FASHION STORIES

Vintage, reproduction or custom, fashion can empower and entertain. Find it here.

Play Your Cards Right | Lingerie Review + Pinup Photoshoot

Play Your Cards Right | Lingerie Review + Pinup Photoshoot

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Password please?

If you’re going to run illicit poker games, a derelict 1960’s camper van is the least suspicious location. And I’m all about subtlety…obviously…

The Shoot

This once cheery caravan was the quintessential backdrop to a 1960’s beach holiday. Froger and I made it anything but.
You see, photography locations aren’t about the hand you’re dealt, they’re about what you do with it. We do retro lingerie and grungy interiors, which means we make magic in locations others wouldn’t touch! I love that our shoots don’t use stereotypical pin up ‘pretty’ backdrops and studios.

The playing cards were among the scattered debris, covered in a layer of dust. Feeling nostalgic for the rainy day card games we put them to use. Playing in my knickers is the only way I’ll ever win at poker!

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Pip & Pantalaimon Lingerie Review

Can we talk about this Pip & Pantalaimon bodysuit for a sec? IT’S. SO.CUTE.

Froger calls it the Bubblegum outfit, It’s custom made to match those glossy white and pink heels. While the shoes in his kit are always too big for my teensy feet, this bodysuit was made to fit me ( and any other model he shoots my size, so get in there ladies! ). Made in white stretch mesh and satin, it sports hot pink trim – straps, garters and contrast stitching.

Soft cup bras are more comfortable on augmented breasts than underwires, and this is no exception. No digging or pinching here! The bodysuit feels soft and snug, like a firm hug, giving less compression than serious shapewear while still smoothing the silhouette.  As a seamstress I’m telling you the pink spiral stitching on the cups and front panel is PERFECT. I wish I had a close up to show you but the sun washed out the detail in these shots.

Basically, I’ll be spending some of my hard earned cash on their lingerie. Because it’s niiiiiiiiiiice. Because I believe in supporting small businesses. Because Froger won’t appreciate me stealing this from his kit. And because twelve clip garter belts. TWELVE CLIPS ladies, you have no idea of the comfort.

*As usual, I didn’t get paid or sponsored to gush about this. I just get excited about sharing stuff I love with you guys!*

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 If this taster left you wanting more I’d love you to check out the entire set here!

Photos | Froger Photo
Bodysuit | Pip & Pantalaimon
Shoes | Unknown
Stockings | Thrifted
Clip on Ponytail | Hairquip

If you’re into alternative pinup and offbeat locations read these posts…

Tribute to John Willie
Gartersnap Girl

New Problems in Medical Ethics

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
Make Do & Mend | Pinup Style with Vintage Fabric

Make Do & Mend | Pinup Style with Vintage Fabric

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Make Do and Mend.

That’s what my Nana always tells me, usually as she’s unpicking old curtains, making overalls for the grandkids tearing around her garden. Vintage philosophies can be the best inspiration for vintage style, especially as a pinup on a budget!

I’m incredibly lucky to have a network of old ladies – friends of my Nana – who hand me down vintage fabric they no longer use. I design my clothes to make the most of the gifted yardage. This fifties floral two piece was cut around age stains on a length of 1950’s printed fabric.

Photographed on two different days at two locations, this post shows how lighting can change a photo from bright and crisp to soft and dreamy!

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The Outfit

Printed with rustic baskets overflowing with fruit and flowers, this fabric was made for sweet summer style. I chose a wide necked, fitted top ( which I personally find very flattering ) because there wasn’t enough fabric for sleeves! The simple silhouette displays the print nicely, so I made sure the basket motif would match up when the blouse was closed. Press studs and a tie front finish the blouse.

The circle skirt is cut in two panels and hemmed with synthetic horsehair braid for extra volume. A side zip and tap with novelty pink flower button allow for a tidy nipped in waist – my preferred silhouette for almost any occasion!

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The Styling

Matching accessories to a colour in the fabric makes choosing an outfit easy . I love the pink roses in this print, so that means all pink everything!

The sugar pink gloves have the cutest pleated trim, I think they’re from the 1950’s or 1960’s. The pink petticoat, cat eye sunglasses, hair flower and shoes are all modern made but worked so well with the colours and style of the outfit nonetheless!

Due to shooting forties style outfits on the same days, hair and makeup on both days were a mix of 1940’s and 1950’s. The half up – half down hairstyle was more successful, with fuller and better shaped rolls. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t recreate them for the updo when we re-shot! I find victory rolls in any style tricky due to my baby-fine, thin hair. There never seems to be enough of it.  ( I’m envious of all you thick haired ladies who can do multiple rolls and poodle ‘dos! )

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Top & Skirt | Velvet DeCollete
Gloves | Tock Tick Vintage
Flower | Coin Save
Shoes | Number One Shoe Warehouse
Petticoat | Online through a Facebook sale page

With Style & Sass,

            Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
Secret Garden | A 1950’s Inspired Cocktail Suit

Secret Garden | A 1950’s Inspired Cocktail Suit

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Power dressing is nothing new. From the Phoenician purple robes of the Romans to 80’s power suits, we’ve been using clothes to boost our confidence and social standing for thousands of years. Which got me thinking; what does power dressing look like to a vintage loving gal?

For me the answer was a well cut suit. The suit worn by a film noir vixen perched on a detective’s desk, knowing he’ll do whatever she asks. A suit that says you’re 100% business, and 100% woman. A suit you’d wear to the funeral of your fifth wealthy husband mysteriously dies.

Obviously I needed to make this suit.

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The Suit

Drawing inspiration from 1950’s clothing company Lilli Ann, I sketched a figure enhancing peplum silhouette. The wide neckline, fitted waist and flared hip accentuate my hourglass figure, while the slimline pencil skirt puts a wiggle in my walk – I’m known for walking quite fast and this skirt definitely hobbles my stride a bit!  A textured black fabric with a woven pattern of golden roses balances the hyper feminine cut with dark glamour.

This is my first ladies suit ( I’ve made one trouser suit before ). Delayed for months due to costume commissions I finally finished it in time for the Duke and I’s seven year wedding anniversary. ( We stayed at Hotel Debrett and watched Horror at the Civic Theatre. ) There’s a tiny area of fit I’m not quite happy with in the jacket, but considering I had to fit it on myself I’m very happy with the result!

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The Outfit

Two statement collars are better than one and the PUG Lauren top creates a striking inky black layered neckline.

No well dressed dame would be caught without gloves and hat.  The beaded gloves were a serendipitous find at Tock Tick Vintage long before I started the suit. Their glossy floral beading was too pretty to pass up!  The velvet tilt hat is from the Auckland Textile Fair. A band and bow of woven black straw circle the hat, and I added the veiling for extra sass.

My earrings are green and gold vintage clip ons . The frosted glass matches my eyes (a rarity) , and seems to glow from within . Classic back seam stockings, black leather Alonso Andretti shoes and a gold beaded clutch finished my 50’s power dressing dream.

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We shot these photos in the picturesque Hamilton Gardens while filming my entry video for Miss Pin Up New Zealand 2017. Subscribe to my blog to follow my progress in the competition!

See more outfits from my entry video below!
1940’s summer style

With style & sass

         Velvet x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment
Roman Holiday | A 1940’s Summer Outfit

Roman Holiday | A 1940’s Summer Outfit

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It’s 6 degrees Celsius and I’m tottering around Hamilton Gardens, filming my Miss Pin Up NZ entry video and freezing my butt off. Gaggles of tourists point and take supposedly sneaky photos of me. But can you blame them? This 1940’s sundress is gorgeous!

Photographed in the perfectly dreamy Italian Garden  this summer outfit is what I’d wear on an idyllic Italian holiday. The kind where I stroll around iconic sites in chic vintage clothes ( a pinup can dream right? ).  I chose 1940’s inspired victory rolls and a chignon for my hairstyle, as updo’s are elegant pinup perfection and having my hair down makes me far too hot and sticky in the summer!

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The Outfit

The dusty mauve dress features a floral pattern in black, white and blue, with a self covered belt.  The most darling strap & button detail adorns the upper arm. I’m not going to lie, when I saw that shoulder detail at Rose’s Decadia Vintage clothing sale I snatched it right off the rack, even if it is a little too big! Like my mama always says ” you’ll grow into it one day”.
To complete my dream Roman holiday outfit I accessorized with a black vintage Yvette Tresor straw hat, 1950s crotchet gloves, Pretty Polly backseam nylon stockings and Alonso Andretti leather shoes. Apart from the hosiery all my accessories were thrifted by myself or my mother, an undisputed op shop queen and my first stop for shoot accessories!

Fashion fact: Milliner Yvette Tresor was based in Christchurch from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. Collections of her hats are owned by the Auckland War Memorial Museum and Te Papa Museum!

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Photos courtesy of James Beck

with style & sass

        Velvet x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Reading in Lingerie | The Nympho and Other Maniacs

Reading in Lingerie | The Nympho and Other Maniacs

If you’ve seen the first edition of Reading in Lingerie you’ll know I have a thing for reading a good book in my smalls. There’s something so luxurious about lounging in lingerie. Like you have all the time in the world to absorb every word on the page, and that someone should be feeding you peeled grapes.

So here’s the second edition, featuring a rather striking pair of Undercover backseam stockings by Voodoo and some titillating non fiction entitled ‘The Nympho and Other Maniacs‘. Author Irving Wallace ( who started as a Hollywood screenwriter in the ’50s ) penned the scandalous stories of more than 30 women who defied the social standards of their times, publishing it in 1971.

Like most of my self-styled shoots, this is not your typical cheesecake pinup. But it is pure Velvety goodness.

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The Outfit

Inspired by 1930’s Parisian postcards this fashion story is all about texture.
A ribbed t-shirt with sheer stockings, soft flesh dented by chunky garters, just the right balance of skin revealed and hidden.
Wetset pin curls are pinned to create a faux bob hairstyle, while makeup is softly smudged and smokey.

PS: Voodoo don’t pay me or give me stockings, I just really like the triangular seam detail on this pair!

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Photos courtesy of Froger Photo

with style & sass,

              Velvet x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment
Devel Branded Fashion Show | 1960’s Inspired Fashion

Devel Branded Fashion Show | 1960’s Inspired Fashion

Badass boss babe is kinda my style motto right now, so it’s no surprise that Danielle from Devel Branded is one of my favourite local designers.  Not only is she freakin’ adorable, but her clothes embody the sass and vibrancy that a modern pinup needs. I had a ball strutting in her catwalk show last weekend alongside the coolest girl gang a pinup could hope for.

I wore the Freshly Squeezed Lemonade wiggle skirt. It’s bright, fresh and would you just look at those novelty appliqued pockets!? The detail and craftsmanship is goooorgeous. The Girlboss blouse is a crisp white shirt with a statement collar, very Elizabeth Taylor.

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Miss Charlotte Cake modeled the Limeade swing skirt from the Freshly Squeezed collection. If you don’t know Charlotte, she’s fricken awesome, hilarious and has an amazing blog, especially if you’re into baking taaaaaaasty stuuuuuuff!

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The show also featured garments from her Poolside and Sprinkles & Cream collections, as well as the luxe Tuxedo Dress and the Black Widow skirt that had me swooning! ( Seriously is it not the most killer goth – meets – vintage skirt you’ve ever seen?! )

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Thanks to Glory Days and Auckland Live for putting on Summer in The Square Vintage Weekend, we had a blast!

With style and sass,

                  Velvet

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
5 Ways to Buy the Right Vintage, Not Any Vintage.

5 Ways to Buy the Right Vintage, Not Any Vintage.

Do you love vintage clothes?

I love vintage clothes.

I love them with a magpie-ish, kid in a candy store fervor that has lead me to buying things that have never and will never fit, that are falling apart, or that I’ll just straight out never wear but I wanted them anyway.
To curb my dragonish hoarding tendencies I’ve developed a five point checklist to ensure I’m buying the right vintage garment, not every vintage garment. It really does help separate the investments from the impulse buys.

So if you have overflowing wardrobes, empty bank accounts and still nothing to wear, this might help! Shop wisely and dress well…

Velvet’s ‘The Right Vintage’ Shopping Checklisthow to buy the right vintage clothes

1.  Does the garment have any damage?

Vintage garments are generally preloved and made from different fabrics than the hardy synthetics popular today. Holding that dress up to a window or light will show you any holes or patches of thinning fabric. Perspiration is acidic so check under the arms for any discoloration and damage caused by sweat.

2. Are the fastenings intact?

Check the zips, buttons, hooks and eyes, eyelets or pop studs. Are they damaged or missing? Is the fabric tearing or fraying around them? There may be enough spare fabric in a hem to replace a covered button, but don’t buy anything with very damaged fastenings unless you know it can be fixed, or you’re happy to have it replaced with a modern equivalent.
( Check those belt loops and belts for damage while you’re at it. )

3. Does it fit?

Ignore size labels and try it on. Female proportions and sizing have changed a lot through the decades and you’ll find a 1950’s size 14 is around a modern NZ size 8. If you’re buying online make sure you check your measurements carefully.
Circa Vintage Clothing has a handy guide to the alpha sizing system used in some New Zealand and Australian vintage clothing.

4. Can you wear it right away?

Unless you’re a highly motivated seamstress with plenty of free time, damaged items and those needing large alterations will sit in your wardrobe forever. (Trust me, I have a whole drawer of things needing alts or repairs but I never have time!). Some vintage fabrics will be too delicate to withstand alterations and most seamstresses aren’t familiar with the era appropriate sewing techniques.

5. Does it suit you?

This is imperative. Put the garment on and be honest. Does it reflect your personal style? Is it flattering? Does it coordinate with things you already own? If not, it might be best to put it back on the rack.

best vintage shopping tips

With a few alterations this checklist can be applied to vintage shoes, accessories and furniture as well as clothing. While leaving that eye catching but not-quite-right piece in the store can be gut wrenching, it’s better to leave it for someone who’ll use it or restore it and keep your valuable space for things that are perfect for you!

Happy shopping x

With style and sass,

                                Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments

Monday Style Tip No.34

secure-plunging-necklines-with-fashion-tape

The key to owning that plunging neckline? Fashion tape and oodles of confidence.

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments
1960’s Lavender Sleepwear | A Lingerie Addict’s Diary

1960’s Lavender Sleepwear | A Lingerie Addict’s Diary

Aside from black (my one true love), green and purple hold my affection above all other colours.
Lilac, lavendar, aubergine, olive, emerald and chartruese, any shade will do! These colours suit my pale olive complexion tone and green eyes, and I love them more for their rarity in modern fashion.

I love them so much that when this lavender sleep set appeared during my obsessive trademe trawling I pounced on it at once. I knew it was too big, I just didn’t care. I wear it anyway.

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Made in New Zealand by ‘Lesley Lingerie’ I’d say this sleep smock and robe date from the mid 1960’s.
Why? let me tell you…

 The style

Simple and voluminous this is quintessential 60’s lingerie. The peter pan collar and lace placement are typical of designer sleepwear and home sewing patterns of the era.

The label

A printed fabric label without fabric content or care instructions places this garment prior to 1972 (when permanently attached care labels became mandatory). It was produced after embroidered labels became less popular but before all tags were made of stiff or plasticy materials.

The Fabric

Some careful testing tells me the lining is a polyester cotton blend, while the outer layer and robe are nylon ‘chiffon’. Lingerie designers went crazy for these fabrics in the 60’s!

The Construction

Serging or overlocking is used on these garments. While serging was used in the 1950’s and earlier, it wasn’t overly common until the 1960’s.

Regardless of age, this baby doll nightie is unashamedly feminine and takes me one step closer to owning a rainbow of vintage lingerie. Now to get my hands on something green…

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A humongous snuggly thank you to La Vonne at Tock Tick Vintage for letting me prance around her absolutely adorable pastel kitchen! It’s actually the cutest place ever.

Photos | Clementine
Model, HMUA | Velvet DeCollete

With style and sass,

                 Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment

Monday Style Tip No.34

 

pearl-or-diamante-studs-match-everything

They’re basically the perfect earring

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments