Auckland

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

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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, 2 comments
Casually Glamorous | Michele’s Glittering Bridal Party

Casually Glamorous | Michele’s Glittering Bridal Party

Some things happen for a reason. In this case I’d say that reason is love. Michele and Rob were meant to be, and their wedding was one of the most joyous and emotional I’ve seen.

The Design Process

When it came to gowns bride Michele and her daughter Kathryn knew what they wanted. With inspiration images and (sparkling, enchanting, ocean-esque) fabrics in hand they arrived on my doorstep for Michele’s first consultation. The theme was casual glamour – glittering gowns and romantic flowers in an outdoor wedding ceremony, followed by the reception was in an adorable rustic hall.

By the end of that consultation we had sketches for a glamorous wedding gown and three bridesmaids, each tailored to the individual body shape of the wearer.

The custom design process always has ups and downs. Weight loss and a last minute bridesmaid swap due to pregnancy threw some spanners in the works. Luckily creating dresses for happy people is a great motivator and a few late nights later I was back on schedule. Keeping calm when hiccups happen is part of my job as the designer – the bride has enough on her mind!

 

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Second wedding, second wedding dress, mature bride, mature wedding dress, colored wedding dress, wedding dress designer , wedding dress maker new zealand, waikato, mangawhai, beaded wedding dress, navy blue wedding gown, beaded bridal jacket
Velvet DeCollete, Second wedding, second wedding dress, mature bride, mature wedding dress, colored wedding dress, wedding dress designer , wedding dress maker new zealand, waikato, mangawhai, beaded wedding dress, navy blue wedding gown, beaded bridal jacket


That Beaded Jacket

My favourite detail of Michele’s bridal gown? The beaded lace jacket. Designing garments around lace patterns and hand stitching lace and beads is my specialty. ( Vivien Master’s gown is another example of my love for lacework, check out her delicate corded lace bodice here. )

I carefully cut the jacket from the center length of the embellished lace, placing each pattern piece to ensure a symmetrical result. I then trimmed the wide scalloped border from the lace and hand applied it to the constructed jacket to line up with the existing motifs. Careful cutting and overlapping of the scalloped border created the right shape and fit around the hem of the garment. Any stray beads were then resewn into the design. The dress itself features beaded lace motifs on and under the bust, making the jacket and dress appear as one piece.

The result is a garment that looks like it’s made from one piece of specially designed lace, when in fact it’s made from many. As a bonus, the separate jacket can worn over any dress, so Michele can enjoy wearing this sentimental piece on special occasions.

 

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All of the gowns are fully lined and boned to give flattering support and shape. This is essential when creating strapless dresses – there’s nothing worse than seeing a beautifully presented woman hiking the top of her dress up all the time!

If you’d like to enquire about creating a stunning gown of your own, feel free to contact me. I promise it’s a relaxed process and not at all scary! More beautiful gowns and happy clients can be found in my design gallery.

With Style & Sass,

       Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Cadillac Dreams | Hollywood Inspired Pinup Photoshoot

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
Choosing & Caring for Vintage Clothing | Secrets of a Vintage Store Owner

Choosing & Caring for Vintage Clothing | Secrets of a Vintage Store Owner

Wearing and caring for vintage clothing is immensely rewarding but also nerve wracking. Which pieces should you buy? How do you clean that delicate fabric? Where do you even start? While Google is great I’m wary of unproven cleaning methods.

Instead I turn to La Vonne ( Doyenne of the recently retired Tock Tick Vintage store ) for her tried and true tips on selecting and maintaining a gorgeous vintage wardrobe. With a lifetime of experience and impeccable taste to match, Lavonne’s a goldmine of knowledge! If you’re always buying clothes but have nothing to wear, you’ll want to check out my 5 ways to buy the right vintage, not any vintage.

VIntage dresses at Tock Tick Vintage | Velvet Decollete

LaVonne what do you look for or avoid when buying vintage items?

Early on I used to collect almost every vintage item from last century (pre 1980) that crossed my path, as I just love finding and collecting vintage lovelies.  Over time I have developed a more selective approach as some items are more commercial, collectible, rare and so on.  These days I try to procure pieces that translate easily into more modern day styling or quality timeless pieces that have withstood the test of time; either in functionality, style or both.  I am very particular about quality and I really do try to offer the best quality vintage I can, bearing in mind that some items were created decades ago, so some flaws are inevitable and to be expected.  Great care is taken in laundering and making tiny repairs if necessary to offer the items as close to the original as possible.

When I’m out searching for vintage treasure, the condition of the item is very important to me.  Whilst some items are simply great to have because they are like museum pieces and marking a moment in time, generally most are going to be worn regularly and need to reflect that in their condition.  I avoid items where the fabric is decaying or brittle. Vintage silks are beautiful, but when you hold them up to the light you can see the fibers are breaking, sheer or rotting.  Be mindful that certain fabrics, particularly natural fibers, do have a lifespan.  

Therefore my main tip for buying vintage clothing is to buy good quality.  Avoid items that have major faults.  Better to pay a little more for quality key pieces than having a wardrobe brimming with ‘average’ items.

If you could recommend one starter piece to someone new to vintage style, what would it be and why?

Vintage jewellery, hands down.  Add a brooch and earring set to a little black dress you already own and boom!, the stunning attention to vintage detail has us wondering if your entire ensemble is vintage too. The other wonderful thing about vintage accessories: they generally aren’t size dependent. I can wear a modern simple black dress and  accompany it with my beautiful handbag, gloves, brooch and hat.  The size of the dress is irrelevant yet the vintage detailing makes the outfit.

vintage accessories from Tock Tick vintage | Velvet DeCollete

Lavonne Says

Brooches added to a hat, a scarf, on a jacket.  Fabulous.  

A string of simple pearls, always in style!  

Similarly a black jet necklace!

Clip on earrings!  

Take a look at Mad Men folks … every woman is wearing jewellery to polish off her look.  These items are affordable too.  Compared to buying a dress or an entire outfit, you can add your $30 earring, brooch and necklace set to many outfits.  To your twinset, with your capris on the weekend, or on the bodice of your evening gown. 

Just a tip, if you are not used to wearing clip on or screw on earrings they can take a little getting used to! However, like wearing in a new pair of shoes, it’s the same for your vintage earrings.  Wear them for an hour at a time around the house often and over time your ears will get accustomed to them.  Got a great pair of classic shoes?  Your clip on earrings can double as pretty shoes clips to give your outfit instant vintage glam !

Tock Tick Vintage is known for your stock of wonderful furs. How do you clean and maintain them?

  • Firstly, I recommend you do the following with any of your valuable clothing items:
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    lace the garment outside on a hanger two or three times a year on a gentle breezy day (not too hot and sunny, furs don’t really like too much bright sun for too long and extended heat dries out the leather pelt).  Ventilating your clothing is a simple and easy way to keeping them fresh.
  • I purchased a natural soft bristle pet brush from the pet store (was not expensive) … and every now and then I brush the fur, this is actually quite a tactile lovely process I find.  It aerates the fur, removing any dust particles  and keeping it silky. Of course, dealing with many furs it’s handy for me to have a brush.  You can do this with clean hands for the same effect.
  • Getting rid of that musty smell. You can hang the fur in a garment bag and place an open envelope full of coffee granules at the bottom, zip it up and leave it for about three days.  Take the fur out of the bag,  brush it, replace the coffee and repeat for another  three days.  Then air the fur outside for an hour or so over a weekend.  The fur will smell of coffee for a short time but this will completely go, as will ‘that smell’.  This is surprisingly effective!I also personally use a solution of one parts vodka to 3 parts water in a spray bottle to remove smells. Hanging the fur outside on the line, I stand back from the fur and spray a fine mist over the fur (and articles of vintage clothing too) making sure to not wet the items, but mist them.  Allow to dry then brush.  I have never caused any damage to my items through this process but of course care is required.
  • Never store your furs in plastic .. they need to breathe .. in fact never cover with anything when in storage. If possible, store in a dark cool place (closet is fine) .. but maybe place a hook from the ceiling or on the wall in there so it can hang slightly separate (ie) you don’t want it to be squished between all your other clothes, will flatten the fur and will not allow air to circulate around it.
  • I highly recommend buying a product like ‘DampRid’ and keeping these in your wardrobes. Not to protect just your fur, but your other wardrobe treasures.  I find I replace these quarterly at a cost of around $7 per time.  These little buckets of moisture absorbing crystals are incredibly effective at keeping moisture and mould out of your wardrobe. Not a bad investment for keeping your clothes in great shape at $30 per year.
    I know it seems straight forward, but run your hands though the garments in your wardrobe each week and quickly vacuum the floor and ceiling as part of your housework routine. This keeps dust and wee bugs away from your treasures and is another simple 30 second solution to help keep your clothes fresh.
  • Your fur needs to be placed on a decent wide, padded or shaped coat hanger  to retain good shape and be well supported. I have had customers purchase furs that they are going to keep displayed on a mannequin in their home.  This is fine so long as it is never in direct sunlight, is in a relatively cool position  and is regularly brushed and shaken to keep it aired and dust free.  I agree, they look beautiful, why not display them!!!!
  • Gentle surface washing will do no harm to fur, but wetting the pelt might make the fur fall out.  Using a very mild baby or pet shampoo diluted with water then using a cloth or a brush the solution to clean the fur without penetrating the pelt works well.
  • When you see a label on vintage fur items ‘clean using the furrier method only’ this refers to a process where furs were tumbled in machines filled with gritty sawdust .. the dry friction cleaned the leather and left the fur silken and clean.
    I have effectively cleaned fur stoles/collars/hats  with unprocessed bran (gently heated in the oven first).  You then place the fur in large bag (pillowcase even) with bran.  Shake it around vigorously for a few minutes, then discard and brush out the bran.  This is pretty labour intensive, the bran takes ages to brush out, but it really absorbs smells and dirt and leaves the piece lovely.  Crazy I know!Caring for vintage furs | Velvet DeCollete

As furs were more common in the past, there were expert furriers that would care for fur treasures.  These are now difficult to find and possibly quite expensive. I personally use common sense with my fur care.  If you pay $100 for a vintage fur stole you may not necessarily wish to go to the expense of paying a professional to care for it.  The silver fox fur I owned is still as immaculate as the day I purchased it some 20 plus years ago just by using some common sense. That said, if you own a top quality blue fox coat that cost thousands of dollars, I do recommend getting it the professional care it requires.  

I don’t know of any furriers in Auckland but I am sure if you check with your trusted dry cleaner they could point you in the right direction.  I would imagine in cities with colder climates where fur coats might be worn more commonly due to temperature, more places would be available to purchase and care for fur.

This all sounds very in depth.  It is actually relatively simple.  I make small mends when seams come apart and I spot clean if I have to.  When buying a vintage item there will often be imperfections, these items have been lovingly worn over time and that is to be expected.  You will lovingly wear it and care for it too.

Top tips for keeping your vintage clothing in good condition from vintage store owner LaVonne

What do you feel are the most important accessories for vintage style?

It’s no surprise I’m obsessed with vintage accessories.  I would toddle off to Secretarial College in the mid 1980’s wearing my Nana’s 1950’s houndstooth coat with black fur collar, my Mother’s 1960’s patent handbag and a pair of slingback black suede winklepicker shoes.  Ironically I never questioned my ‘look’, whether is was current or relevant, whether it was appropriate even, I just loved those items and I felt fabulous.  Those vintage treasures brought me real joy.  They in some way transported a piece of me back in time, gave homage to those I loved and were different to anything I could find in high street stores.  I guess that was the beginning of the obsession.

Whether fully immersed in vintage styling or you have alternative or eclectic tastes, or just love the beauty of pieces crafted in a time of quality and attention to detail … vintage can be a great way to individualise your wardrobe with things you’ll love.

Vintage accessories are so great for this.  My collection of vintage handbags is vast however I always recommend to my customers that owning a black and a neutral vintage handbag is a great start as then you can always add that vintage flair to your outfit .  You can add a brightly coloured hair flower to your classic handbag to tie in your look.  

My vintage go-to accessories

Jewellery

Handbags

Gloves

Scarves

Classic coat

Fur (or faux fur) collars

It really is fun hunting out those vintage pretties to tie an outfit together.  Don’t be afraid to experiment and enjoy.  Remember; if you love something .. isn’t the joy you get from that piece what’s special? ♡

Vintage shopping tips from Tock Tick Vintage

A few of La Vonne’s happy customers.

And there you have it, expert do’s and dont’s for protecting and laundering your vintage treasures! I recommend you bookmark or pin this post, I come back and refer to it whenever I have a new-to-me vintage garment that needs some TLC.

With Style & Sass,

   Velvet DeCollete

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, LIFESTYLE, 3 comments
Very Vintage Day Out 2016 | Photo Safari & Outfit of the Day

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

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

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

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | David Watson

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | David Watson

The Outfit

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

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

Outfit Breakdown

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

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | Shifting Light Photography

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

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

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

vintage style VVDO 16 | Velvet Decollete

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

With style & sass,

             Velvet DeCollete

 

 

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

Thursdays on O’Connell | Ten Days of Fashion Catwalk

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

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

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

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

Kate van der Drift  3

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

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

Kate van der Drift  2

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

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, PINUP, 0 comments
Happy Endings and Disney Dreams | A Floral Fifties Wedding Dress

Happy Endings and Disney Dreams | A Floral Fifties Wedding Dress

I’m a sucker for a cute love story . Occupational hazard I guess. But Justine’s, Justine’s got me right in the feels…

A Disneyland visit,  a teacup ride proposal, a fun romantic country wedding – it was a happy ending fit for a fairytale! But a Disney heroine needs a suitably wonderful dress. That’s were I come in.

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Justine is a hilarious, energetic, no nonsense kind of gal. She wanted a wedding dress, but liked the idea of a high-low skirt that wouldn’t get in the way of dancing, carousing or shenanigans . It had to suit her sassy personality and vintage fete wedding. . Most of all it had to be sexy; in a classy, classic kind of way.

With Justine’s desires in mind I designed a bold yet timeless floral gown. A 1950’s inspired dress with a full skirt and  boned sash to define the waist. The fluttering satin train is removable, making her dress more versatile (both on the wedding day and after), while matching satin trim defines the sleeve hems and flattering boatneck. I love how the peacock blues made her red hair pop!

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Photos | Kate Little Photography

Justine knew what she wanted from her wedding dress and it made me think: There can be a lot of pressure to please people on your wedding day. Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunties, they all have their idea of what a bride should wear.
What really matters is what you want to wear. I’ve made coloured dresses, short dresses, enormous dresses, and yes – white dresses – and every bride has been beautiful, confident and most importantly… herself.  No two women are the same, so don’t feel like your dress should fit someone else’s mold.

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
It’s Art Darling | Renaissance Meets Pinup Photography

It’s Art Darling | Renaissance Meets Pinup Photography

Adendum 13.03.2016 | Since I wrote and published this post things have changed. Many members of the vintage and pinup scene I know and adore have come forward with experiences of unprofessional behaviour, outstanding debts and broken contracts in their dealing with Zandy J Photography. Zandy also broke our contract by failing to provide any of the high res images that were promised from my shoots.

This is not okay.

In my line of work and so many others professionalism and honesty are everything. I will not be working with Zandy again until these matters have been resolved. I hope those who have been inconvenienced and emotionally or financially hurt by her actions are heard and I offer them my support.

Zandy J pinup photography was my photographer homegirl.

She took a chance on me when I was green as a bean, giving me the experience I needed to develop my modelling style. Our early shoots gave me a portfolio that lead to wonderful relationships with other photographers and creatives. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of her photographs.

Zandy was also the first person to shoot me nude. She was keen to emulate renaissance paintings (one of my favourite periods in art) and assured me the results would be tasteful fine art. Still, it was not a decision I made lightly.

Now It’s one thing to wander around naked at home, chocolate biscuit and cuppa in hand, but a studio is another matter.  I found posing nude simultaneously vulnerable and empowering. On one hand you’re exposed, baring yourself to the judgement of others. Anything could happen. On the other, you’re embracing your form, exploring your femininity / masculinity and hopefully realising that being naked isn’t explicitly sexual. I’d definitely do it again, but only with a trusted few behind the camera.

We also played with a huge vintage fan I scored in an op shop. I love these photos and Zandy’s editing of them.

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If you’ve posed in the nude, how did you feel about it? Would you do it again? Share your experiences in the comments section!

Photographer | Zandy J Pinup Photographer
Model + HMUA | Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 3 comments
Lilac Romantic | A Burlesque Costume

Lilac Romantic | A Burlesque Costume

Lilac Romantic –  that’s what I call this costume in my head. It’s kinda classically feminine yet sexy. It’s also kinda almost finished. (Update, since I wrote this post, it’s now finished! Some parts have changed, it’s encrusted with rhinestones and on tour in the USA!).edit 3

This soft lilac, mottled purple and black 5 piece burlesque costume consists of a boudoir robe, corset, panel skirt, bra and G string. It needs fittings and some adjustments to make it perfect, and a half ton of rhinestones need applying by it’s new owner. However I’ve been worked my butt off non stop to have the main parts done by an early deadline so it deserves to be seen!

I’m so excited to finish this and see it adorning MisRed Delicious as she struts (…grinds/shimmies/twerks..) her stuff!
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Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Patchwork Doll in Distress | A Burlesque Costume

Patchwork Doll in Distress | A Burlesque Costume

I’m a sucker for a damsel in distress, especially a pretty one. So when Pandora Cherie asked if I could make a Patchwork Doll costume on short notice I couldn’t leave her hanging. Or naked. Not that anyone would’ve complained.

The brief was simple(ish) : a patchwork dress worthy of Raggedy Ann, with a few cheeky removable panels at the hem. The sleeves needed to tear away and the dress had to withstand a 4 show run of contemporary burlesque.

The result: the sexy-cutest ragdoll you’ve ever seen.

ragdoll, burlesque, costume, bespoke, new zealand, raggedy ann, pandora cherie

ragdoll, burlesque, costume, bespoke, new zealand, raggedy ann, pandora cherie

ragdoll, burlesque, costume, bespoke, new zealand, raggedy ann, pandora cherie

ragdoll, burlesque, costume, bespoke, new zealand, raggedy ann, pandora cherie

 

Unfortunately I can’t find any photos with the sleeves and second detachable hem still on, but we can’t blame the photographers for getting distracted ;p

Photos | David Michael Photography (top 3) & James Bennet (bottom photo)
Performer | Pandora Cherie at “Life in the Toybox”
Costume | Beckon Couture

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 1 comment