Embroidery Threads – Inspired Design

img_0603If you read my blog a couple months ago, you may know our 2016 Fall/Winter collection for Diane Kennedy was inspired by our beautiful city of Vancouver.  When I decided to use Vancouver as the aesthetic anchor point for this collection,  there was one building in particular that I definitely wanted to draw inspiration from, The Marine Building.  Once considered the tallest skyscraper in the city, The Marine Building is a breathtaking architectural beauty; covered inside & out with gorgeous Art Deco style, marine-themed imagery built right into the facade. I knew that I had to include it in this collection. It was the many intricate details in the architecture that prompted me to turn it into a beautiful form of textile art; embroidery.


The activities of the new season begins with inspiration boards, colour ideas and reference pictures.  Later come choices such as design bodies and fabric.  My design assistant, Tatyana, having a lovely talent for drawing, helped take this marvellous inspiration we had amassed and turn it into a assortment of sketches. We then turned to a local Embroidery company to turn our vision into reality. It’s always important to me to support local businesses.

I want to share our evolution from inspiration to sketch, through the embroidery process, all the way to the final garment with you.

The Alberni Tunic

Named after a street in Coal Harbour (the neighborhood where The Marine Building is located), The Alberni Tunic is as modern & urban as its namesake. It features a crew neck as well as an asymmetrical, contrasting hem and handy pocket. The striking melange of bold geometric shapes and  stylized imagery from the brass elevator doors of the Marine Building became the basis for this feature embroidery design. The pocket was the perfect place to add this special detail.




The Renfrew Tunic


A new take on one of our comfiest shirts, The Soft Shirt, our Renfrew Tunic has the same fit and a wider placket, featuring a touch of elegant embroidery. We chose to take inspiration from the Marine Building’s striking facade and created a vertical image similar to those surrounding the main entrance doors.  The Merlot colourway features black embroidery, while the black features a more subtle antique silvery taupe thread.



The Pendrell Tunic – Coming Soon!


The Pendrell Tunic is a new design this season which features some of our signature asymmetrical details at the neckline, seaming and hemline. The built-in side ‘scarf’ became the placement for another inspired embroidery design. Among the marine images on the building was a particularly beautiful image of a bird, we think a partridge.  We decided to use a more recognisable bird that is a frequent visitor to the coast of Vancouver, The Great Blue Heron. So here we combined the details of the architecture and our stately bird into our final design.  Vancouver can boast as home to North America’s largest urban colonies of the Pacific Great Blue Herons, but indeed Herons are common all along the Pacific coast.

This tunic will be available for purchase Mid-November!



We hope you enjoy these tunics and our lovely embroidery as much as we enjoyed designing them!
Check out these tunics and all our New Arrivals here!

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


Vancouver Inspires!

Vancouver Like all creatives, fashion designers look at what’s around them to inspire them in their craft. It’s no different here at Diane Kennedy, and we’ve never been shy about how much we love the city around us. This coming season, we’ve chosen our gorgeous city of Vancouver as inspiration for our 2016 Fall/Winter Collection. To prepare our fans for our upcoming collection, we’re taking a moment to share some of our Vancity-inspirations.

Despite the bustling modern vibe of Downtown Vancouver, there’s also a rich history of strong architecture in a few of the buildings. One such building, located in the Financial District, is renowned for its Art Deco details and was once the tallest building in the British Empire.

Behold, The Marine Building.

Marine Building Int Ext

At 321 feet & 22 floors on its opening in 1930, The Marine Building on Burrard Street was considered the tallest skyscraper in the city until 1939.

Marine Build Now Then

Aptly named, the building’s aesthetic evokes the image of a large stony peak rising from the sea, covered in nautical flora and fauna. Carved into the walls and brass doors are ocean scenes intermingled with modes of transportation at the time, such as horses and dirigibles.

Marine Building Details

We love the Art Deco style of this building so much that it inspired us to introduce a new detail for Fall; embroidery! You heard it here, first; we’ve created a few lovely Deco-inspired embroidered pieces for the Fall, one of which leads us into our next inspiration…


One of the most popular tourist spots in Vancouver, Stanley Park and its portion of the sea wall is home to many breathtaking views, foliage and wildlife.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of strolling along the seawall has noticed the ubiquitous heron. With over 100 active nests, Stanley Park is home to one of North America’s largest urban colonies of the Pacific Great Blue Herons, an endangered species.

Sea Wall Heron

Because Diane Kennedy is all about Green Living and the preservation of the environment, we wanted to encompass the beauty of Vancouver’s nature and thought the heron would make a lovely embroidered detail.

Diane Kennedy has always been inspired by nature and this latest collection is obviously no different! Our Fall collection colour palette will recall our temperate West Coast Fall/Winter seasons with our favourite tones like merlot, teal, plum and our new items will be named after famous Vancouver streets; Coming soon, look for items like the Georgia Tunic, Robson Cowl, and Arbutus Wrap!

It’s our way of showing homage to the city we love!

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