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Spiderweb Style | My Top 5 Picks for Halloween

Spiderweb Style | My Top 5 Picks for Halloween

Ever since Cheryl Blossom rocked that gigantic spider brooch in Riverdale, creepy crawlies have invaded the pinup world. Now with Halloween lurking around the corner, there’s no better time to fall under the spiderweb spell.

I treat everyday like Halloween ( fancy dress and candy anyone?), so I’ve had plenty of time to narrow down my 5 favourite spiderweb inspired clothes and accessories. Whether you’re after an everyday option or some spooky glamour for the Blood Moon Ball, you’ll feel at home as an arachnid in these web embellished treats.

*  Just so you know, I wasn’t hired, paid, sponsored, bribed or blackmailed to talk about these items, they’re legit my favourites *

Oooh and keep your eyes peeled for a special Halloween discount code!

The Black Widow Skirt | Devel Branded

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Up first simply because I’ve been coveting it the longest, the Black Widow Skirt by NZ designer Devel Branded.

The Black Widow skirt ticks all my investment piece boxes:
Hardwearing? Check!
That spiderweb is heavy duty top stitching so it’s not going to flake  off in the wash or wear off over time like printed designs can do.
Versatile? Check!
I’ve seen this skirt rocked with a band tee and chucks, and glammed up with a blouse and heels. It really can go anywhere.

Ethical and made by a small business? Check!
Devel is passionate about creating ethical, quality clothing.  She makes every piece herself, I’ve seen her stuff first hand and it’s impeccable!

You can order yours now, or find more photos and backstory on the Black Widow skirt on the Devel branded blog.
Exclusive Halloween Treat : Devel loves Halloween as much as I do, so she’s treating you to 10% off Black Widow Skirts! Use the code VelvetDevel, valid until September 30th 2017.

Widow Weaver Gowns | Honey L’Amour

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Honey L’Amour just keeps getting better. Delivering gothic glamour in two styles the Widow Weaver dresses are Halloween ball ready.

Are you a pinup mistress of the dark? Or a cocktail sipping black widow? Made to order, these pin up worthy gowns offer a delectable buffet of choices.  Choose from stretch velvet or stretch cotton sateen, white or silver spiderweb embroidery, and of course cocktail or mermaid length.
Personally my favourite is the mermaid gown. I love how the spider web embroidery flares out from knee and sparkles on the bustline. Chic, darkly elegant, and showing off your curves in aaaaaalll the right places.

Even better, Honey is a local New Zeland based designer, when you buy from her you’re supporting a small business and an adorable pinup does a happy dance!

Both styles are available on Honey L’Amour’s website, but get in quick as there is a three week turnaround!

Carved Acrylic Handbag | Bubble Witch

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Are you seeing this? Or am I just imagining the world’s most perfect evening bag?

Ethically made by Bubble Witch, a small business based in Leeds, England, this acrylic clutch is inspired by 1940’s and 1950’s lucite purses.
That gloriously asymmetric spiderweb is carved in, then painted gold. It’s the kind of bag I imagine Vampira or Morticia Addams toting, so obviously I want it. Ideal for the pinup witch accessorising her evening gown, leather look wiggle dress or creepy cocktail ensemble.

While it’s pricier than I could normally justify for a bag, it brings me such ghoulish delight that it had to be in my top 5 Halloween picks. ( And let’s face it, I’d use it at every opportunity. )

You can pick the spiderweb purse up on the Bubble Witch Etsy store.

The Miss Muffet Skirt | Hell Bunny Clothing

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This freakin adorable skirt is the only mass produced item to make my top 5, modeled here by the drop dead gorgeous Teer of Curves to Kill .

We all go crazy for skirts with decent pockets, and the pocket detail is what sold me on this skirt! I love how the spider web design is worked around the pocket opening, and accented with the white hem piping. Super cute and wearable all year round.

Available in New Zealand from Napier supplier Two Lippy Ladies.
( The only reason I don’t already own this is that the smallest Hell Bunny size is too big in the waist for me, *sob* )

Spiderweb Sunglasses

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Within a somewhat more realistic budget are the cute cateye sunglasses with spiderweb pin striping below. Those are from Spitfire Interiors. I’ve seen various versions by different brands, so to be honest, they’re a completely do-able Halloween fashion DIY for those so inclined.

Like most of my top 5 spiderweb style picks, cobweb sunglasses are Halloween ready, but also a wearable wardrobe addition whatever the season!

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What do you think of my top 5 spider web inspired style picks? Have any favourites of your own? Drop me a comment and let me know!

I’m off to work on some Halloween goodness of my own for the Blood Moon Ball. Don’t forget to picks up your tickets, or dinner and ticket combo here and I’ll see you for a night of macabre madness on October 28th!

With Style and Sass,

          Velvet DeCollete

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Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 | Who, Why, What and Where?

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 | Who, Why, What and Where?

During the Miss Pin Up New Zealand application process I put a lot of thought into what ‘Pin Up’ and pinup culture really means to me.
What do I love about pinup?
What do I want people to know about pinup?

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For me pinup culture is about more than fashion, more than photos and more than a homage to vintage beauty. For me, pinup is an opportunity to learn from the inspirational women of the past and the impact they had on our social, political and creative landscapes. By doing so we can become stronger, more confident women and better role models for those who follow in our footsteps.

Pinup is also a way for me to express myself through style, using clothes, hair and makeup to create the woman I want to be on any particular day. In a society that places increasing pressure on women to look a certain way, taking ownership of your body and personal style is incredibly freeing!

I entered Miss Pinup to share those views with as many people as possible, inspiring women of all ages to educate, encourage and empower each other.
I hope you’ll join me – whether you’re cheering from the audience or encouraging your mates to vote online in the People’s Choice category , your support will make all the difference!

Miss Pinup New Zealand in association with Sailor Jerry spiced rum is held on Saturday October 28th at the Very Vintage Day Out.

 

Let’s Take a Look at the Ten Finalists!

The top ten finalists for Miss Pinup New Zealand have been announced!
They’re an impressive posse of pinups and I’m absolutely thrilled to say I’m one of them ( and that I can breathe again after holding my breath til the call came in! ).


 Taking the stage at Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017  are….
*drumroll please*…..

From left to right, top row then bottom row:
Miss Lulu Jade
Miss Kitty Kaos
Mrs Greatnews
Velvet DeCollete
Miss Jessica Mae
Miss Honeybee
Xamia Arc
Ginger
Miss Flossy Pots
Vola Tile

This is my first pageant and I’m not going to lie, the competition looks intense. There isn’t a single pinup in that lineup who doesn’t deserve to win, so it’s going to take a lot of work to stand out!

If you’d like to support my Miss Pinup New Zealand journey you can…

Vote for me in the People’s Choice category
Share my Facebook or Instagram posts and encourage your friends and family to vote using the hashtags #VoteVelvet and #MPUNZ2017 !

 

Finalist montage | Various Photographers via Miss Pinup New Zealand
Vote Velvet Photo | Tony McKay, Hair and Makeup by the Beauty School Dropouts

 

With Style and Sass,

               Velvet DeCollete

 

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Nylon Stockings & Vintage Tease

Nylon Stockings & Vintage Tease

I’m all about the tease. Silky nylon stockings, a wayward bra strap and a cheeky grin appeal to me far more than brazen modern erotica. Not to say the modern stuff doesn’t have it’s place, it’s just not my place.

The Villa showcases all that soft vintage deliciousness. Capturing only natural light, these photos have a dreamy homemade feel, like a lazy rainy afternoon. The kind where you turn up the heater and don’t bother getting dressed.

Unsurprisingly, we photographed this set in a small renovated villa. I enter the scene wearing a peach silk chemise and knickers with vintage nylon stockings, but it does get somewhat naughtier. For those wishing to indulge Froger has compiled the full set into luscious E-book, available here. At just $15 NZD it’s a steal for all my USA and UK fans!

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Outfit

Chemise | Galliano
Stockings | Vintage fully fashioned nylons, thrifted

When I’m choosing clothes for a shoot I imagine the character I’m trying to portray. What would a cheeky 1950’s babe be wearing on a lazy afternoon with her lover? What would have her comfortable and confidant, laughing as he snapped some pin up photos with their Kodak Argus?

I settled on this soft peachy slip. It’s the kind of lingerie I’d put on under a dress, and then lounge around in after the dress hit the floor. Not wearing a girdle or suspenders was a deliberate choice. I think our flirty fifties character would have taken her girdle off by now, or maybe she’s only just getting ready to go out?

Model, HMUA | Velvet DeCollete
Photographer | Froger

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Looking for more? If you’re into pin ups, girls in stockings or vintage inspired erotica, these posts will be right up your alley…

Play Your Cards Right ( Bubblegum )                 Retro Playboy                                      Reading in Lingerie 

With style and sass,

            Velvet DeCollete

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Tui | A Bespoke 1950’s Cocktail Dress

Tui | A Bespoke 1950’s Cocktail Dress

This outfit didn’t make the cut.
The cut for my Miss Pinup entry video that is. I wear the heck out of it every where else!

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The Outfit

We shot the Tui dress as part of my glove styling video, but technical issues meant it didn’t make the cut! I absolutely love this formal pinup look though and I think you will too.

Like Tui feathers gleaming in the sun, this iridescent fabric makes for a next level little black dress. It was left over from my bridesmaids dresses seven years ago, so in true make-do style I designed a dress to fit the yardage I had left!  Based on a 1950’s wedding dress, the boned bodice features horizontal pleats reminiscent of lorica sementata ( who else loves the concept of an armoured evening dress?). Floral lace froths over the sweetheart shelf bust, hand stitched on for perfect placement. For the most economical use of fabric the skirt is a gathered rectangle – I’d prefer a gathered circle skirt but there just wasn’t enough fabric!

To complement the fabric’s pink highlights I accessorised with vintage white and magenta costume jewellery. The glamorous necklace and earrings set are especially sentimental to me, an anniversary gift from my ever patient husband. Matching magenta orchids and my favourite vintage satin gloves finish the outfit with a pretty elegance.

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Photos | James Beck
Tui vintage style dress | Velvet DeCollete
Hair flowers | Made With Love NZ
Vintage Gloves | I’ve had them so long I can’t remember!
Vintage Costume Jewellery | Tock Tick Vintage
Leather shoes | Alonso Andretti – thrifted

PS: I wore this dress at a Pinup Honey’s event before adding the lace, check it out!

With style & sass,

                   Velvet DeCollete

 

 

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Disney Princesses Pinup Style | Once Upon A Time by Honey L’Amour

Disney Princesses Pinup Style | Once Upon A Time by Honey L’Amour

” When we were small children we all played dress-up and everybody had a good time. So why stop? “
-Iris Apfel
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 Now you might notice a familiar face on Honey’s website, because I got to model the Belle dress!
The Beauty and the Beast inspired dress has a super full ( 5M circumference) two tone skirt with screen printed roses. This baby flares out like no other when you spin! The peasant style bodice has a gathered neckline ( no gaping!) and the sleeves can be worn on or off the shoulder. There’s also a sweet white lace trim on the bodice and skirt hem.
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As a brunette, green eyed gal who has more time for books than people, I feel like Belle and I are on the same page.
Yup, that was a book pun. Sorry not sorry.
Even so, the Arial wiggle skirt has to be my favourite princess inspired design. It’s just so GOSHDARN CUTE. Look at that scalloped hem! It’s so sassy.

Miss Monique Sweet looks like an underwater vixen in that shell bustier top, but I can see myself pairing this skirt with a cute tie front blouse or the Devel Bess tee for a more casual pinup style.

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You’ll need to prepare yourselves for this one.
Ready?
Okay.
Miss Charlotte Cake isn’t the biggest Disney fan, but you’ll die over her Snow White. It’s perfection. She could play Snow White at Disney land, amiright?
Honey LÁmour designed the Snow White inspired outfit as two pieces. A sweet peasant blouse and a full swing skirt with blue and yellow panels. The lightly gathered puff sleeves and the blue skirt border balance each other really well, creating the illusion of broader shoulders and visually enhancing an hourglass figure.
With classic pinup styling the Snow White outfit is a ready made retro style cosplay!
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 Luci Luxxe channels the original platinum princess with a rockabilly twist.
Cinderella might have to worry about her couch turning into a pumpkin, but she won’t have to worry about this dress. The Cinderella inspired pinup dress features alternating blue and white panels printed with specially designed pumpkin carriages. With contrast sleeves and silver screen printing the Cinderella dress is fancy enough for proms and balls, but comfy enough for full day events like Dapper Day!
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All the clothes in the Once Upon a Time range are made from comfy stretch cotton sateen or heavy weight cotton and are available in sizes XS – XL. Honey also offers custom made sizes.
Photos | Tony McKay
Pinup Disney Princess Outfits | Honey L’ Amour
Models | Velvet Decollete
Monique Sweet
Miss Charlotte Cake
Lucy Luxxe
With style and sass,

              Velvet Decollete

Psssst! Just so you know, I wasn’t paid or sponsored to write this post. I got to experience these clothes first hand, and wear Honey L’Amour skirts on the regular, so I can 100% honestly recommend them!

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
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, 1 comment
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
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
Retro Playboy | A Pin Up Photoshoot

Retro Playboy | A Pin Up Photoshoot

Retro Playboy. The stuff teenage dreams are made of.

As seen in the bestselling March 2017 issue of Nylonzine.

Froger and I wanted to bring that nostalgic brand of sexy back, tousled Bardot inspired hair, tight sweaters and girl next door charm, all wrapped up in thigh high fully fashioned nylon stockings. You know, back when music was on records, print was king and if you wanted to ask someone out you had to be brave enough to call them on the phone.

Your hilarious mental image for today; That 1970s armchair has a dodgy old swivel base, and every so often it would tip back and dump me out on the floor!

70's Playboy ( The Girl Next Door ) | Velvet DeCollete

70's Playboy ( The Girl Next Door ) | Velvet DeCollete70's Playboy ( The Girl Next Door ) | Velvet DeCollete70's Playboy ( The Girl Next Door ) | Velvet DeCollete

Photography | Froger Photography
Model, Styling, MUAH | Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 comments