All my pinup goodies, photoshoots, press and behind the scenes.

My Advice For Entering MPUNZ 2018

My Advice For Entering MPUNZ 2018

It’s that time of year when Kiwi pinups start talking about the Miss Pinup New Zealand pageant. Who’s going to enter? What do you wear? What the heck do you write in your application, and don’t even get us started on that talent section!?

I remember the anxiety last year, would my video be polished enough, would my answers fit in with everyone elses? I talked it out with my ever patient husband, who wisely (as usual) observed that the idea was to show my point of difference, not my points of similarity to the other applicants. That reminder was a game changer for me, clarifying both my motivation and my approach to entering. ( You can read about my reasons here.)

With that in mind, along with lessons learned during my Miss Pinup 2017 experience, I give you my tips for entering and surviving Miss Pinup New Zealand 2018!

Check Your Motivation

Get ready, because this is the most competition changing advice you’ll ever get… Have a reason for entering other than winning.

While we’d all love to win, the reality is that nine out of the 10 finalists won’t. Having a personal reason for entering will help temper the disappointment if you don’t place.

Want to share your personal style? Awesome!
Challenging yourself to perform in public? Fantastic!
Raising awareness for a cause you’re passionate about? Bloody brilliant!

Having a reason for entering other than winning will help focus your application and pageant performance. You might begin your MPUNZ journey feeling like winning or not doesn’t matter to you, but once you’ve invested the time, effort and emotion into the experience it might affect you more than you expect. Achieving that personal goal means you’ve won before the winner is even announced.

Remember that while winning is wonderful, and validates the effort you put in, at the end of the day having a title and a sash doesn’t actually change anything. What changes things is how you use the platform that title can give you.



Don’t Rush Your Application

Don’t leave your application to the last minute.

Even if you’re not 100% sure you’ll enter, download the application questionnaire and get your answers ready. Pick your photos. Film your entry video. If you don’t use it at least you have something cute for your Youtube channel or social media. Get that application in early, then sit back and relax knowing you’ve thought your answers and video idea through.

Oh and leaving applications, ticket purchases or RSVP’s for ANYTHING to the last minute makes you a bit of a dick. I’m not even sorry for saying that. If everyone waits until the last minute to apply, organisers feel like they have to push the deadline out to give you more time. This might delay the announcement of the finalists and eat into YOUR prep time. Don’t be a dick, get your application in early.


You Do You Boo

Before you fill out that application form, grab a pen and brainstorm what pin up and vintage culture means to you. What do you love about it? How does it fit into your life? Has changed you?

Can your career, hobby, education or location inspire your video, talent or outfits? Is there a message you want to share?

I’m passionate about creating confidence through style, so I chose to make a styling video for my Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 application. My video referenced my background as a designer, displayed my personal style, and shared tips for wearing vintage gloves ( One of my style signatures) . My super supportive husband filmed it for me. Was it uber slick and professional? No. Did it represent who I am as a pinup and vintage lover? Hell yes!

Don’t feel pressured to pick a traditional pageant talent. I chose to sketch a famous Edith Head gown design, reflecting my love of fashion design and how vintage style has shaped my life. It wasn’t a high energy act, it didn’t have pretty props, but it was me and it was memorably different.

The things that make you different are the things that make you stand out. You want to stand out. You don’t have to have a professionally filmed video or a wardrobe of new outfits, you just have to do you, Boo.



Showcase Your Style

Just like You Do You Boo, but fashion related. Don’t wear anything in the pageant you wouldn’t normally wear.

If you’re not a full length gown gal, don’t feel pressured to wear one just because everyone else is. If you aren’t comfortable wearing togs on stage, strut down the catwalk in beach pajamas, a playsuit or resort wear a la Elizabeth Taylor. The most important thing is to look like you, rather than a ‘stereotypical’ pinup.

Mrs Greatnews and I are perfect examples of this. I wear mostly vintage colours with classic 1950’s inspired makeup, while Mrs Greatnews rocks bright modern reproduction clothes and bold makeup. We’re stylistically opposite but we took out 1st and 2nd place in MPUNZ 2017!

If you have no idea what ‘you’ looks like, read my interview with Fran Henricksen for her advice on defining your personal style.



Photo | Stuart Attwood

Get Your Pageant Prep On

Avoid last minute panic by prepping all your Miss Pinup New Zealand outfits and talent as early as possible.

Plan out your daywear, beachwear, eveningwear and talent outfits using garments you already own (two of my outfits and almost all my accessories were straight out of my wardrobe.), things you can make yourself or clothes and accessories you can borrow from friends. The New Zealand pin up and vintage community has been amazingly generous with lending items for MPUNZ in the past. Just remember to treat borrowed items with respect, clean them and return them within a reasonable time frame.

Get organised early and feel calm and collected in the days prior to the competition, rather than freaking out because your gloves haven’t arrived.

Have A Post Pageant Plan

After the pressure and excitement of Miss Pinup New Zealand and Very Vintage Day Out, there’s a good chance you’ll get the post con blues. Post con blues kick in after a massive project or event ( the ‘con’ stands for convention ) leaving you feeling down, drained and directionless. As someone who experiences depression it hits me hard. Planning some self care to restore my energy levels is vital. Please, please, read my post on how to survive the post con blues – or glitter crash as burlesquers call it – and take care of yourself post pageant.


Buddy Up

A lot of ladies enter the pageant with a friend for moral support.

I found the first few weeks of pageant prep pretty lonely, but then Mrs Greatnews PM’d me asking if I wanted to be pageant buddies as several of the other finalists had entered with friends. We didn’t know each other well, but I said heck yeah, and now she’s one of my closest friends. Bouncing ideas around, telling each other our talents didn’t suck, getting ready together backstage, I honestly believe it helped both of us feel more confident and sassy on that stage.



Photo | Reality Dysfunction

Just Do It

Challenge yourself. Ask your friends to hold you accountable. Put on your big girl panties, put yourself out there and find out what you’re capable of.


Good Luck!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete


Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, PINUP, 4 comments
A Photographic Tribute to John Willie

A Photographic Tribute to John Willie


I first published this fetish inspired photo set back in February 2016.

One of my first forays into alternative pinup, it was a vital step toward developing my own style as a pinup model. Looking back at it now, I feel like it was a decade ago – Ruby and I look so young! With fetish influenced material now making up a high percentage of my modelling catalogue it seems like a notable shoot to revisit…

Alternative Pin up models Velvet DeCollete and Ruby Von Rifle pose in corsets, gloves and thigh high nylons for an homage to fetish godfather John Willie

My original 2016 Post ( With a Little Fleshing Out )

As a vintage loving model and designer I’m ever excited to pay tribute to those who shaped the worlds of fashion, pinup and vintage erotica. Illustrator and publisher of Bizarre magazine John Willie played an enormous role in these areas, so when Froger approached me about a photographic homage I was immediately on board.


Whisked off to a secret derelict location with co-model and friend Ruby Von Rifle, we worked in dingy, damp surroundings to create a fitting tribute to Sweet Gwendoline and her more dominant counterparts. It’s a more fetishistic theme than my previous shoots; something that presents its own challenges but which I thoroughly enjoyed and hope you will too x


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Pin up models Velvet DeCollete and Ruby Von Rifle pose for a photographic tribute to Sweet Gwendoline creator and Bizarre fetish magazine publisher John Willie

Pin up models Velvet DeCollete and Ruby Von Rifle pose for a photographic homage to fetish magazine creator John Willie


Outfit Breakdown
-Damsel in Distress-

Vintage yellow robe & nightgown | Preloved
Sheer nude nylons | Pretty Pins Hosiery

Would you believe that nightgown and robe are from different sets!? Both are vintage nylon garments and are identical shades of lemon sorbet yellow. I found the nightgown in a op shop, it has the loveliest sheer embroidered midsection. The robe came with a fluffy babydoll nightgown I purchased on Trademe. You can find photos and info on that set in my Lemon Souffle Sleepwear post.


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Outfit Breakdown
-Madame in Charge-

Corset | Corset Story
Wet Look Garter Belt & Gloves |
Knickers | Dita Von Teese Lingerie
Shoes | Gifted
Fully fashioned nylon stockings | Photographer’s own

Nothing makes me feel more in control than a black on black outfit. For fear of sounding like a broken record, creating a photo friendly black ensemble is all about layering those textures! Here I’m wearing a mix of smooth black satin, glossy PVC, sheer nylon and suede leather.

Visit Froger’s website to see more of Ruby and I, as well as a bevy of foxy vintage and alternative dames.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete




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Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 2 comments
Finding Your Personal Style – Insider Secrets From Pinup Stylist Fran Robertson

Finding Your Personal Style – Insider Secrets From Pinup Stylist Fran Robertson

Some people have an impeccable sense of personal style. They know exactly who they are, and exactly how to express it.
They’re the ones that make us say “That jacket is just so –insert name here-“…

This outward expression of your inner soul doesn’t come naturally to all of us ( I’ve had some horrific style phases over the years) so who better to share her innate style knowledge than the queen of colour – makeup artist, designer and Viva Las Vegas 21 contestant Fran Roberston?

No one. That’s who.

Keep scrolling for her expert tips, plus a bonus section on building your own capsule wardrobe for easy outfit creation!


Meet Fran

Among many other things, I work as a personal shopper and wardrobe stylist!
People often employ the services of personal stylists when they’re going through a period of change in their lives – a new job, a big move, or a fresh start – and want an opportunity to re-invent themselves, but maybe need help figuring out a style that works for them.
It’s such a rewarding job – People don’t always realise how important style can be to the way people perceive themselves. If you know you look good, you’ll feel good and be more confident, which is so so so important!

How To Find Your Personal Style

1. Only wear things you like.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but unless something makes you feel happy, there is absolutely no point in owning it. Obviously work uniforms are exempt from this rule, but there are ways to make them less awful – Get your corporate uniform shirts tailored to fit you properly for example!



2. Take inspiration from your accessories

Most people start with the dress, or the top, but sometimes you need to shake things up a bit, or you end up just wearing the same combinations all the time! Rather than viewing your accessories as an afterthought, basing outfits around them forces you to think about the clothes you own in a different light. Pick out a necklace and choose a shirt with just the right neckline to show it off, or choose a pair of earrings and then do your hair around them.


Miss Pinup nz Fran Robertson | Velvet DeCollete

3. Find a silhouette that works, and own it

My wardrobe is full of swing skirts, and dresses with nipped in waists and full skirts. This would still be the case if I had no interest in vintage, because this is a silhouette that works for me and my body shape. Jackie O almost exclusively wore sheath dresses, because that was her silhouette of choice.


Miss Pinup nz Fran Robertson | Velvet DeCollete

4. Keep track of what you have, and what you need

Take note (on your phone, or in your diary) of your favourite wardrobe staples, and the things that you are missing. This way, if you pop into a shop on your lunch break and they have brightly coloured belts, you know which colours you actually need rather than just buying double ups.
I also have close up photos on my phone of the prints in my wardrobe that are tricky to match things to. I can look at them when I’m out, which reduces the chance of buying things that don’t match anything!



5.Break the rules!

There are so many ‘rules’ that just shouldn’t exist – Fat girls shouldn’t wear stripes, no pink over 40, ‘less is more’, short girls can’t wear maxis, etc.
( Side note from Velvet: Amen girl! Where did these rules even come from?!)

The only rule that matters is that you have fun putting your look together.


Miss Pinup nz Fran Robertson | Velvet DeCollete


Bonus Info!
What’s a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothes that all go together. It leaves you open to a whole bunch of different combinations, you can choose shapes you’re comfortable wearing, and you can add to it easily enough as you become more confident choosing pieces.

This is the basic formula I follow when building a ‘capsule wardrobe’ for someone, which can apply to almost any style!

  • 1 x Printed Dress
  • 1 x Plain Coloured Dress
  • 2 x Printed Tops
  • 2 x Plain Coloured Tops
  • 1 x Jeans / Pants
  • 1 x Printed Skirt
  • 1 x Plain Coloured Skirt
  • 1 x Jacket – Blazer / Motorcycle Jacket / Denim Jacket / Lightweight swing coat
  • 3 x Cardigans / Boleros / Casual Cover-ups

Tips for getting the most out of your capsule wardrobe

  • If you are starting from scratch, pick a colour palette that you like, and buy things that fit within that. A favourite of mine is White or Cream with Navy, Red, and Tan, but I am also partial to Black, Cream, Tan, and Gold.
  • Make sure your plain coloured items match the colours in your printed pieces, so you can mix and match
  • There’s no hard and fast rule about accessories, but they can really transform an outfit. I try to have necklaces, belts, and scarves in all the colours that show up in my printed pieces.


Thanks for sharing your style tips with us Fran!
Fran has a treasure trove of outfit inspiration on her website, Facebook and Instagram which I’d really recommend following if you need some style motivation! You can also hire her to make you exuberantly colourful things or do your hair and makeup.

Photos | Elizabeth J Photography, Zandy J and Glory Days Magazine

After more style inspo? Check out these posts!

Learn my three step technique for wearing 100% colour with zero percent effort in my Blue Hawaii post.

Drink up some pinup and vintage fashion goodness with my Inspirational Instagrammers roundup!


With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete


Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, LIFESTYLE, PINUP, 1 comment
Feline Fine | 1970’s Pinup Vibes

Feline Fine | 1970’s Pinup Vibes

It’s not all about the 1940’s and 50’s around here ya know.
Sometimes I dress like a jungle cat and feel those sultry 1970’s vibes.

There’s something about the Seventies that’s just so glam. Not the fleuro daisy print costume shop Seventies, the cool Seventies. The Bianca Jagger wearing Halston at Studio 54 Seventies. How could you not fall in love with the booty shorts, big hair and exuberant debauchery of an era where cocaine was harmless and Donna Summers was queen?

I feel like this shoot is set in the wind down after a heavy night ( or day ) of partying. In that golden space where you’re tired but still riding the party high. Right before complete exhaustion and a killer hangover put you to bed for twelve hours.



Outfit Details

Chiffon Leopard Print Top | Valley Girl – I’ve been wearing this top for 5 years and I’ll wear it until it falls apart.
Booty Shorts | Thrifted
Bikini Bottoms | Victoria’s Secret – Preloved
Shoes | Pulp Noir – Old season
Bangles & Earrings | Thrifted
Sunglasses |

Inspired by the metallic bronze paint and black interior of the Plymouth this outfit is all earthy neutrals and black. Natural wood, gold leopard print and carved bone bangles catch the evening light. Their textures balance my matte fabrics with the metallic sheen of the car, and pick up the gold of my vintage hoop earrings. Bigger is better in my book, but man are those clip on earrings heavy!

My shoes play with contrasting textures too. Leopard print satin sits above glossy black patent platforms and heels. ( Yes, you can wear two sizes of leopard together. As long as they’re similar colours I figure they’re both neutrals right? ) These babies are my favourite shoes. Flattering on a shorter figure and reasonably comfy, I will legitimately cry when they eventually wear out.  I actually have the same style in all black!

All those different textures and patterns mean this sexy feline outfit photographs equally well in black and white or colour.



Photos | The most excellent Mike Froger
Mike also imports badass guitars with nice cases. Like the one I’m carrying in that first photo. So if you need a guitar call him or something.

Before you go, take a moment to appreciate 1970’s leopard clad babes Donna Summers and Jerry Hall. Meeeee-ow! Two totally different ways of wearing our favourite feline neutral.


With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete


Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment
Inspirational Instagrammers | Pinup & Vintage Edition

Inspirational Instagrammers | Pinup & Vintage Edition

Hi, I’m Velvet and I’m addicted to Instagram.

No lie.

As a visually focused person Instagram is like crack. I can lose hours ( easily ) scrolling through those glossy pinup photos and dreamy vintage styled sets. But ya know what? Ain’t nobody got time for that! With so many amazing Instagram users out there and a frustrating algorithm, accounts that speak to you can be like needles in the photographic haystack.

But before you get out that pitchfork, take a look at these inspirational IG handles. Nine Vintage and Pinup Instagram accounts you should be following.  The women and men I adore for outfit inspiration, joy, education, or simply for beauty.

Vintage VandalInspirational Instagram pinup and vintage model Vintage Vandalizm aka Jazmin

If you’re a pinup or vintage enthusiast, chances are you already follow and adore Jazmin of Vintage Vandalizm. If not, get over to her IG feed asap!

Jazmin’s fierce yet feminine style throws vintage, pinup and eighties inspirations in a blender and somehow comes out looking like a stone cold urban tigress. She’s all curves, all sass and her images absolutely make my day. If we could magically change our appearance, I’d choose to look like Jazmin.
As a model, blogger and style expert Jazmin is showing us how it’s done and I’m continually inspired by her work ethic and achievements.


Vintage EgyptologistThe Vintage Egyptologist - Inspirational 1920's Instagram User

Egyptologist Colleen Darnell lives, works and plays in the roaring twenties.

She explores Egypt, teaches Egyption History at the University of Hartford and looks like a sleek 1920’s panther when the lights go down. Every look Colleen creates just kills me, and if you love 1920’s fashion, Miss Fisher and the allure of archaeology you’ll be an instant fan.


Dandy WellingtonBig Band leader, singer and fashion forward (or is that backward?) vintage instagrammer Dandy Wellington

Band leader and vintage lover Dandy Wellington is a hot cuppa coffee on a winters day; High energy, smooth AF and a guaranteed pick-me-up.

His IG feed is vintage lifestyle diary, serving live action shots from his shows alongside fashion focused images, and a side of candids with various pinups and vintage lovers.  Dandy’s style is an exuberant celebration of masculine fashion with bold three piece suits, dashing hats and rich textures. He is, after all, a dandy.


Rachel Ann JensenVintage and Pinup Instagrammers you need to know about. Rachel Ann Jensen's glamorous vintage wardrobe

If there could be only one glamour advocate in the world, it would be Rachel Ann Jensen. The woman is IMPECCABLE.

From her corseted waist to her coiffed hair and unmistakable wiggle walk, Jensen epitomizes the golden age of glamour. Her Instagram feed is a dreamy indulgence of 1940’s and 50’s style set against a chic city backdrop.


Daniel James BrownMale vintage style Instagramer Daniel James Brown

Daniel James Brown looks like a man who’s making the most of prohibition. His style is gritty, layered, reminiscent of Peaky Blinders gangsters and moonshine runners. His girlfriend Rosie features occasionally, sometimes pulling out earthy androgynous looks that are worth scrolling through for.

If you like your vintage gents looking real and a little dangerous, this account is a must-follow.


Jessica Out Of The ClosetInspirational Instagrammer Jessica Out of the Closet, shares her pinup style, spoonie life and her lesbian love story
With her megawatt smile, beautiful wife and adorable dog, Jessica Kellgren-Fozard’s Instagram is just too sweet for words.

Jessica is one of my favourite Insta pinups because not only is she an accomplished, stylish, gorgeous woman, but she does it while living with disability. Check out her Youtube channel for awesome (and cute) videos about living with disability, deafness, lesbian pride and travel!
( I especially like 13 Things My Hearing Friends Should Know )



Miss Alba BananaMiss Alaba Banana is a Parisian Pinup with a gorgeous Instagram gallery.

She’s beautiful, stylish and Parisian. Need I say more?

While there are a number of incredible French pinups, Miss Alba is hands down my favourite. Her romantic Instagram gallery looks like a dream issue of Vogue sprinkled with lush vintage artwork. The fact Alba is a total sweetheart and you’ll want everything in her wardrobe makes seeing her posts in your IG feed even more delicious.

Miss Tammi SavoySinger and pinup Tammi Savoy is a pinup and vintage style instagram account you need to be following!

Personally I’m inspired by pinups who can rock different styles from different eras, and Tammi Savoy does so with ease.

Her 50’s glam is perfect, her 1960’s hairstyles are to die for and she’s an absolute queen in 1970’s threads. She’s stunning, STUNNING I tell you. I’m constantly floored by how calm and confident she looks – whether she’s singing with the Lovettes or hanging out with her daughter Tammi is an absolute vintage dream girl.

Vanessa Frankenstein1970's inspired red head pinup Vanessa Frankenstein is one of the best vintage and retro instagram accounts to follow

Innocently sexy and effortlessly cool, Vanessa Frankenstein has seventies vibes for days.

The fiery haired model and makeup artist delivers 1970’s inspired looks, film stills, art and psychedelia in a way that keeps you scrolling. Her feed feels warm, intimate and oh so retro – just how I like it. If you’re a fan of New Romantic art and wish you’d been at Woodstock, you’ll love Vanessa’s images.


Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list of the best vintage or pinup Instagram users. But they’re my personal favourites.
Some of them you’ll know and maybe some you won’t. I’m always on the lookout for more gorgeous Instagram galleries to feed my IG style addiction, so please share the handles you love! Leave them in the comments below or DM them to me at my Insta account x

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete


Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, LIFESTYLE, PINUP, 0 comments
Start Your Engines | A Bad Girl Photo shoot

Start Your Engines | A Bad Girl Photo shoot

Bad girls have more fun. Especially with big shiny Cadillacs and skintight powermesh skirts.

This set was shot outside an imposing vintage venue, next to a busy dog walking park. That’s right, wholesome citizens innocently walking their dogs saw a lot more than they expected. But that’s kind of what we do right?

Stylewise this shoot is a mix of classic pin up and fetish inspired fashion. I wanted the silhouette of an 1950’s or early 60’s wiggle dress, but with the brazen sexiness of a retro grindhouse heroine. Layering garments of varying opacity and texture a game of skin hide and seek for the viewer.

My Photoshoot tip | Contrasting garments with different finishes and opacity helps the camera capture detail when photographing an all black outfit. Meaning you won’t turn into a big dark blob!

Scroll down for a full outfit breakdown.

Wardrobe and photography style can create give the same location a whole new mood. Check out my Cadillac Dreams post to see the set we shot just before this one – same location but a totally different vibe!


Start your engines! Velvet DeCollete mixes classic pinup with sexy grindhouse style in this bad girl photoshoot featuring a sleek and sexy Cadillac.

Alternative pinup bad girl Velvet DeCollete poses in skintight black mesh against a pastel Cadillac car

Good girl gone bad alt pinup model Velvet DeCollete poses in mesh and leather with her puppy

Outfit Breakdown

Black Satin Bra | Pleasure State
Lace and Mesh Bodysuit | Stella McCartney
Mesh Skirt | Retro Lip Service
Leather Belt | Alannah Hill
Gloves and necklace | Vintage
Sunglasses and Earrings | Tock Tick Vintage
Hosiery | Pretty Polly Vintage Top Nylons
Shoes | Borrowed from my Mother’s collection
Bracelet | Gift


A beehive hairstyle and cateye glasses are all you need for retro bad girl style. Black and white sexy pinup photo

Good girl gone bad, or just plan bad? Velvet DeCollete is the perfect mix of vintage pin up and fetish inspired sex appeal in this black and white pinup photo

Good girl gone bad, or just plan bad? Velvet DeCollete is the perfect mix of vintage pin up and fetish inspired sex appeal in this black and white pinup photo

Shoot Details

Photographer | Froger
Shoot Assistant | LaVonne from Tock Tick Vintage
Model | Velvet DeCollete (moi)
Puppy Wrangler | My Ever Patient Husband


The upside of shooting near a dog park? Our then-puppy Echo got to ride along. Look how liddle she was!

We adopted Echo from an animal rescue shelter after falling in love at first sight ( After I was adamant we’d look at lots of dogs haha). It’s lovely to have photos before she grew up all big and serious looking, I can’t believe she was ever this tiny.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete



Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 3 comments

Black & White Glamour | Pin Up Photoshoot

What’s black and white and glam all over?
Me, with my fancy pants and giant fluffy stole.

From Coco to Audrey to Cruella De Vil, black and white fashion has always been simultaneously bold and chic.

Often employed for understated elegance or graphic mod style, black and white can be effortlessly cool. However exaggerated glamour is more my jam! Extremes of femininity and texture have inspired my upcoming collectionof uber fluffy faux fur mega stoles! This boa/stole hybrid that looks like a sexy skunk is one of the pieces I’ve been working on, and trust me, it’s so decadently soft and enveloping.

Marlene Dietrich, Cabaret and our Queen Dita Von Teese sparked the concept for this shoot. I wanted to reference the black and white publicity shots of Hollywood’s golden era, but with an intimate, personal edge.

Cruella De Vil meets Pinup Glamour in this black and white photo set featuring Miss Pinup New Zealand Velvet DeCollete and alt pinup fetish photographer Froger

Cruella De Vil meets Pinup Glamour in this black and white photo set featuring Miss Pinup New Zealand Velvet DeCollete and alt pinup fetish photographer Froger

Cruella De Vil meets Pinup Glamour in this black and white photo set featuring Miss Pinup New Zealand Velvet DeCollete and alt pinup fetish photographer Froger

Outfit Details

Mega Fur Stole | Velvet DeCollete
Jacket | Preloved via Trademe
Trousers | Thrifted
Corset | Corset Story
Knickers | Trademe
Gloves | Vintage
Hat | Borrow from my Mother
Fully Fashioned Stockings | Photographers own
Shoes | Thrifted

Love monochrome but hate boring outfits? I layer textures and shapes to create a black based outfit that looks luxe, not lazy. Styled specifically to be shot in black and white, the textural blacks are offset with two bold pops of white; long gloves and my faux fur.
Pairing soft, wide leg trousers with a constricting corset and thick wool jacket creates a silhouette that’s feminine while referencing masculine style elements.

Can you believe the satin trousers and jacket are both from the oppy? ( That’s a thrift shop to my American friends ). So is the hat, an equestrian dressage topper found by my mother in a small town St. Paul’s.

Cruella De Vil meets Pinup Glamour in this black and white photo set featuring Miss Pinup New Zealand Velvet DeCollete and alt pinup fetish photographer Froger

Cruella De Vil meets Pinup Glamour in this black and white photo set featuring Miss Pinup New Zealand Velvet DeCollete and alt pinup fetish photographer Froger

Cruella De Vil meets Pinup Glamour in this black and white photo set featuring Miss Pinup New Zealand Velvet DeCollete and alt pinup fetish photographer Froger

Photography | Froger

That photo above is one of my favourites right now. Froger catches me between full poses sometimes and those relaxed photos stand out from my other facial expressions ( to me at least!).  Pinup and glamour lovers can find the rest of this set over at Froger’s photography website. I highly recommend subscribing to his member’s area because holy hairspray does he photograph some stone cold foxes!

With Style & Sass,

     Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 3 comments

Cadillac Dreams | Hollywood Inspired Pinup Photoshoot

Bad girls may have more fun, but Paramount girls get away with it.

Inspired by the elegance of classic Hollywood and it’s movie starlets this is the sister set to Start Your Engines | A bad Girl Photo Shoot. Shot in the same location with the same magnificent Cadillac this set takes style inspiration from the publicity shots of 1930’s – 1950’s cinema stars. (With a few ‘paparazzi’ style shots thrown in for fun and accuracy).


Cadillac Hollywood Starlet | Pinup Photoshoot | Velvet DeCollete

Cadillac Hollywood Starlet | Pinup Photoshoot | Velvet DeCollete

The Inspiration

Back in the golden age of Hollywood film companies like Paramount and MGM would arrange photographers to snap their new stars at home ( usually not even their real home!) and at social events. These not so candid images were vintage equivalent of an intentionally unintentional looking celebrity Instagram photo.

My outfit inspiration was a chic movie star. Is she attending a cocktail party as some luxe resort? Heading to a rendezvous with her lover? Or is she on her way home, in the clothes she wore the night before? Either way, her studio will cover up any indiscretions.

Inspired by these totally posed but supposedly unexpected publicity photos, we shot a mix of classic glamour and paparazzi style images. This is one of the first photoshoots I worked with Froger on and it’s still one of my favourites today.



Outfit Breakdown 

Wiggle Dress | Velvet DeCollete – sewn from a Vintage Vogue pattern
Gloves, Sunglasses, Bag & Fur | Tock Tick Vintage
Shoes | Pulp Noir
Vintage Imitation Pearl Necklace | Gifted
Earrings | Diva
Hosiery | Pretty Polly


Cadillac Hollywood Starlet | Pinup Photoshoot | Velvet DeCollete

Cadillac Hollywood Starlet | Pinup Photoshoot | Velvet DeCollete

How beautiful is the vintage fawn skin bag in the photo above? I nicknamed it ‘The Bambi Bag’. Unsurprisingly it’s part of La Vonne’s personal collection, alongside the fur stole.

Oh and did I mention Elvis stopped by? He’s such a hoot!

Cadillac Dreams | Velvet DeCollete

Photographer | Froger
Shoot Assistant | LaVonne from Tock Tick Vintage
Model | Velvet DeCollete (moi)

With Style & Sass,

               Velvet DeCollete


Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 1 comment
Is Photoshop Harming Pinup Communities?

Is Photoshop Harming Pinup Communities?

Pin up and photoshopping. They walk hand in hand, but do we acknowledge their relationship enough?

You know I’m all about honesty, so I feel it’s time we honestly discussed the relationship between photoshopping and pinup art. How much is edited? Are we okay with it? Do you know when you’re not looking at reality?

I’ll be showing you my own before and after photos as well as some historical examples. ( Because I’m not interested in calling anyone else out, ya know?). I hope you’ll find it interesting and that it opens a conversation about how we feel about photo editing and it’s effects within our pinup communities.

What is Photo Editing?

Photo editing, often achieved using tools like photoshop , lightbox or photo filters ( we’ll refer to ‘photoshopping’ to keep it simple) is digitally or manually manipulating a photograph. This can be anything from adjusting some colours or brightening a dark photo, to slimming a body, airbrushing skin, adding length or volume to hair or changing background locations.

Let’s Start With Some Pros and Cons

Like every tool photo editing has it’s upsides and downsides. Let’s run through a few to get an idea of what we’re dealing with.


  • Photo editing is an incredibly powerful artistic tool allowing users to create images that don’t exist in real life, just like a painter or a sculptor.
  • Editing images can improve our confidence, removing temporary or permanent blemishes like scars or acne.
  • Photo editing can correct or improve lighting and colour discrepancies, and details that can’t be captured by a camera the way the human eye sees them.
  • It can be super fun and inspiring to change the way you look, the colour of your hair, or create a highly artistic version of yourself without having to make those dramatic changes in real life.


  • Photoshopped images create and enforce unrealistic and unachievable beauty standards – especially when used in advertising and by celebrities.
  • Photo editing can make us unfairly compare our real life selves to edited images, leading to negative body image and mental health issues.
  • Photo editing can give a false example of a product or it’s results ( hello Instagram makeup artists ;p )
  • In some circumstances photo editing can just be downright sneaky.

To decide if a photoshopped pinup image is positive or negative I ask myself these questions:
Is it fit for purpose?
Is it creating a false ideal?
Do we know it’s been photoshopped?

Is It Fit For Purpose?

Definition:  well equipped or well suited for its designated role or purpose.

Fit for purpose is the main factor in how I feel about photoshopped images. Does the photo become more suited to it’s purpose by being edited?

I’m going to quote an anonymous source here, because they summed it up really well but I don’t want anyone getting crucified by trolls.


“Are you making a cheesecake image which is effectively highly photoshopped by definition? OR are you making your Instagram images so edited you make people wonder what happened between when you placed the photo on Instagram in the morning, to when they saw you? The initial is a style, the latter is a self image issue. “


We can safely assume that cheescake pin up photos are edited.

This isn’t news to fans of the cheesecake or glamour style, it’s been happening for as long as the genre has existed. Early photographers edited their subjects by burning and dodging, or by altering lines when they colored the images with paints. Gil Elvgren essentially photoshopped his models, slimming and lengthening their proportions in his paintings like the ones below. You can see more examples of 1950’s pinup photographs vs paintings here.

I feel like this is okay, because these images are created as art

On the other hand, I feel that heavily edited ‘candid’ shots * side eye at the Kardashians* create a harmful and unrealistic expectation of what a human body looks like. A filter and hiding a few zits are one thing, being unrecognizable is another.

To quote another anonymous babe from my local pinup community…


“I love artistic editing, and those style choices can really take images to a whole other place, but passing that level of editing off as natural would just seem ingenuine. “

In My Opinion…

Pinups making cheesecake style photos, or consistently editing ‘candid’ images but being open about it – cool, whatever makes you happy, we know you’re being an arty motherfucker with those photos.

Pinups editing candid or event photos and pretending they’re natural – you’re probably contributing to the body image and self confidence issues so many people struggle with, because they’re comparing their natural selves to your secretly super edited self.

How do you feel about editing cheesecake pin up images compared to candids or Instagram selfies? Do you think there’s a difference? Are they both okay or is one or both contributing to our unrealistic cultural beauty standards?

How Photoshopped Am I?

I want to show you exactly how Photoshopped my photos are. It’s important that you can see the difference between professional, edited glamour photos and review or event images.

When I’m shooting a cheesecake or glamour pin up I let the photographer edit whatever they need to fulfill their artistic vision. Photographers clear up my skin and cellulite, adjust the colours and contrast, or give the image a film grain or other texture. This stuff is great for a creating an idealised pin up style like you’d see in traditional pin up art. Personally I feel it’s an appearance altering tool like contouring makeup and shapewear.

Mike Froger photographs and edits most of my images. We share the opinion that women’s bodies are rad and don’t need to be changed in the shape department. He does kindly edit out my psoriasis, pimples and sometimes freckles and cellulite on my chest, arms or legs. The freckles on my face are usually covered by makeup. Not because I don’t like them, but because I use a heavier foundation to cover my psoriasis and I’m not skilled enough to cover that and leave the rest sheer!

Here’s an example of the difference on our photos. The left hand image is unedited apart from being made black and white. The right hand image is edited.



Logan Davies was kind enough to give us some examples of the more heavily edited photos I’ve shared. These are edited and unedited images from our lingerie photoshoot and you can see the huge difference in colour, contrast, skin texture. I’ve been stretched in one shot to make my 5’4 frame longer.



You don’t see this level of editing on my review or candid photos. I’ll clear up any major skin problems and sometimes throw on a filter to create a mood, but secretly editing my body shape or height would be unfair to you guys. And what’s the point of creating a warped idea of what the reviewed garments actually look like?

Here’s some before and after examples of clothing review photos I used a few months ago.



As you can see, not a huge difference there. I wear makeup and practice poses that enhance my natural body shape, so what you see in these photos is basically what you see when I pose in real life.

My Instagram selfies use filters to enhance colours or lighting,  or my phone’s beauty face filter on low strength to even out my bad skin. I don’t know how to remove zits or scars or make my eyes bigger or my waist smaller or any of that stuff haha.

I do basic editing because my Insta account is for my modelling and brand, not myself personally, and I want it to look a little polished. I’m okay with my freckles, wrinkles and white hairs though so you’ll see those! I’m happy to tell you exactly what I’ve changed on a photo if you’re ever curious.

My personal photos on Facebook haven’t been edited at all for the last few years because who has time for that?

Can You Spot Photoshop?

Photo editing seems most dangerous when you can’t spot it. When it’s not alien smooth skin or mismatched backgrounds whispering that the thigh gap isn’t 100% legit.  When you think that it’s real. When a social media feed of perfect selfies makes you feel like you’re the only person to ever have love handles, tummy rolls or bad skin.

Just for the record, every person I’ve ever met has tummy folds and back folds and armpit bums or whatever the hell they call them. The skin that stretches flat when you stand straight has to go somewhere when you curl up, so it makes folds. IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL AND YOU’D BE FUCKED WITHOUT IT.
*Edit: Apparently they’re armpit vaginas and Miss Victory Violet has a hilarious video about them that you should all watch*


Anyway back to sneaky photoshopping. The whole premise of really good photo editing is that you can’t see it. I look at photos of my pin up inspirations like Jazmin ( Vintage Vandalizm ), Rachel Jensen and Dita Von Teese and I often have no idea if anything’s been changed. I just assume they look that amazing in real life.

And that’s the danger. Like millions of other women, I aspire to be as beautiful as a photograph of a person I’ve never actually seen.  This is the aspect of photo editing that might be harming our pinup communities. The part that makes our gorgeous friends and those that look to us as role models feel like they’re not good enough. The part that we need to openly talk about and remember that what we see on social media is usually someone’s highlight reel, not their full time life.

So Is Photoshopping Good or Bad For Pin Ups?

It’s both and neither.

Photo editing is a tool. We can use it to create art, to rose tint our daily lives, to exaggerate, show the truth or to lie. How we use it is up to the individual, but it’s also up to the individual to consider the message they’re sending to others.

It’s common knowledge that heavy handed photoshopping is de rigueur in mainstream marketing. We know it’s having a negative effect on our society, particularly on women and young girls. I don’t know if highly edited cheesecake photos and selfies have the same effect within our pinup communities, and I think it’s something we need to discuss honestly and often to make sure we’re supporting and educating ourselves and those who follow in our footsteps.

I’ll be opening a discussion around photoshopping in pin up on my Instagram, my Facebook Page and my pinup support group The Pinup Posse. Please stop by and share your experiences and opinions, I’d really appreciate hearing your views on the Photoshop debate!

In the meantime can you do me a favour? Put down your phone or step away from your PC.  Stand in front of the mirror and appreciate your body. It may be skinny, thick, tall, short, scarred, damaged, spotty or dimply, but it’s your body. Cellulite is just another texture and mummy tum’s or visible hip bones are another shape to explore. I know it can be hard ( trust me, I know ) but be kind to yourself, and please don’t compare yourself to photos that might not even be real!

With Style and Sass,

   Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, PINUP, 0 comments
Living The Pin Up Mermaid Dream

Living The Pin Up Mermaid Dream

What did you want to be when you grew up? A princess, a fireman, a racecar driver? A mermaid?

I wanted to be a florist (until extreme hayfever came along. Universe says No.), but I still felt like a kid when my mermaid tail arrived.

That’s right, I bought a mermaid tail.
I wore it to the beach.
In winter.
It was freeeeeeeeezing.
But so, so worth it.

Pinup Mermaid Velvet DeCollete sunbathes on a boulder at a beach In New Zealand

Pinup Mermaid Velvet DeCollete sunbathes on a boulder at a beach In New Zealand

Actually I bought two tails and a monofin. After trying and failing to buy locally due to horrific customer service, I ordered the Liquid Sun Gold and Catalina Green tails from Shipping and currency conversion from the United States were a bit of a killer, but I was stubbornly set on having them by this point.

I contacted 2Tails about sizing as the adult tail measurements looked too large for me. They strongly recommended I go with the adult size. Unfortunately it is a bit loose around the hips and very loose around my 26″ waist. I fold the excess fabric down inside but I could have sized down to the teenage tail.

My styling for this shoot was inspired by mermaids from vintage advertising and pinup illustrations. I left most of my hair to it’s wild natural curl with a Mermaid Lagoon inspired roll in the front. I custom made the the clamshell bra and mermaid shell hairpiece. Don’t the pearly tones and neutral coloured shells work beautifully with the golds and bluey greys of the tail, sand, sky and sea?

Pinup Mermaid Velvet DeCollete sunbathes on a boulder at a beach In New Zealand

Pinup Mermaid Velvet DeCollete sunbathes on a boulder at a beach In New Zealand

If you’d like your own mermaid bra ( available with or without straps ), hairpiece or colour coordinated set be sure to get in touch!
I was silly enough to run out of spirit gum, so I spray glued mine on for these photos. 10/10 do not recommend. The removal pain was real.

I haven’t worn the green mermaid tail for a photoshoot yet, just in the pool, but I’m lending it to the fabulous Mrs Greatnews for her photos soon! I can’t wait to see her owning her pinup mermaid glory.

Before I go, can we get a high five for my awesome husband? He took these photos when the photographer ( who requested the shoot ) didn’t show up!

Photos | James Beck
Model | Velvet Decollete
Clamshell Bra and Hairpiece | Velvet DeCollete
Mermaid Tail | The2Tails

With Style & Sass,

      Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 2 comments