The Devel Branded Pinup Shorts

The Devel Branded Pinup Shorts

Summer is arriving in the southern hemisphere, and it’s bringing BOOTY SHORT WEATHER!

Winter really isn’t my jam and I’m excited to swap my jeans and jumpers for short shorts and crop tops. In fact, I might swap some of my hard earned cash for the most perfect pair of bootie shorts I’ve ever tried on.

The Devel Branded Pinup Shorts

The Pinup Shorts from Devel Branded are vintage inspired,  high waisted and hard working. But that’s not even the best part. Danielle of Devel designed these shorts to give you the perfect, peachy, heart shaped butt! My derriere has never looked perkier than it does in these shorts.

Now if you’ve read my Vivien of Holloway Swing Trouser review, you’ll know I despise bulky front zips. The Pinup Shorts sport a discreet invisible zip in the back, leaving the front nice and smooooooth. Shaped by front and back darts the shorts taper into a flat waistband, while a cuffed hem accentuates the shape of your cutie patootie.

Oh, and they have a back patch pocket that’s big enough to hold my phone!


Sewn in practical dark indigo denim, these are the kind of shorts that survive a week of camping without looking any worse for wear.
At $159 NZD they’re more expensive I’d usually spend on summer denim, but are around the same price as Pinup Girl Clothing or Vivien of Holloway shorts once you take into account the exchange rate and shipping. ( Plus they’re made to measure so you know they’re going to fit!)

So while the Pinup Shorts will set you back the same amount of dough as three pairs of Glassons cut-offs, there’s a few thing you need to keep in mind…

  1. These will outlast cheap one season shorts, meaning you’ll never need to buy those three pairs. I’ve had a pair of denim shorts literally tear from the pocket edge to the waistband after a couple of wears, not exactly a great investment.
  2. They’re ethically made and support a local small business. ( So your cash isn’t supporting sweat shops, child labour or environmentally dodgy practices.) This is important to me because I’m making an effort to shop more consciously by supporting brands that share my values.
  3. Did I mention they’re made to measure? IE. will fit your curves like a glove, no pulling, squishing or baggy waistbands here!

Just look at that tushy!

Outfit Details

Pinup Shorts | Devel Branded
Rosie Shirt | Devel Branded
Shoes | Doc Martens
Bandanna | Discount Store


With Style & Sass,

     Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Food That Makes Memories | My Favourite Festive Recipes

Food That Makes Memories | My Favourite Festive Recipes

Christmas is one of those times that can really divide people. The Christmas carol lovers vs the Grinches, the maximists from the minimalists and the restrained vs the festive feasters. But celebratory preferences aside, for most of us it’s a time of traditions, memories and people we love even if they drive us crazy.

I fall on the “more is more” side of Christmas. Overwhelming decorations, Christmas carols 24/7 and pass that second bowl of trifle thanks! I got this obsessive festive joy from my Mum, whose Christmas decor looks like an editorial in Home & Garden ( even if that did mean redecorating our childhood tree in the night after we mashed the ornaments on!). And it’s not Christmas until she brings out a massive plate of glossy chocolate dipped strawberries.

Christmas pinup Velvet DeCollete shares the classic Kiwi dishes that make her Christmas memories

Food is inextricably linked to my memories of family events, with reoccurring dishes defining birthdays, holidays and seasons. While ham and turkey are great, for me these are the festive foods that make Christmas, Christmas. As Kiwi as Pohutakawa and Boxing Day BBQ’s. Like a Labrador I don’t know when to stop eating, overindulging until I have to lie on the floor because my stomach is crushing my internal organs! But even then there’s probably room for a wafer thin mint, a tiny little thin one

 

Lolly Cake

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

If you’ve ever been to a bakery or a birthday party in New Zealand, you’ve seen lolly cake. This humble no bake slice is uncomplicated, easy to make and while it’s not classy, it’s a classic. My Nana has been making this for god knows how long. It’s not a special occasion without her producing at least one wax paper wrapped log, usually two. I can reliably tell the date in December by it’s appearance in the fridge.

While recipes may vary slightly depending on the family, the most common recipe is something like this one from Foodlovers. I remember using a can to crush the biscuits in a big metal bowl as a kid – no food processor required!

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

 

Steamed Pudding

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

Steamed pudding comes in various flavours, but this is the one I wolf down every December. ( Well, the closest recipe I can find anyway, I have a photocopy of my Nan’s recipe but the cursive handwriting is intelligible ).

Firm, moist, spiced and sweet this is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE festive treat. While it’s traditionally served warm with custard I’m quite happy slicing off a chunk and eating it cold while helping in the kitchen. Stuffed with fruit it’s an energy rich snack in my opinion! Best of all it’s actually best to make this plum pudding at least a month in advance. It gets better with age and is one less thing you have to do during the silly season!

 

Pavlova

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

Love it or hate it, it wouldn’t be a NZ Christmas without a marshmallowy, crispy shelled pav piled with whipped cream and fruit. And if you’re an Aussie – you’re dreamin’ mate, it’s Kiwi as. As Kiwi as Edmonds, whose recipe book and it’s pavlova recipe are a quintessential gift for New Zealanders leaving the nest.

At least one of my aunties brings a pavlova to Christmas every year. The sugary clouds of meringue challenge even my sweet tooth to handle more than one generous slice, but you can’t resist a second helping. Strawberries are my ideal topping, balancing the sweetness with their tart summery taste. That and I’m not a huge fan of the traditional Pavlova dressing – kiwifruit – eurgh.

 

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

Chocolate + strawberries are a no brainer right? This classic combo makes me nostalgic for lazy Christmas brunches at my Mum’s house. Plates piled high with fruit, muffins and fresh bread, wrapping paper everywhere and new books to read. No matter where I am these have a direct line to my memories and stomach.

The recipe is so basic it’s not even a recipe. Melt chocolate over a low heat ( I like Whittakers ), dip your strawberries in and sit them on a wax paper covered tray to set in the fridge!

Christmas pinup Velvet DeCollete shares the classic Kiwi dishes that make her Christmas memories

Food Photography | As linked
Pinup Photography | Bay Glamour
Find more of this domestic pinup photoshoot in the September ’17 issue of Delicious Dolls Magazine.

I’m off to wrap gifts and sing along to White Christmas now, but I’d love to know what your festive foods and traditions are! Please share your Christmas classics in the comments below, on this post on my Facebook page, or on Instagram!

With Style & Sass,

     Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, 0 comments
Cuba Libre | A Pinup’s Guide to Cuba

Cuba Libre | A Pinup’s Guide to Cuba

So everyone knows I traveled to Cuba last October. Mostly because I won’t shut up about it ( Sorry not sorry). A year on, with more travel options becoming available to the Caribbean island I’ve been inundated with questions about what it’s really like as a tourist there. With the political changes since my visit some things will have changed, but hopefully most will still be relevant!

While everyone’s experiences will be different, I’ve collated a list of what I loved, hated, and think you should know before your Cuban adventure. As a pinup some of these things might not apply to non-pinups, but most of it will.

A Pinup’s Guide to Travelling in Cuba

  • Don’t Drink the Water

    I repeat, don’t drink the water. Drinking water with unfamiliar bacteria can give you an upset stomach and a few people on my tour got sick. Luckily bottled water is easy to find and relatively cheap. Our tour guide also pointed out which drinks commonly contained tap water or ice made from tap water to help us avoid illness (local knowledge goes a long way). It might be a good idea to consider if foods like fruit and raw vegetables have been washed in unfiltered water too.
    I tried to avoid illness by introducing my body to it slowly by brushing my teeth with tap water every night, and I didn’t get sick, but that’s just me. I still wouldn’t have drunk water out of the tap. I did drink this heavenly sugar cane juice near Trinidad. Highly recommend it.

  • Money Honey

    Money can be tricky in Cuba. You can only exchange your money for CUC’s when you arrive, and there are extra costs associated with exchanging American Dollars. American credit cards like Mastercard and Amex won’t work in Cuba, and some travel cards (including Onesmart if you’re from NZ) won’t either.
    Taking Canadian Dollars, British Pounds or Euros and exchanging them at the airport in Havanna seems to be the easiest and most reliable option.

  • Communication

    Don’t expect everyone to speak English. While Cubans speak Spanish, they speak it with fast a strong accent. I have very, very basic Spanish and understood almost nothing that was said to me haha. Most of the hospitality staff spoke at least a little English, but the Casa owners often didn’t. This isn’t a massive issue if you’re on a tour with an English speaking guide to look after you, but it is nice ( and polite) to know at least “hello, please, thank you” and how to order a mohito.

  • Health and Safety

    Safety Regulations aren’t as strict in Cuba as they are in most developed Western Countries. I found this actually made my trip more fun, but I feel OSH goes a bit overboard on most things these days. Don’t be surprised if there’s no handrail on the stairs, a hole in the floor of the elevator and no 30 minute safety briefing before your cave excursion. Common sense is expected.

  • Keep it Clean

    If you only take one piece of advice, it’s this. Always carry tissues, toilet paper or wet wipes, and hand sanitiser. Public toilets, and even restaurant and bar toilets, often don’t have toilet paper. Sometimes you can buy it outside, but it’s best to carry your own just to be safe.
    You can’t flush anything down most toilets there either, so just be prepared to put paper and hygiene products in the bin next to it.
    Feminine products can be very hard to find in Cuba, so be well stocked if there’s any chance you might need them.

  • Bathroom Basics

    The Casa Particulars I stayed in all had nice bathrooms, always very clean but sometimes very small. Showers will often be cold and have low water pressure. You get used to it, and it makes it super exciting when you find one with good water pressure! Sometimes the hairdryers will be cold too, so take your own if you require perfect hair every day. I was so sweaty I washed or at least rinsed my hair daily, and settled for easy updo’s , big sunhats and hair scarves. As a result I’d take more shampoo and conditioner than you’d normally use.
    PS: it’s super hot and often humid, so maybe don’t insist on perfect hair every day.

  • Makeup

    It’s hot. Like, really really hot. Unless you’re used to a hot humid climate chances are your makeup will melt off your face. I gave up on wearing makeup during the day approximately 10 minutes after arriving.
    Makeup at night stands more of a chance, personally I stuck to face powder, eye shadow, liner, waterproof mascara and lipstick. Matte lipstick lasted better ( my gloss finish one basically melted in the tube). Proper foundation just made my skin feel even more gross and sweaty.

  • Protect your skin

    I don’t sunburn easily, and compared to NZ’s harsh sun I didn’t need to go crazy on the sunscreen, but I did find an aerosol sunscreen very handy for walking day tours in blazing sun. However if you have very fair skin, or burn easily you will need it! Some people on my tour were eaten alive by mosquito’s, once again I didn’t have much of an issue myself but it can’t hurt to be prepared with some insect repellent just in case you’re on the mozzie menu.

  • Tours

    I’m 100% glad I went with a tour group. I can’t imagine trying to decipher the in’s and out’s of travelling in Cuba without help! While I went with Locally Sourced Tours and loved being in a small group supporting private Cuban businesses there’s options for whatever your travel tastes are. Our tour guides organised everything, helped us find the shops we wanted to see, stayed out partying with us every night and re-arranged our travel plans disrupted by Hurricane Matthew. They also warned us what would be safe for us to eat / drink and what wouldn’t.

 

Things you expect in Cuba: sunshine, classic cars, old buildings and rum cocktails

 



 

Things you don’t expect: Amazing food, a cinema district and the clash of modern technology with history.




My Favourite Things in Cuba

Swimming in an underground pool in the second level of a cave. Infectious music. The Art Factory gallery turn nightclub. BBQ’d meat and moro (beans and rice) . $2 mohitos. The cave disco in Trinidad. An ocean so warm I can actually walk into it. Mesmerizing art. Constant colour. Hanging out on the Malecon. Dancing in tiny live music venues. 

Tropical painted houses. Ornate buildings that are crumbling on the outside, and beautifully restored casa on the inside



An immense cemetery in Santa Clara full of statues, tombs and monuments

Every form of transport imaginable on the same road
(We’re talking horse and carts, classic cars, men riding oxen, orange shaped taxis, tour buses and aging trucks)

Street life – a little during the day, and A LOT at night

The people. Honestly the people are as warm as the temperature, so passionate, generous and friendly
( I was really slack at taking photos of people, so here’s a snap of two of our tour guides while we were racing bicycle taxis through a city.)

Getting back to Cuba is high on my wishlist, and I hope she hasn’t lost her laid back charm and safe vibe since tourism picked up. If you’ve been recently I’d love to hear about your experiences!

With style & sass,

  Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, 0 comments
Honest Review | Collectif Clothing Juliette Pencil Dress

Honest Review | Collectif Clothing Juliette Pencil Dress

Today we’re talking wiggles. Not the wiggle in your walk and the giggle in your talk, but the Collectif Clothing Juliette wiggle dress.
Being in the Southern Hemisphere we’re coming out of winter as I write this, so I’ve had ample opportunity to test drive this cozy number for our Northern Hemisphere friends!

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

Let’s talk aesthetics first.

The Juliette pencil dress is a green and navy woven ‘chaise check’ (essentially a slightly glitchy looking tile pattern).
A sexy scooped back offsets the high boat neck front. It has a wide fur trim at the hem and a removable fur collar.
It also has a back split, but we’ll talk more about that later.

Overall verdict? It’s a demure yet foxy dress Joan Holloway style dress.

Now on to the serious stuff. How well does the Collectif Juliette dress wear?

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

Fab things about wearing the Juliette pencil dress

  • You feel like a sassy 1960’s martini drinking secretary. That scoop back is all kiiiiiinds of sophisticated sexy.
  • The fur trim is soft and snuggly, and the fur pile is long enough that it feels luxurious.
  • While the dress is unlined, the fabric is soft and non irritating.
  • It’s cooooooooozy. I’m not a fan of winter clothes ( I feel so frumpy all bundled up) but this is flattering and dressy enough that I’ve worn it to formal events and haven’t frozen!
  • It makes your butt look great. seriously. Check it out in the next photo.

Sad things about wearing the Juliette pencil dress

  • It’s a bit big in places. I ordered the size 8, which matched my measurements on the size chart. The Juliette dress is non-stretch fabric, so while some ease is required I find the waist and sleeves a bit looser than they need to be.
  • It’s made for someone taller (I know I’m short, I know ). The sleeves and hem are both too about 4cm too long. Which wouldn’t bother me much except… being a wiggle the Juliette has a slim skirt. When a slim skirt extends too far below the knees it increases the risk of the back split ripping when you walk.
    Which is exactly what happened to me. And then it just kept unravelling until it was dangerously high and I had to put my coat on.
  • The facing DRIVES. ME. NUTS. You can see in the photo below that the neck facing has a naughty habit of riding up above the level of the fur collar. This seems to be because it isn’t tacked down at all, so I can fix it, I just never remember to before I put it on.
  • It’s not easy care. Fur goes a bit gross if you chuck it in the washing machine so this is gentle hand wash or dry clean only.

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim
An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

Outfit Details

Dress | Collectif Clothing Juliette Pencil Dress
Shoes | Remix Vintage Shoes
Glasses | Eyebuy Direct
Earrings | Vintage
Hosiery | Columbine 70 denier pantyhose from Farmers

Photos taken at the Wellington Opera House

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

So there you have it, and honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette dress. As you can see, the pros and cons are fairly even, and while I get a lot of wear out of this dress, the length issues mean I wouldn’t buy another one. I just don’t have the free time to fuss around altering the hem with all that fur in the way!

The Juliette dress is also available in black ( which I bought at the same time as the this one ) and a regal gold and black jacquard. I believe all colourways are on sale right now, so if you want to pick one up now is the time!

With Style & Sass,

      Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
Reading in Lingerie | Miss DeCollete Learns Deportment

Reading in Lingerie | Miss DeCollete Learns Deportment

Hello dear readers, and welcome to the latest installment of my Reading in Lingerie series. This week Miss DeCollete learns deportment, gets distracted by Mills & Boon and discovers the fine art of undressing!

I adore the fresh, innocent vibe of my latest collaboration with Froger, and I’m excited to share a few of my favourite images! We were inspired by the vintage romance novels found in a rural bach.  The kind of flowery romance novels that fill the heads of good girls with dreams of rugged men on the Scottish Moors. The kind of story that distracts a demure 1950’s lass from her deportment guide.

This delightful set of pinup photographs is available in full as a titillating e-book from Froger Photo.

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete reading romance novels
” Reginald unsheathed his…. oh!…. how scandalous!”

Outfit Details

1950s style bra and roll on girdle | House of Satin
Knickers | Pleasure State Lingerie
Knit top | Review Australia
Skirt | Boohoo
Patent High heels | Thrifted
Fully fashioned nylon stockings | Photographers kit

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete wears white lace vintage lingerie and learns the art of undressing
Undressing is an art, especially if one draws pose inspiration from romance novel covers.

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete balances books on her head

Proper posture is so much easier without those pesky restrictive clothes!

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete wears white lace vintage lingerie and sits surrounded by books

What can I say? I like big words and I cannot lie…

If you’re into pinups with books and lingerie, you love my previous Reading in Lingerie Posts!

The Nympho and Other Maniacs
1920's Parisian inspired pinup reading on the stairs in stockings and a beret
New Problems in Medical Ethics
Pinup girl Velvet DeCollete makes a statement, tearing pages from a vintage medical journal with outdated views on women's rights and feminism. Clad in black and gold lingerie and black thigh high stockings and armed with books and knowledge this modern pinup is not to be messed with.

With Style & Sass,

                  Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 comments
Waterfront Style | Vivien of Holloway 1940s Swing Trousers

Waterfront Style | Vivien of Holloway 1940s Swing Trousers

A weekend getaway to windy Wellington requires a practical, yet stylish wardrobe. Something suitable for sunshine with blustery arctic breezes, waterfront strolls and eating waaaaay to much. I’m not one for wearing exercise gear when I’m not, well, exercising, so I opted for the clean lines and practical fabrics of 1940’s swing pants and a button down blouse.

* I wasn’t paid, sponsored or cajoled into writing the following post, just so ya know. However If you would like to sponsor, cajole or otherwise encourage me to review your product or service, please contact me here*

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

I gotta tell you, these trousers are something special. I’m short in the legs, long in the torso and there’s a large disparity between my waist and hip measurements. But the Vivien of Holloway 1940’s swing trousers don’t care.

Apart from being 4cm too long – like every pair of pants ever – they fit beautifully! I’ll be shortening them and widening the cuff in the process, but for this look I was happy to wear a comfortable heel.
Based on a WWII era pattern these swing trousers are ACTUALLY high waisted. As in they go well above my belly button. The wide waistband is firm and doesn’t fold down or scrunch up ( woooohoo!) and front patch pocket is cute, if not overly useful. But what really sold me is the side button closure. Leaving a smooth panel over the stomach, it’s both classic and far more flattering than a bulky front zip.
( Can you tell I’m not a fan of front zips? Why are 90% of pants determined to make one’s tummy look bigger!?)

Pairing these green trousers with navy, off white and chocolate brown felt so right for a brisk oceanfront walk. I’m loving how the emerald green and deep blues reflect the water.

Oh and did I mention the pants are pretty easy care? I’ve just been chucking mine through the washing machine and line drying them. The fabric is durable enough for everyday wear without worrying about damage from pets or rough surfaces, which is great if you’ve got an energetic dog like mine! Wide leg trousers are such a versatile style. Wear them casual with a knit top, or dress them up with a sophisticated blouse and jewellery.

Outfit Details

Trousers | Vivien of Holloway 1940’s Swing Trousers
Blouse | Collectif Clothing – Mona Shirt
Houndstooth Coat | Vintage
Gloves, Hat & Enamel Brooch | Vintage, Tock Tick Vintage
Two Tone Shoes | Remix Shoes – Sydney Heel 

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

Things you might want to know about Vivien of Holloway 1940’s swing trousers…

  • In my experience the poly cotton fabric doesn’t stretch much, so choose your sizing carefully.
  • I’m 5.3″ and these are 4cm too long if I’m wearing flat shoes.
  • I’m wearing the VOH size 10 which nicely defines my 26″ waist. For comparison I normally wear an NZ 6-8 in pants, or an XS in Collectif.
  • The fabric was a bit… crispy? Possibly to hold the front creases while packed? I washed them before wearing to remove the extra starch so they’d hang well.
  • Vivien of Holloway makes swing trousers in at least four fabrics and around a dozen colours, most of which I’d love to add to my wardrobe! Especially the Teal and Ocean colourways.

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 3 comments
Pinup vs Personality | The Story Behind My Beauty School Dropouts Photoshoot

Pinup vs Personality | The Story Behind My Beauty School Dropouts Photoshoot

Maintaining balance in my pinup life is hard.

Earlier this year I met one of my Instagram followers in real life. We chatted for a while, and she said ” Oh my god you’re such a goof! I never would have guessed.” I was floored. How could you not know I’m a total dork?
That night I took a long look at my social media feeds – curated collections of professional photoshoots and event selfies – and realised how. My social media personality was unbalanced.

As a new pinup starting an Instagram profile, maintaining the illusion of  pinup perfection seemed vital. As if real pinups never went barefaced, and people would judge me if they knew I couldn’t wear makeup everyday. But trying to present only one side of my personality created an imbalance.

It’s a like building a house of cards; pay too much attention to one side and the whole tower will topple.

Since creating my social media profiles my concept of pinup has evolved. I’ve relaxed into my own brand of pinup, melding my kooky personality and glamour girl aesthetic. But the idea that I could NEVER post a makeup free selfie stuck, making sharing my daily life a no go. As a result, people who haven’t met me in person probably have NO IDEA what I’m really like.  I wanted to explore this personality vs appearance split in a photoshoot representing the concept.

pinup model Velvet DeCollete explores the two faces of pinup and her personaility in a photoshoot inspired by vintage playing card art - the Joker and the Queen of Hearts

A  deck of cards seemed the perfect analogy – The wildcard Joker and the regal Queen of Hearts packed into one box. A vintage box of course!

Inspired, I started working on pinup outfits inspired by 1950’s playing cards. You can find hundreds of examples on Pinterest , some of them works of art in their own right. The frolicking jesters and jokers below inspired my Joker costume. Aren’t they just darling!?

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The Beauty School Dropouts and photographer Tony McKay  brought my idea to life . Their photoshoot packages offer cheesecake and screen siren posing styles in the same session, so I could shoot both costumes but have continuity in hair and makeup. On the day Miss Monique Sweet helped me get to grips with the cheesecake style so different to my usual alternative and glamour work (she also picked that bubblegum pink backdrop!). Letting my goofy side out in front of the camera was more challenging than I expected!

After choosing my two favourite images, Tony edited them onto vintage playing cards. A harlequin clad Joker and a bombshell Queen of Hearts – two faces of the same deck.

The photos are so cute! The jester set became my campaign images for Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017, with a couple of Queen images making an appearance. I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do with the cards yet, but I’d love to incorporate them into merch of some kind, what do you think? ( Seriously, would you like Velvet merch? Leave me a comment and let me know!)

Bright and crisp, the playing card photoset is markedly different from my other images, and I love how fun they are! Shooting with the Beauty School Dropouts and Tony had a bubbly, female focused environment. Fran working her makeover magic and pose coaching from Miss Viva Las Vegas 20 Monique makes it easy for anyone stepping out of their comfort zone. The photos were processed and delivered SUPER QUICK. 10/10 would shoot with the team again!

Velvet DeCollete is serving mid century jester realness in these cheesecake pinup photos by Tony McKay and the Beauty School Dropouts. Inspired by vintage playing card pin ups Velvet wears a Collectif clothing harlequin playsuit and custom made jester's ruff and frilly cuffs.

Velvet DeCollete is serving mid century jester realness in these cheesecake pinup photos by Tony McKay and the Beauty School Dropouts. Inspired by vintage playing card pin ups Velvet wears a Collectif clothing harlequin playsuit and custom made jester's ruff and frilly cuffs.

Velvet DeCollete is serving mid century jester realness in these cheesecake pinup photos by Tony McKay and the Beauty School Dropouts. Inspired by vintage playing card pin ups Velvet wears a Collectif clothing harlequin playsuit and custom made jester's ruff and frilly cuffs.

Joker Outfit Details

Playsuit | Atomic Harlequin Playsuit from Collectif Clothing (pom poms added by me)
Ruff and frilled cuffs | Velvet DeCollete
Shoes | Number One Shoes ( old collection)
Pom pom shoes clips | Velvet DeCollete
Belt | Forever New
Hair flowers | Fran Robertson Decorator of People & Things

Classic pin up girl velvet decollete poses in a 1950s black swimsuit with red roses while sheltering under a bright red parasol. Her brunette hair is in a poodle 'do with bumper bangs and she wears shiny red high heels

Classic pin up girl velvet decollete poses in a 1950s black swimsuit with red roses while sheltering under a bright red parasol. Her brunette hair is in a poodle 'do with bumper bangs and she wears shiny red high heels

Queen of Hearts Outfit Details

Swimsuit | Thrifted, altered and embellished by me
Shoes | Pinup Couture, bought second hand from Honey L’Amour
Crown in card image | Velvet DeCollete
Bangles | Borrowed from Fran!
Parasol | Gifted

Photography | Tony McKay Studios
Hair & Makeup | The Beauty School Dropouts

 

With Style & Sass,

    Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 comments
Velvet 101 | Frequently Asked Questions About Pinup, Fashion and Shark Attacks

Velvet 101 | Frequently Asked Questions About Pinup, Fashion and Shark Attacks

I love it when people aren’t afraid to ask me questions in person or on social media, curiosity is how we learn! I also know some of you are shy so I thought I’d answer alllllll the questions I get asked in one post.
I’ll update this post when I get new questions so it’s your one stop shop for Velvet 101.

 

I also made this dorky video for ya’ll answering some of the questions.

How did you get into modelling and what was your journey like? – Miss Katie Darling

I got into modelling through burlesque, which I started doing to boost my confidence. I had some photos from shows, and was told I should get in front of the camera more. The idea of pinup modelling appealed to my love of vintage and creating characters and context through style, so I entered a contest to become the ‘face’ of a local pinup photographer. While that didn’t work out well, it did give me a few photos for my portfolio. After a while my now regular photographer Froger asked if I’d like to work together. His alternative take on pinup appealed to me, plus women he’d photographed said he wasn’t a creep, so we organised a shoot and the rest is history!

My modelling journey has been positive. I attribute that largely to being VERY picky about who I work with. If a photographer contacts me and their photographic style doesn’t suit my personal brand, or I get a weird vibe from them, I say no. This means I’ve said no to quite a few people, some take it well and some don’t, but as a result I’ve never felt in danger or taken advantage of at a shoot.
My journey has also been slow. At 5.3″ tall I’m too short for commercial work so carving out my own niche in the small world of alternative and vintage pinup modelling is taking A LOT of work!

How long does it take to do your makeup?

About an hour for makeup and an hour for hair. I’m by no means a professional at either so I’m probably pretty slow. I have super fine, thin curly hair so taming it is always a struggle for me!

If you were a cake, what would you be and why? – Fanciforia Foxglove

I put a lot of thought into this because cake is important to me.
I’d be a carrot cake. Not because I like carrot cake ( I don’t ), but because it has all these weird ingredients that I don’t think should be in cake, but people like it anyway. That’s kinda how I feel about myself, I have lots of weird ingredients but people seem to like me anyway!
PS: eating carrot cake is essentially eating a waldorf salad and a bread roll. bleurgh.

Are your glasses for seeing or for fashion?

For seeing! I have degenerative myopia and astigmatism in both eyes, and can only see clearly for about a 30cm distance. My contact lenses irritate my eyes and can’t completely correct my sight so I only wear them for photoshoots, events and swimming.

modern pinup girl and Miss Pinup New Zealand wearing her large tortoiseshell glasses

 

What’s your favourite red lipstick?

Both my favorite red lipsticks are from New Zealand companies
Bright red – True Love from Karen Murrell
Deep red – Casablanca Luxury Matte from Face Me Makeup

Where and how did you learn to sew? How long have you been sewing?

I’ve been sewing for roughly thirteen years. My mother is a very talented dressmaker so I picked up the basics watching her. I then did one term of fashion technology in high school which was a COMPLETE DISASTER and almost put me off sewing forever! The majority of my learning happened during my fashion design degree which was largely practical work, and from vintage sewing and millinery books which I teach myself from.

What draws you to the silhouettes you tend to use in your outfits? – Mrs Greatnews

I’m drawn to exaggerated or dramatic shapes that hyper feminise or accentuate my curves. So If I’m going for a sleek hourglass shape I’ll choose streamlined, form fitting clothes that nip in at the waist and enhance my shoulders and hips. Or If I’m going for a full skirt, I want the BIGGEST skirt I can get, paired with a fitted top to make it look even bigger.

What’s your Hogwarts House? – Miss Scarlett May

According to the Pottermore quiz I’m a Ravenclaw. I haven’t actually read many of the Harry Potter books, but I do like the movies!

What’s that big scar on your arm from?

Contrary to popular belief it’s not from a bar fight or a shark attack.
I was standing on a wobbly chair to reach something , fell and snapped my elbow joint. The ligaments tore off the bone (taking part of the bone with them) and I needed major reconstructive surgery. Followed by a small surgery to remove some metal parts that were threatening to pierce my skin. I now have metal buttons and wires holding my joint together and a scar half the length of my arm. The photo below is what it looked like when it was stapled up and healing.

How do you deal with your body issues?

Like most women, there are things about my body that I don’t like. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of things about my body and I feel very comfortable naked ( you can read about my nude modelling experience here) , but being a model opens you up to people critiquing your physical appearance. Mean people choose to do this in an unkind way, which can make any insecurities a hundred times worse.

Here’s how I combat those insecurities and negative inner voices. Notice that I say ‘I try’ because there are days when none of this works. Usually when I don’t look after myself or when I’m in a bad mental health space.

1. I try to be realistic about my body and my expectations of it. I can’t make myself taller, fix my sensitive skin or change my features, so I try not to compare myself directly to other people.
2. I try look after myself with exercise, reasonably healthy eating and not too much alcohol. I feel better about my appearance when I’m mentally and physically healthy.
3. I try to surround myself with body positive people. Hanging out with people who constantly put their own bodies down will only make you question your own.
4. I try to be aware of photoshopping in images I see online, in social media and print media. DO NOT think that everyone looks perfect in real life.
5. I try to remember that I am more than my body. Emotion, poise and style play a huge part in successful modelling.

Would you rather be attacked by a shark or mauled by a bear? – Miss Monique Sweet

Bear. Once you bleed in the water there’s going to be more than one shark, and I’m not a great swimmer. At least with a bear I might be able to play dead until it gets bored?

If you didn’t dress pinup how would you dress? – Xamia Arc

Probably still in the goth / metal / alternative style I wore until I found pinup. ( I used to wear fourteen eye Doc Martins everyday and a lot of fishnet, black bootie shorts and camo pants ).

When did you discover pinup?

Around 2014. I went to my first Very Vintage Day Out in 2015, but didn’t start moving my daily wardrobe into pinup style until mid 2016.

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What inspires you to make new creations? – Miss Honey Bee

I mostly make custom clothing so my creations are inspired by the personalities, figures and lifestyles of my clients.
If I’m making ready to wear or for myself I draw inspiration from vintage fashion, films, books, music and locations. I try to imagine a character and what they would be wearing and doing in a specific setting.

What are the top five tracks on your go to playlist? – Ginger

I have extremely varied and often dubious taste in music so my top 5 changes on the regular.
Right now it’s…
Safari – J Balvin ft Pharrell
Despacito – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ( NOT the Justin Beiber version )
Hollywood Nights – Bob Seger
Love on the Brain – Rihanna
American Woman – Lenny Kravitz

Do you wear makeup everyday? 

Hell no! My skin is super sensitive, it goes red and peels off if I wear makeup for more than a day at a time. I constantly have dermatitis and allergies so I only wear makeup for special occasions, events and photoshoots.

What do you love most about vintage fashion? Do you have a most treasured item? – Miss Foxylocks

The quality, attention to detail and inventiveness of vintage fashion appeal to me. Fashion in the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s was far more adventurous than fashion today, with more thought put into accessories and fabric use.
I don’t think I could pick a favorite piece of vintage! I have some special pieces of jewellery and accessories given to my by family members so probably those.

What is your favourite type of accessory?

Gloves! I have tiny hands so vintage gloves fit me beautifully. they also hide the fact that sewing and working in hospitality can leave my nails and skin looking awful! I even wrote a blog post about vintage glove etiquette.

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What made you move away from the steampunk style you used to design? – Fran Henricksen, decorator of people and things

While I still love steampunk style I made a conscious decision not to create steampunk stock anymore for the following reasons:

1. Plagiarism of my designs. People (and a film crew) openly taking photos of my garments at steampunk events and markets while unashamedly telling me they were going to copy them.
2. A decrease in the appreciation and support of quality construction from the steampunk community. There are people in every style circle who would rather buy something cheap than invest in a quality item, but it seemed  to be especially bad in the NZ steampunk community where a “just glue some cogs on it” attitude was becoming prevalent.
3. The ‘anything can be steampunk’ idea. While I encourage creative expression, steampunk style was originally based around an fairly specific imagined literary past, future and set of technological ideas, and as someone who does their research I found the lack of knowledge in members of the community about what steampunk actually is very frustrating.

I still make steampunk designs and automated, realistic props to order, but choose not to create off the rack items anymore.

What is your favorite style of clothing to design?

Evening wear and bridal! I adore the drama and elegance of special event clothing and the sentimental value that becomes attached to it. Helping someone feel incredible for an important occasion gives me a real sense of purpose and happiness.
* I like big dresses and I can not lie* My favourite creation is this black modernised rococo gown for artist Vivien Masters.

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If you read this far, well done, this post was longer than I expected!
If you have any questions about pinup life, vintage fashion, modelling or just about me, feel free to ask me by leaving a comment on Facebook or Instagram x

With Style and Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, PINUP, 0 comments
Honest Review | Downtown Dame Faux Leather Wiggle Dress

Honest Review | Downtown Dame Faux Leather Wiggle Dress

A brief but honest review of the hottest dress I’ve ever worn
( aesthetically and physically )

I’m talking about the Downtown Dame dress from Pin Up Girl Clothing, in bubblegum pink faux leather. I’ve had this dress for a year, but it took a few wears to decide how I really felt about it.
I’ll keep it short and sweet – this dress is hot, as in you feel like a total babe made entirely of dangerous curves.
It’s also hot, as in if you’re in a warm environment you’ll sweat like cheese in clingfilm.
Personally I’m happy to make the trade off, but I’m also happy to keep it for the cooler months. Or air conditioned locales.

The only other downside to the Downtown Dame wiggle dress, is that when I wiggle, my thighs touch. In this dress they are permanently squished together and were painfully chafed by the end of a long sweaty night. I’d highly recommend wearing shapewear shorts or those wide soft lace thigh garters designed to stop chafing.
( I actually might get some of those garters just because they’re cute)

BUT… I 100% still love the Downtown Dame dress.

why?
Because it curves in all the right places. It accommodates my not-inconsiderable augmented bust, while still fitting snugly at the waist. The kick pleat extends high enough that by some miracle I haven’t torn it, as I have every other kick pleat in my wardrobe. The belt is nice and wide, and the straps are adjustable. And honestly, I feel like a vinyl wrapped fetish Barbie when I wear it.

So that’s my honest opinion of the Deadly Dames Downtown Dames dress. If you want it in the fake leather finish be aware that it’s a trade off. Will you be comfortable? Unlikely. Will you look and feel like the hottest badass to walk the earth? Undoubtedly.

If it’s any help at all I’m 5.3″ tall and my measurements are 33″ –  25.5″ – 36.25″.  I’m wearing a size XS. If you’d like to read a plus size review of this dress there’s a fabulous one over at Curves to Kill.

PS: Don’t wear this at the beach.

An honest review of the Pinup Girl Clothing Downtown Dame dress from the Deadly Dames line. Find out what it's really like to wear this bubblegum pink faux leather wiggle dress.

An honest review of the Pinup Girl Clothing Downtown Dame dress from the Deadly Dames line. Find out what it's really like to wear this bubblegum pink faux leather wiggle dress.
An honest review of the Pinup Girl Clothing Downtown Dame dress from the Deadly Dames line. Find out what it's really like to wear this bubblegum pink faux leather wiggle dress.

Photos | Froger – otherwise known as the only man who can convince me to wear stilettos on sand

* I wasn’t paid, sponsored, given product or otherwise encouraged to write this review, just so ya know. *

With style and sass,

        Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Treasures of a Vintage Earring Addict

Treasures of a Vintage Earring Addict

It started with one pair of vintage screws on, on an overcrowded op shop rack. Then *poof*, I had a vintage earring collection! Read on for the stories behind my favourite vintage costume earrings.

As all collections do, it started with a single pair. A single pair of screw on earrings on a crowded op shop jewellery rack. And then suddenly, *poof* my single pair turned into a collection.

There’s something so special about vintage earrings. They have history, unique designs, that special something you don’t find on a department store shelf. They feel more… personal. Like the vintage earrings you choose say more about you than the modern ones. I don’t know exactly what my favourites say about me, maybe you can tell me?

So back to that first pair I bought. An unusual crowned skull design, with flowers around the eyes. Kind of weird and creepy looking, but impossible to walk away from. I’ve been carrying these around since I was 15, long before I fell in love with the style of bygone eras. They were a small purchase, only a couple of dollars, but they sparked a glittering addiction…

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My next hit was these glorious magenta earrings from Tock Tick Vintage.

Deep pink paste jewels with glinting rhinestones and faux pearls, they came with a matching necklace. An anniversary gift from my husband, these drop earrings brim with sentimental value, and I love imagining all the special occasions they’ve adorned before ours. ( Their romantic colorway inspired the lining and embellishment of my Orchid dress! )

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The glittering trays of Tock Tick yielded these beauties too ( Maybe I have a shopping problem?). The chartreuse frosted glass glows from within, and the gold tone leaved are dotted with tiny green gems. The contrasting textures make these my go-to for subtle glamour, plus their green and gold tones bring out my eyes! See ’em in action paired with my fifties inspired suit.

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But these first pairs were just the beginning of my earring addiction. Gateway earrings if you would.
Next on my list of wonderful things? Fairytale forest earrings with cute teeny toadstools and flowers!

They look like miniature Alice In Wonderland gardens bursting out of their daisy shaped beds. Made in Czechoslovakia these deadstock earrings were still clipped to their original packaging card. ( Although time has taken it’s toll, so I’m very wary of worsening those pesky hairline cracks!)

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Bigger is better right? More is more! More rhinestones that is.

Once again my green obsession comes to the fore, and I snapped these up like a magpie at Very Vintage Day Out 2016. I haven’t even worn them yet, but their graduated leafy greens make me happy. ( If you know what these would look great with, please let me know! I haven’t found the right outfit yet.)

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These pearl clusters were a ‘new town’ gift to myself. After moving house for the seventh time in 10 years and feeling pretty sorry for myself, these were a grand total of $12 at a local vintage shop!

They’re just a classic, easy to wear style that works well with fifties and sixties clothes. Bigger clip on’s always make me nervous, but these faux pearls are light enough that I don’t stress about them falling off.
I prefer ivory and tea toned pearl jewellery to bright white, how about you?

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Community hall junk sale. $4. Vintage rhinestone clip on’s.
Need I say more?

At least my habit isn’t expensive. I pick up most of my treasures at markets and op shops. These Winged shaped earrings are so elegant, sweeping upward and sparkling against your hair without crowding your jawline. Perfection! ( In my dreams I wear these with clear, rhinestone encrusted cat eye spectacles and feel infinitely glamorous )

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I hope you enjoyed this peek into my jewellery box and a small selection of my vintage earring collection. Please share your favourite earrings with me by leaving your Pinterest profile below, so I can add you to my vintage earring board!

With style and sass,

               Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments