Shooting Diane Kennedy Style

Once and awhile, we like to pull back the fabric of our operation and show off some of the behind the scenes efforts that contribute to our success. We thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about our photography while giving you a sneak peek on what’s in store for us! It’s no secret that Diane Kennedy proudly produces a fashion line that feels as good as it looks on every body. One of the best ways we can demonstrate that fact is with photoshoots aimed at showing off how our style looks on real bodies. It’s the best way of showing off our dedication to the Plus Size movement, after all!

At the beginning of 2016, Diane decided she wanted the freedom and ability to schedule shoots whenever she wished, without having to coordinate with or work around another photographer’s schedule. With efficiency and creativity in mind, Diane made the executive decision to acquire the necessary equipment to build a photography studio in our space. The best part? It could be easily struck up & down, where ever needed! A few weeks later, we hit the ground running and shot/edited our first catalogue shoot using our own equipment entirely. It was such a great experience, we were hooked. It’s such a pleasure to be able to see the raw images on the same day!

Since Diane started her line, she’s enjoyed the luxury of being able to reach out to her social circle to find women to represent her line. Over the course of last year, we made a pointed effort to write more blogs and provide more images that truly illustrates Diane’s passion for well-tailored, comfortable fashion. We wrote blogs and scheduled photoshoots with “civilians” (non-professional models), in an effort to showing our diversity and accessibility.

We want to think outside the box and use models that are “real”; not the fashion industry’s idea of “Plus Size”. Once and awhile, even our hard working designer puts down her fabric samples to don a tunic or two for us!

Enter Shelly; She’s our first photoshoot of the year and a perfect choice. A good friend of Diane’s and a fashionista herself, she is an avid Diane Kennedy aficionado, so we were lucky that she was available at the time. Within days, we had a photoshoot planned and ideas for upcoming style blogs. We had a few sample items that we just got in and we couldn’t wait to shoot with them, so this was the great opportunity to get some shots in the bag before gearing up for our Spring/Summer Catalogue shoot in a few weeks.

The photoshoot was an absolute joy. Shelly is a boisterous soul with a cheerful, kind personality and it’s no wonder she and Diane get along so well.

It was a rare pleasure to see Diane in her “natural habitat”, casually chatting with her girlfriend while she supervised styling and joking around with her in between shots.

Shelly is such a lover of fashion that it was a delight listening to her share her thoughts on body positivity and how Diane Kennedy pieces fit into her life.

We look forward to not only sharing the final photoshoot images, but Shelly’s insights, as well. Stay tuned!

Don’t Miss Out! Flex Pant Pre-Orders available

Last year we did a survey and many of you asked for pants in more colours.  So right now, we’re currently taking Pre-orders for a very favourite DK item, The Flex Pant and Petite Flex pant! Our Spring production is well underway and we’re excited about making this special order opportunity happen for you, our wonderful customers.


If you haven’t heard about our Flex pant, let me tell you its available in Petite & Regular lengths, and it’s been our best-seller for many years. We never change it! It’s the straight leg version of our also very popular Serene Pant (the leg is wider), once you try on a pair of these bottoms, you’ll never want to take them off! What makes these pants so special? It’s simple. They feel like wearing pyjamas all day YET, they still give you that polished look that you want for everyday, for work or going out somewhere special.

 

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Our Flex Pant is made using a luxurious 12 oz bamboo blend that has become a signature fabric choice for Diane Kennedy. It has an unparalleled soft texture and forgiving stretch that ensures comfortable, long-lasting wear. All our garments are 100% manufactured in Vancouver, Canada using the highest ethical standards.

For Spring we’re pleased to offer you this selection of colours available right now to special order. Please note these colours will mostly not be available after this offer.

 

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Our Flex Pant has an inseam of approximately 30.5″ while our Petite Flex Pant sizing is  2.5″ shorter in the inseam at about 28″. Pre-Order by placing an order online for your requested size & it will be shipped to you as soon as stock arrives in our warehouse! Please note we are expecting this to take about 4-6 weeks after the final order date of January 15th.

If you have any questions or suggestions for us, please feel free to e-mail us @ info[at]dianekennedy[dot]ca. We’re always happy to assist!

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Add Some Bamboo To Your Boxing Week

As Christmas approaches this weekend and we “wrap up” gift giving for the Holiday Season, spend some Me-time treating yourself to a few pieces of comfy bamboo clothing to layer through the Winter. With Boxing Day being more like Boxing Week, we want to make sure you have enough time to browse through our collection and make some choice decisions!

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From December 22-31st, we’re offering 25% off most everything online! Excluding bottoms & select items, our online shop will be offering our line at amazing prices. This is a great opportunity to try out some items you’ve had your eye on or stock up on favourites, like our Playful Tunic…

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…Or if you’re like us, you love how smart a coordinating set looks and our Classic Covet Zip & Fifth Avenue Cami are a perfect match!

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The Fifth Avenue Cami is wonderful for layering. With a comfortable, tailored fit (without being too snug), the scoop neck is flattering but not distracting. Delicate gathers on the straps adds subtle detail to a fabulous outfit staple.

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The Covet Zip is a deceptively simple, yet elegant jacket to pair with our Fifth Avenue Cami. We’ve designed it with 3/4 length sleeves, smooth lines and hidden inseam pockets. We also added a princess seam in the back for a slim silhouette.

The forgiving fabric allows for great range of movement across your back and through the bicep, providing a stylish, comfortable look.

 

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A departure from our usual signature bamboo, our Embossed Fabric is a unique and beautiful jacquard knit fabric with  a gorgeous raised pattern.

Our premium Canadian-made fabric is 90% Polyester / 10% Lycra

 

 

 

As with all our garments, we can proudly boast that our clothes are manufactured entirely in Canada and we support local/Canadian businesses in our production.

 

 

 

 

We hope you enjoy the coming holiday weekend with your loved ones!

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Click here to see the Playful Tunic in all colours/sizes available
Click here to see the Covet Zip in all colours/sizes available
Click here to see the Fifth Avenue Cami in all colours/sizes available

Click here to see our whole Boxing Day Collection!

Addressing Plus Sizes

tim-gunn1Tim Gunn, Fashion Design educator turned “Project Runway” co-host, recently wrote an opinion piece addressing the unfortunate lack of representation for a market that is 100 million strong and growing. He cites the common belief in the Fashion Industry that there is no interest; Interest from the designers and interest from the public. Gunn fires back that there is a lack of imagination and drive to design for Plus Sizes and he believes that this is not a problem with the customer, but a design failure within the industry.

We agree with his stance and also believe that there is interest for Plus Size representation and size inclusivity. Regardless of what fashion designers want to think and what body type they want to design for, there would be no industry without customer patronage. It doesn’t matter how lovely that size 0 ensemble looks on the runway if, ultimately, only a small percentage of people can fit in it and look good.

According to Washington State University, the average American woman wears between size 16-18.  A ModCloth survey further discovers that a majority of Plus Size women often feel frustrated and excluded when shopping for clothes. Many would gladly spend more on clothing, if they were offered more varied selection and trendier options. Despite this, the variety of styles available for Plus sizing is much smaller than what is available for sizes 2-4 and most retailers stop at size 12. By truncating size runs like this, you alienate a population that is spending money at an exponential rate ($20.4 billion, a 17% growth from 2013).

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Our designer, Diane Kennedy, understands this concept all too well. In an interview she gave Trusted Clothing this past year, she had this to say about the shopping experience for Plus Size women:

ReversibleOutfit_1_MG_9421“When I began research for my brand, I came across some very telling comments from women in our target market. It quickly became clear that Plus Size women wanted to shop for the same clothing and brands that are readily available in regular sizes. It was dismaying for them to have to shop in the back corner of the top floor of a department store. These women wanted the respect of not being treated differently because of size.

And so, it became my mission to focus on providing a fashion line geared towards great fit  on both plus and regular sizes.”

By ensuring we only carry our line through respectable retailers, in addition to offering our showroom to shop by appointment, we hope that we can give the Plus Size community a fashion brand that truly understands their needs. Which leads us into a couple final points in Gunn’s article that we wanted to reflect upon, regarding fit.

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Gunn believes that fashion should be about clothes that all women want to wear and we agree, too! He speaks of a harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape. He recommends that designs be re-conceived, not simply sized up. We absolutely love that he made this point because it has been the heart of Diane’s design process since the brand started.

As he goes on to mention, garments look best when they skim the curves, rather than hugging or cascading over the body.  Diane always keeps this in mind when designing her pieces. When creating garments with plus sizes in mind, it’s important to think about the curvier woman’s proportions. For example, she will likely have a much more ample bust and proportionately bigger biceps. From shoulders and forearms to calves and thighs, these areas will be proportionally larger. Body types need to be addressed, too.

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If she’s an apple shape, her stomach will be larger. If she’s a pear shape, her bum will be bigger. Something that few “regular size”  pattern makers think about is that the width (from the side) changes dramatically as well. In response to these specialised sizing needs, Diane always make a separate pattern for plus sizes. It’s important to do this for optimal fit!

In fact, while many designers design their line around Regular sizes first, we do the opposite. Here, once we have a design that addresses all fit concerns, Diane will move on to the smaller sizes. At Diane Kennedy we make two patterns for every clothing item that we design. One pattern that fits regular sizes and another that fits plus sizes. Each pattern is then fitted on a real person in each size range, to ensure the garment looks perfect on every size.

We love Tim Gunn’s opinion piece and it certainly validates that our brand is among the forerunners, supporting a growing community that the Fashion industry misguidedly disrespects in their lack of choice.

What do you think of Plus Size representation in the industry? Are you satisfied? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Taking Your Time To Explore Slow Fashion

Now that we’ve had a chance to explain what “Fast Fashion Is” in our last blog, we want to take our time explaining the other side to this, where the grass is greener. The positive opposition to “Fast Fashion” which Diane Kennedy holds as an important business model. A concept aptly named, “Slow Fashion”.

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To encourage needless spending, the Fashion Industry thrives on the concept of “Buy to toss”. Slow Fashion turns this concept around and defines itself by giving proper value and weight to a product through its slower, more deliberate production process – from design to finished garment. Our clothes are flattering and versatile; standing apart from passing trends and exemplifying classic style . By sourcing high quality fabrics and designing for exceptional fit across a wide range of sizes, we create looks that are not only beautiful, but ageless.

As a Canadian company that prides itself on making Eco-Ethical conscious choices, we recognize that our business is interconnected with our environment & the globe’s social structure. It is our responsibility to make business decisions accordingly, in order to lessen the negative impact our choices have on our earth.  By simply decreasing the volume and frequency of fashion production and ensuring it is managed with a certain level of standards, we can be sure that our participation in the industry does not leave unnecessary pressure on our global community or the earth’s natural regeneration cycle. Furthermore, by supporting local factories that uphold codes of conduct, instead of hiring overseas production, we encourage the fair treatment of workers and cut back on harmful emissions/waste in producing & importing from a foreign country. We are also dedicated to using local materials and resources when able, to support the development of local businesses and skills.

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When you purchase a piece of Slow Fashion like our sustainable bamboo garments, what you’re buying will not be an “impulse buy” because of a “good deal”. What you’re buying is the idea that your style reflects a sense of creative individuality, in addition to your willingness to act responsibly with how and where you spend your money. By spending more and buying less, you understand the correlation between material & labour quality, how it relates to style longevity, and its socio-ecological impact on our earth. Instead of filling your closet with clothes you may never wear more than once or twice, you’ll collect a cohesive, timeless wardrobe, while supporting fair wages and the sourcing of sustainable production methods.

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