Zip Jacket is a great choice for a rectangle figure type

The Verve Zip  jacket can be worn several ways, unzipped with the Clever Cami underneath or zipped all the way up like a tunic, as we did here.  The jacket curves in at the waist to create a more defined waist as well as drapes gently at the hip to add more curves. Worn over our Smarty Pants the look is chic and balanced and so much fun.

Diane Kennedy's Box Office Jacket is a great choice for a rectangle figure type

The Box Office Jacket layered over the Clever Cami and the Smarty Pants   is not only chic but the extra horizontal band (of white cami) helps to fill out your narrower hips.  Reminiscent of jean jacket style, the Box Office jacket features over size details in an updated way.  Lucky you, you can really have fun with layers, unique shapes and silhouettes like this. 

As always, finish off your new outfit with some great shoes like these from Fluevog!  Most importantly, have fun with your look, and find creative ways to add curves….layers, fullness and width in the right places!

XOX Barb

 

Magical Weekend Getaway: Tofino B.C.

South Chesterman's Beach, Tofino B.C.

When an ocean front room came available at my fav hotel in Tofino, my fingers automatically hit the ‘select’ button. Two years ago I travelled to this magical place for the first time and I’ve been wishing to be back ever since…

Weekend Getaway in Tofino @ the Long Beach Lodge Resort
The Long Beach Lodge Resort (on the right) situated on Cox Bay, Tofino B.C

On the westernmost shore of Canada is a small community edged with a pristine  coastline. While it’s a fav destination for BC travellers, Tofino still manages to retain an untouched quality. There are no massive towering hotels or over-commercialization. While you can fly into a small airport, we chose to take the Ferry. About 2 hours by boat and another 3.5 hours by car on winding highways means you need an extended weekend to make the trip worthwhile. The road takes you past clear mountain lakes and ancient forests. It’s about the journey too, right?

On the way to Tofino it's worth a stop at Cathedral Grove.
Cathedral Grove is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island, some more than 800 years old.

When the weather is perfect and sunny, make your first stop the beach…

Long Beach, Tofino B.C

Next stop; Long Beach Lodge Resort on Cox Bay.  Perfect views called for a glass of wine (or two)

Cox Bay, Tofino B.C. sunset
How this for a view on the first night? @ Cox Bay

Next morning we were up at the crack of dawn to explore the beach at Cox Bay right outside our room. Low tide is ideal for exploring tide pools and the amazing creatures within.

Rocky shoreline on Cox Bay Beach, Tofino B.C.

Bright Pink Sea Anemones at Cox Bay, Tofino B.C.

Bright Green Sea Anemones at Cox Bay, Tofino B.C.

The afternoon was for a whale watching tour with a very knowledgeable fellow named Josh, (from Long Beach Lodge). We saw migrating grey whales, a community of sea lions and many assorted sea birds . Dinner was seafood (of course) at a popular restaurant; The Wolf and the Fog. (be sure to make a reservation in advance)

Potato Crusted Oysters @ Wolf in the Fog restaurant, Tofino, B.C.
Potato Crusted Oysters @ Wolf in the Fog restaurant, Tofino, B.C.

The next day we were up early again to catch low tide, the best time for beach combing.  Franks Island at Chesterman’s Beach is the spot the locals recommend for the best tide pool exploring. I can’t describe the peaceful feeling of being there with the morning light mirrored in the sand and the sound of the waves pounding the shore.

South Chesterman's Beach, Tofino B.C.
Sunrise @ South Chesterman’s Beach, Tofino
South Chesterman's Beach, Tofino B.C.
Pure peace…
Franks Island, Tofino B.C.
Franks Island, Tofino B.C.
Starfish and Sea Anemones at Franks Island, Tofino
Starfish and Sea Anemones at Franks Island, Tofino

Starfish and sea Anemones at Franks Island, Tofino

My weekend wardrobe was simple. My Rejuvenate Tights roll up into the corners of the suitcase. Just before leaving I fold my bamboo tunics on top of everything else.  In my room they’re the first thing to unpack and hang up. I’m wearing the Cordova Tunic in teal in the photos below.

Diane Kennedy clothing's Cordova Tunic and Rejuvenate Legging @ Chesterman's Beach, Tofino

Diane Kennedy clothing's Cordova Tunic and Rejuvenate Legging @ Chesterman's Beach, Tofino

Mackenzie Beach, Tofino

Thanks to my cousin for a lovely weekend and all the photos of me.

 

Love Diane

 

 

Dressing for an Hourglass Shaped Body

We are back with our third installment of our series of blogs about dressing your body shape, today we’re talking about the Hourglass Shape body. If you missed our last two blogs “Dressing for an Apple Shaped Body” and “Dressing for a Pear Shaped Body” do click on the links and have a look!

Apple, Pear, Hourglass, and Rectangle Body shape

You’re most likely an Hourglass shape if: 

  • Your hips and bust are about the same measurement
  • Your waist is well defined
  • You have a medium to large bust

My oh my, aren’t you a lucky lady!  The Hourglass shape is considered the most coveted of female body shapes and is also the least common. Only 8% of women have a true hourglass shape.  If you do have this shape, showing off your curves is easy with the right clothing.  No, this doesn’t mean squeezing into a restrictive corset (we’ll gladly leave this daily torture to the Victorians) 

First, start your wardrobe off right with one key element: a properly fitting bra. Just like a clear, even complexion is the perfect base for your daily makeup routine, a good bra is the foundation of your wardrobe—especially for Hourglass shapes who tend to have a larger bust.  Many speciality lingerie stores have trained staff to help you find the best fit; this is an indispensable service that will most likely improve how your tops look and fit your body.

Don’t waste your waist!

Now that “the girls” are sitting pretty, don’t hide out in baggy or oversized clothes! It’s important to wear clothes that have some shape so you don’t miss an opportunity to show off your best feature.  Wrap style tops are always a great choice for your figure, the difference is you can probably wear them a little bit closer fitting that other body types.  While we know we’ve recommending this tunic for most body types, our Renew Wrap is a super flattering choice for an hourglass as well. Plus we have a new tunic (coming soon) with a similar silhouette called It’s a Wrap:

A great top for an Hourglass shape; It's Wrap Tunic

Our Recharge Vest is a great way to nip in the waist while still maintaining ease over the hips and your curvy silhouette.

An outfit for an hourglass shape body, Diane Kennedy Recharge Vest and Flex Pants

 

Another lovely top for emphasizing your shape is the Thurlow Tunic, here in Raisin. (and PS, it’s on sale too)

A great top for an Hourglass shape; Thurlow Tunic in Raisin

My best advice? Love your body and celebrate your Hourglass shape by choosing clothing that shows off and compliments your curves. Naturally draping fabrics like Bamboo are a great choice for you!

If you have any questions or comments about dressing your body, no matter what shape you are, we are here to help you!

XOX Barb