Welcome back Barb; Diane Kennedy Style

When you’ve been in business for 14 years, you get to meet and work with people from all walks of life. Sometimes they come, sometimes they go, and sometimes you get lucky and they come back around again. Flashback five years ago to our former studio on Railway Street; Barb came to work with us for a time. She had been the owner of the original Bodacious store on Main Street where a lot of our Diane Kennedy brand was sold. It seemed like a natural progression to hire someone that was already so familiar with our brand. That was then, and same goes now.

 I’m so excited to announce that we have Barb back on staff here.  Just chatting with her over lunch today about her favourite Diane Kennedy pieces, all of which she still has from at least 6 years ago. Her favs are the Rejuvenate legging and the Gotta Have It Jacket.  Being a plus size woman as well as a plus size retailer for so many years, she has a keen understanding of women’s bodies and issues around buying clothes.  She’s a plus size fit expert! 

Barb in Diane Kennedy's Evidence Tunic

Barb loves fashion and isn’t afraid to push the limits of her own style. Her favourite thing to do is take a classic style and find a way to make it uniquely her own. She loves the comfort and cut of Diane Kennedy clothing because there’s really nothing quite like the way bamboo drapes and flows to flatter any body type. More than anything she enjoys sharing her joy of beautifully made clothes with our customers. Helping someone discover a colour or cut that just works for their personality AND body type is where the true joy comes from for Barb and she says there’s nothing better than watching someone’s face light up when they try something on that really, truly fits their body and sense of style.

We asked Barb to pick out a few new favourites from our Spring collection and model them for us.

Barb's wearing the Adventure jacket over the Clever Cami and Smarty Pant
Barb’s wearing the Adventure jacket over the Clever Cami and Smarty Pant
Barb looks awesome in our Diane Kennedy Evidence Tunic and solid Bamboo leggings with her own vintage Fluevogs
Barb looks awesome in our Diane Kennedy Evidence Tunic and solid Bamboo leggings with her own vintage Fluevogs
Diane Kennedy Soft Shirt with the Rejuvenate Legging in Black Polka Dots
Soft Shirt with the Rejuvenate Legging in Black Polka Dots


If you’ve never crossed paths with Barb, perhaps you will be lucky enough to experience her warm and enthusiastic energy when you come by to shop. Or, possibly, Barb will be the one to help you when you need customer service. 

Welcome back to our team, Barb! 

Diane Kennedy, eco-fashion, plus size clothing, made in canada,

Don’t miss out we’ve extended our Past Season Sale this week, we’re offering 20% off our sale section here!

Cutting Remarks

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Lately, I’ve been making a concentrated effort to notice what plus-size women are wearing. Not that I don’t always naturally notice, but I guess what’s catching my eye is that, while they’re wearing clothes that fit, they’re wearing clothes that don’t fit them properly.

That’s not the fault of the woman wearing the garment—it’s the fault of the garment’s creator. Because, while there’s a lot more choice out there for plus- size women, I don’t see manufacturers putting in the effort and expense to actually design, and then cut patterns, for the larger sizes. And that’s what makes all the difference.

When I’m designing clothing, I am thinking about the plus-size woman and what I have to do to make her look good. When I have that design finished, I move on to the smaller sizes. So I start big and get smaller. Most designers do the opposite. They finish a design, and then just extrapolate the measurement upwards. That approach just doesn’t always work.

Designers have to actually think about the larger woman’s body. She has a bigger bust, and a proportionately bigger bicep. Her forearms and wrists are larger. Her calves and thighs are larger. If she’s an apple shape, her stomach will be larger. If she’s a pear shape, her rear end will be bigger.

The larger woman is less likely to tuck in her tops. So she doesn’t need stiff, tight waistbands, and she doesn’t want waists that are too high, or too low. My waistbands fit very smoothly, and they fall at the natural waist.

Necklines are another issue. In larger women, you have to nudge up the necklines a little. It’s wonderful to go out at night with lots of cleavage, but most women don’t want cleavage at work, at school, at the playground or the grocery store.

I thought I’d speak about this issue now, because a lot of mainstream designers are starting to jump on the plus-size ‘bandwagon’. Which is fine—it’s smart business. But if they’re going to do that, they have to think first. You can’t just take one of your size 6 best-sellers and make it a size 18. It might fit that size 18 woman, but it probably won’t fit her properly. So designers need to consider their customers’ figures while they’re still at their drawing boards. Because the idea is to provide all women with comfortable clothes that will make them feel and look great.


Unveiling the Newest Addition to our Team: Barb Wilkins!

Our office is a noticeably livelier place these days with the addition of Barb Wilkins. Formerly of Bodacious, the ‘Mecca’ for plus size gals in Vancouver, Barb is heading up our international sales and offering her expertise to our team. Together we are brewing up some fabulous new projects that soon will be revealed… Welcome Barb!!!

 Many of you already know her, certainly all you curvy girls from Vancouver! But for those of you that don’t…

 The story of BARB:

 She has a voice that gets attention, a warm presence, and an unmistakable style. Barb is a multitalented chick, a Boomchick even! A singer and mandolin player, Barb is a member of several local bands, including the all-girls group Boomchix. She is the deeper counterpoint to the lush harmonies in this alt-country roots rock band. Playing shows regularly around our fair city, check out their all-original music here or go see Boomchix live! (You can also catch Barb in a band with her husband, called Wichita Trip.)

 Barb is a natural when it comes to selling Diane Kennedy. The Bodacious girls have carried Diane Kennedy in their store on Main Street for years, so she is no stranger to selling the line. Thanks to Barb and her business partner Lorna, we enjoy a loyal following in this city. (We were, ahem, #1 in their store!) Personally I love how Barb adds her edgy, alt-country style to my designs, proving that style comes from a very personal place.

“I like to dress like a cowboy…with big honkin’ boots and large silver rings! Today I’m wearing my Diane Kennedy ‘Gallery Tunic’ with a seriously distressed denim mini skirt and Diane Kennedy bamboo leggings. I’m totally addicted to these leggings—they let me get away with my love of short skirts! I completed this look with my favorite stacked-heel cowboy boots. I just can’t get enough of chunky boots!”

When asked to share her best picks of the Diane Kennedy Spring 2011 collection, Barb was quick to rave about the ‘Studio Zip’. “It’s the perfect weight for this cooler-than-average spring—AND the length is perfect, the collar is cute open or closed, and I can show off my big silver belt buckle!” She also loves the ‘Tiffany Skirt’ for its versatility and the unique design that gives it movement and interest—great for everyday and on stage.

 Next on Barb’s agenda? Bringing Diane Kennedy eco-boutique fashions to the rest of the world! (And writing and performing a Diane Kennedy theme song…)

 A big thank-you to Barb and all our loyal fans out there! We’ll be updating you regularly on our latest and greatest, so to keep up, please ‘like’ us on Facebook! You’ll be the first to get the insider scoop on coupons for on-line shopping as well as local shopping parties!