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Jilted Brides and Moldy Cake | Miss Havisham’s Day Out

Jilted Brides and Moldy Cake | Miss Havisham’s Day Out

What do you call a group of jilted brides? A Flock? A Murder?
Let’s go with a Murder, because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Last weekend a murder of brides descended upon Newmarket’s historic Highwic House for Miss Havisham’s Day Out. Part of the Til Death Do Us Part exhibition currently housed at Highwic,  it was a day of cobwebby cakes, vintage games and wedding gowns themed around the eccentric spinster from Great Expectations!

Dressed in wedding gowns from all eras guests competed in ring finger races and White Wedding lipsyncs ( yes that’s me jamming air guitar in the middle, any excuse really! ), created centrepieces and sand saucers before dining on sandwiches, scones and an incredibly moldy, spider infested wedding cake created by Miss Charlotte Cake. ( I can vouch for it being as delicious as it was spooky!)

Miss Havisham's Day Out | Velvet DeCollete

Miss Havisham's Day Out | Velvet DeCollete

Clementine joined me to model the most feminine of lace foundation garments from House of Satin. Strolling around the manicured grounds in lingerie has never been more glamorous! They’re even giving away a glorious set of lingerie, so visit the exhibition before it closes this weekend to be in the draw!

I had quite a conundrum over which wedding dress to wear ( I have four vintage gowns, plus the gown I was actually married in!) but finally settled on this Edwardian inspired lacy number. Made in the late 60’s or early 70’s this confection of swiss dot tulle and satin was just begging to be worn with a dramatically long veil. The rumpled satin flowers in my hair are made from off cuts of bridal gowns I’ve made and altered over the years.

Miss Havisham's Day Out | Velvet DeCollete

An enormous thanks to Rose and Glory Days for putting such a wonderful afternoon of high jinks! All the vintage gowns on display at Til Death Us Do Part are available in a silent auction ending this Sunday, with proceeds going to The Aunties, a group supporting victims of domestic violence. Make sure you hop online here, place a bid and hopefully take home a beautiful piece of history while supporting a more than worthy cause.

Photos by
David Watson
Peter Jennings
Charlotte Cake
 Velvet DeCollete
 Sarah Tallentire

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments

My Top 5 Shopping Day Essentials

We’re busy people. I know your days off are rarer than Louboutins in an op shop. You need to make the most of them, especially when it comes to a hard earned shopping junket.

In a sprawling city like Auckland planning for a successful shopping trip is key. Be unprepared and you could end up heading home in rush hour with a blister, a hungry tummy and three tops you found on sale that you’ll never wear. No one deserves that. Years of experience have left me a shopping mission tactician and here are my top five essentials for shopping like a boss lady.

1. The right clothes.

You’ll need to try things on, so wear something easy to get off (put down the skinny jeans!). Buying off the hanger isn’t reliable when fit and styles vary between new, vintage and store to store. Besides, some of the most flattering things I own looked average on the hanger. Oh, and slip on shoes will save you so much time.

2. A plan.


Scope out all the shops you want to visit and plan or GPS the most effective route. Remember to avoid busy areas in peak traffic times! I always start at the store furthest from home: it’s one I’m less likely to get to another day and I like being near to home when I’m tired at the end.

3. Water and snacks.

Packing water and snacks means you won’t make unplanned stops because you’re getting grumpy from hunger or dehydration. It’s also cheaper. You want to be spending your hard earned cash on shopping, not food!

4. A bag with a strap.

You’ll need both hands free for flicking through those racks or carrying bolts of fabric. Trust me.

5. A list.


Making a list of desired items will keep you on track, ensuring you stay focused on what you want or need – not what you just saw on sale. Getting home to realise you forgot the one thing you really needed is a major face-palm moment. Your face is nice, so let’s not palm it.

Now you have the secrets to world shopping domination, go forth and  plan a retail therapy adventure! ( Then show me what you bought, I want to seeeeeeee.)

May the thrifting gods be with you,

                                  Velvet x

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 1 comment
Very Vintage Day Out 2016 | Photo Safari & Outfit of the Day

Very Vintage Day Out 2016 | Photo Safari & Outfit of the Day

Apologies on the delayed VVDO post, I’ve been focused so completely on producing the Blue Moon Ball everything else just slipped away. So here, delayed but not forgotten, is a brief outfit review and photo safari images…

In true VVDO tradition the photo safari was organised chaos! Photographers and models vied for unobstructed backgrounds and cars that matched their outfits. There were giggles and goofs as huge petticoats invaded photos and photographers backed into each other – but in the end there were wonderful photographs and killer vintage fashion.

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | David Watson

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | David Watson

The Outfit

When choosing this years ensemble I wanted a contrast to last year’s dark dress and makeup. A glorious blue lurex dress hanging in Tock Tick Vintage answered the call. Ensnared by its sparkle and texture I tried it on and immediately fell in love with how the modest cut balanced the showiness of the fabric. La Vonne found a pillbox hat close enough in colour to match so both came home with me!

Inspired by the clean, coordinated style of Jackie Onassis I chose white accessories to keep the blue dress in the limelight, and pantihose over stockings as a nod to their huge popularity upon commercial release in the early 1960’s.

Outfit Breakdown

Dress, hat + brooch | All Vintage from Tock Tick Vintage 
Petticoat + Glomesh bag | Vintage op shop finds
Shoes + vintage gloves  | Borrowed from my mother
Belt | Forever New
Sunglasses + vintage earrings | Gifted
Columbine Pantihose | Farmers

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | Shifting Light Photography

The Authentic Vintage category finals of the Best Dressed competition ( photos by Norrie Montgomery) were so much fun. Every year NZ pin ups pull out some simply amazing outfits from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. I’m in awe of Natalie Louise’s sorbet coloured ensemble you can see in the background!

I had such an awful morning with contact lens and eyeliner horrors my makeup could have been better, I’m just glad I managed to get myself together in time! Do any other pinups struggle with the glasses vs contact lenses debate? My daily glasses aren’t retro styled and my milk bottle lenses are far too expensive to buy an extra pair for pinup . As a result I feel obliged to wear contact lenses that irritate my eyes something awful.

The highlight of my day was (as always) the food. Miss Charlotte Cake had the most scrumptious little cakes that looked every bit as delightful as they tasted, while The Tea Ladies put on a much needed cuppa in the afternoon. While there was quite a delay in the high tea service, these things happen and cannot be predicted no matter how hard you work! Overall a lovely way to spend a day!

vintage style VVDO 16 | Velvet Decollete

If you’d like to see more of the Very Vintage Day Out, you find my posts on the 2015 event here and here!

With style & sass,

             Velvet DeCollete



Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 3 comments
Thursdays on O’Connell | Ten Days of Fashion Catwalk

Thursdays on O’Connell | Ten Days of Fashion Catwalk

Auckland City has some pretty cool stuff. Like crazy vintage street parties with fashion shows and cocktails. I know. I was there.

I was there because I was walking the catwalk for Hudson, a stylish boutique on O’Connell street. Nerve wracking doesn’t quite describe walking uphill on cobbles, in heels, while trying to look kinda sexy. Clothing is my armour though, so I donned my favourite vintage hat and pearls and had a blast strutting my short-ass stuff.  Plus it was a great excuse to hang out with these babes on a Thursday night.


I think I did an acceptable job of repping under 5.4″ models haha!

I’d never been to O’Connell street before, but I’ll be back. The warming, rich hot chocolates from Bohemein Chocolaterie guarantee it.

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Enter a caption

Strangely Normal kept the crown lubricated at their fab mid century Tiki Bar, while Dr Sketchy provided a pinup sketch scene for the artistically inclined. After changing into my favourite purple ensemble I spent the rest of the night dancing, eating spaghetti and meatballs and admiring Rose’s incredible vintage coat!

Rose from Glory Days Magazine was a driving force behind the evening and I’m ever so grateful she got me involved. Hopefully there’ll be a repeat event next year!

Kate van der Drift  2

Photos | Kate Van Der Drift
(plus a couple of selfies and snapshots)




Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, PINUP, 0 comments
The Glory Days Deco Market

The Glory Days Deco Market

New Zealand has some fantastic vintage events, and I’m lucky enough that my job(s) take me to most of them!

Clementine and I had a marvelous time taking the Beckon Couture stall to the Glory Days Deco Market at Highwic HouseHendricks Gin had delicious punch, there was dancing on the lawn and some truly amazing Art Deco garb. (not to mention the most impressive picnic table I’ve ever seen – complete with silverware and gramophone!)

I’ll certainly be attending next year. You should too, considering entry to the Deco Day was only $5 – a bargain considering Highwick House usually charges a $10 entry.

I took some snaps on the day for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy with a gin in true 20’s style.

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I don’t always have a taxidermy bird, but when I do I pose with it.

This was my first attempt at an art deco / 1920’s inspired outfit and makeup. I don’t think it was half bad!

Outfit of the day

Beret | Gift from my Mother
Beaded collar | Tock Tick VIntage
Sheer blouse | Misery Boutique – Op shop find
Trousers | Alexander McQueen – Op shop find
Glorious velvet peeptoe shoes | Borrowed from my mother

And just for fun here’s Clementine and I making silly faces. Because that’s what we do.

I do hope we see you at the next event. If you know of any fun vintage outings let me know, any excuse to wear something pretty !

              Velvet x

PS: All those fake cucumbers in the first montage were for a cucumber decorating competition. You heard me. Cucumber decorating. It was adorable.

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Birthday Snaps | A Retro Luau Party

Birthday Snaps | A Retro Luau Party

Remember that lost weekend between Christmas and New Years Eve? The one when everyone (hospo staff included) are on holiday and nothing opens. Nothing.

That’s my birthday weekend.

So this year I celebrated in true pinup style with a vintage inspired Luau at home!

It started with cool drinks on a hot day and ended with burlesque dancers lip syncing the Chicago soundtrack under disco lights. Lei’s and fruity cocktails for all!

Here’s some candid poolside snaps so you can see how it went down. Plus a bonus picture of my not-quite-one-year-old niece dressed like the island princess she is. Because she’s a cutie patootie.

(I forgot to take pictures of the idyllic decorations my awesome lover set up, but trust me, they were amazing )

pinup girls tropical2016-15-2--22-14-01luau, tiki party, tropical, cocktails, drink station, fancy, fruit, garnish, hawaiian, party, pool party2016-15-2--22-22-59




Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments
A Classics Museum Carnival

A Classics Museum Carnival

The Classics Museum 3rd Birthday Carnival fell on a sweltering New Zealand summer day.
Normally I’d be happy to swap my petticoats for sarongs in the heat – but after setting up the Vintage Amusements carnival in the midday sun I threw on a cute carnival outfit.

(I managed to win Best Dressed from the lovely ladies at Glory Days Magazine too!)

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Photos | Tiffany Curtis Photography

Outfit breakdown

Top | Forever New
Skirt | Custom made by me – Beckon Couture
Petticoat | Bought online somewhere
Shoes | Number One Shoe Warehouse
Bangles | Thrifted
Flowers | Equip
Parasol | Gift

Scroll down to see some sassy best dressed contestants and me being a cheese while receiving my prize!

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Photo | Tiffany Curtis Photography


Photo | Tiffany Curtis Photography

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Photo | Tiffany Curtis Photgraphy

Velvets Tips for Summer Pinup Dressing

  1. Keep your fabrics light and try to avoid too many synthetics – They’ll make you sweat!
  2. Keep your hair off your neck. a beehive, cute ponytail or poodle ‘do is a lifesaver.
  3. Deodorant and spray on sun screen. Lots of both! I find spray on sunscreen less sticky and less staining on my clothes.
  4. (a very personal tip) tuck a cotton pad – like you use for toner or makeup – into the front of your bra to catch any chest sweat and prevent unsightly patches on the front of your top or dress!
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At the Kissing Booth with pinup babes Monique Sweet and Betty Rage


James and I cooling off with a well deserved cold Coke


The Jukebox Diner | Tiffancy Curtis Photography

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, OTHER, 0 comments
The Pinup Honeys: Congrats to Miss Victory Violet

The Pinup Honeys: Congrats to Miss Victory Violet

For those of you in the pinup world, you’ll know the glorious Miss Victory Violet took out Miss Pinup at Viva Las Vegas this year. For those of you not in the pinup world – that’s a super big deal and we’re all very proud of her here in little old NZ. Pinup or not you should check out her blog and show her some love! She’s an ocean of knowledge in all things hair, makeup and retro fashion related.

Anywho, The Pinup Honeys Social Club decided to have a wee shindig at the luxurious Langham Hotel Auckland to congratulate her on all her hard work. We dressed nice, we drank fancy cocktails, we posed. Alot. (you would too, don’t deny it).
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I didn’t have a gown quite formal enough so I whipped up a classy black iridescent ballgown from fabric left over from my bridesmaids dresses! I just knew it would come in handy, even if it’s 5 years later haha!

Outfit Breakdown 
Dress | Beckon Couture
Gloves | Vintage – Salvation Army Op Shop
Pearls | Vintage – Op shop
Shoes | Wild Pair
Stockings | Pretty Pins from Farmers
Hair Flower | Borrowed from my mama <3 

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Posing with some of my favourite dames Soda Fontaine, Miss Charlotte Cake and Miss Rouge. I love how we look like a sassy pinup Girl Gang.

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Couldn’t resist sharing this snap I took of the effervescent Soda Fontaine. She’s such a starlet!

pinup girls
pinup social club, pinups, nz pinups, group photo, retro, vintage fashion

The Pinup Honeys Social CLub – we’re a well dressed bunch dontcha think?

Photos | Velvet DeCollete, Duke De Bonair + David Watson

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, 1 comment
A Very Vintage Day Out | Pt. 2

A Very Vintage Day Out | Pt. 2

Very Vintage Day Out Part two (read part one here)! The part where I bombard you with photos from all the rad Photo Safari photographers I posed for at VVDO. Two of the photos were even judged Runner Ups in the VVDO photo comp – Proof that hard work pays off ya know.

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Photo | Byard James

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Photo | Jeff Yu – Awarded Runner Up in the VVDO photo competition

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Photo | Froger

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Photo | Reese Waters – Awarded Runner Up in the VVDO photo comp


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Photo | Photo by Alyssa

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Photo | Reese Waters

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Photo | Jeff Yo

black and white, retro, winggle dress, retro, vintage, portrait

Photo | Diana Vollmerhausen

Photos | As credited
Model | Velvet DeCollete
Wardrobe | Bespoke Design by Velvet DeCollete

These are the Very Vintage Day Out Best Dressed competition finalists! I was humbled to stand alongside such awesome girls and fab retro fashion. Isn’t Georgia the cutest with her diner girl tray!

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Photo | David Michael Photography – the Best Dressed Finalists!

As always, I’d love to know how you spent the day if you attended, there was so much on that I missed!

With style & sass,

                Velvet x


Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment

A Very Vintage Day Out 2015 | Pt. 1

One day I will die of hairspray inhalation. No joke.

Yesterday was the amazing vintage wonderment that is the Very Vintage Day Out, and it saw my hair soar to new heights of backcombing and hairspray. SO MUCH HAIRSPRAY. Totally worth it though to finish my purple 1960’s inspired ensemble with a suitable bouffant beehive! After finishing my dress some time in the darkness of Friday evening, I was up bright and early Saturday morning to backcomb and makeup before the Photo Safari. Cue an hour of madness with pretty girls and giant cameras swarming around a bevy of brilliant classic cars. Even that early in the day the NZ sun was determined to send us home somewhat pinker than we had arrived.

I spent the rest of the day gushing over vintage wares, listening to rockabilly bands and yelling my heart out in support of the four friends I had competing for the Miss Pinup New Zealand title. What a show!

Making it to the final five of the VVDO Best dressed competition before winning Best Dressed at the Wildcat Shakeout was the cherry on top of a lovely day – how lucky can a girl be?

The Outfit

Dress | 1960’s style wiggle dress with option reversible overskirt made by me (See my work here!)
Stockings | Pretty Polly backseam nylons
Gloves | Vintage satin opera gloves with pearl buttons
Jewellery | Vintage faux pearl 3 strand necklace and earrings – Thrifted
Fabric hair flowers | Borrowed from my fabulously stylish Mama
Shoes | Delicious Shoes  – Mercy in black satin

Photos are starting to roll in, please share yours if you went – I’d love to see them!

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Yoohoo! Check out part two of my VVDO coverage here and the 2016 event here!

With style & sass,

          Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, PINUP, 5 comments