nz pinup

Pinup vs Personality | The Story Behind My Beauty School Dropouts Photoshoot

Pinup vs Personality | The Story Behind My Beauty School Dropouts Photoshoot

Maintaining balance in my pinup life is hard.

Earlier this year I met one of my Instagram followers in real life. We chatted for a while, and she said ” Oh my god you’re such a goof! I never would have guessed.” I was floored. How could you not know I’m a total dork?
That night I took a long look at my social media feeds – curated collections of professional photoshoots and event selfies – and realised how. My social media personality was unbalanced.

As a new pinup starting an Instagram profile, maintaining the illusion of  pinup perfection seemed vital. As if real pinups never went barefaced, and people would judge me if they knew I couldn’t wear makeup everyday. But trying to present only one side of my personality created an imbalance.

It’s a like building a house of cards; pay too much attention to one side and the whole tower will topple.

Since creating my social media profiles my concept of pinup has evolved. I’ve relaxed into my own brand of pinup, melding my kooky personality and glamour girl aesthetic. But the idea that I could NEVER post a makeup free selfie stuck, making sharing my daily life a no go. As a result, people who haven’t met me in person probably have NO IDEA what I’m really like.  I wanted to explore this personality vs appearance split in a photoshoot representing the concept.

pinup model Velvet DeCollete explores the two faces of pinup and her personaility in a photoshoot inspired by vintage playing card art - the Joker and the Queen of Hearts

A  deck of cards seemed the perfect analogy – The wildcard Joker and the regal Queen of Hearts packed into one box. A vintage box of course!

Inspired, I started working on pinup outfits inspired by 1950’s playing cards. You can find hundreds of examples on Pinterest , some of them works of art in their own right. The frolicking jesters and jokers below inspired my Joker costume. Aren’t they just darling!?

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The Beauty School Dropouts and photographer Tony McKay  brought my idea to life . Their photoshoot packages offer cheesecake and screen siren posing styles in the same session, so I could shoot both costumes but have continuity in hair and makeup. On the day Miss Monique Sweet helped me get to grips with the cheesecake style so different to my usual alternative and glamour work (she also picked that bubblegum pink backdrop!). Letting my goofy side out in front of the camera was more challenging than I expected!

After choosing my two favourite images, Tony edited them onto vintage playing cards. A harlequin clad Joker and a bombshell Queen of Hearts – two faces of the same deck.

The photos are so cute! The jester set became my campaign images for Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017, with a couple of Queen images making an appearance. I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do with the cards yet, but I’d love to incorporate them into merch of some kind, what do you think? ( Seriously, would you like Velvet merch? Leave me a comment and let me know!)

Bright and crisp, the playing card photoset is markedly different from my other images, and I love how fun they are! Shooting with the Beauty School Dropouts and Tony had a bubbly, female focused environment. Fran working her makeover magic and pose coaching from Miss Viva Las Vegas 20 Monique makes it easy for anyone stepping out of their comfort zone. The photos were processed and delivered SUPER QUICK. 10/10 would shoot with the team again!

Velvet DeCollete is serving mid century jester realness in these cheesecake pinup photos by Tony McKay and the Beauty School Dropouts. Inspired by vintage playing card pin ups Velvet wears a Collectif clothing harlequin playsuit and custom made jester's ruff and frilly cuffs.

Velvet DeCollete is serving mid century jester realness in these cheesecake pinup photos by Tony McKay and the Beauty School Dropouts. Inspired by vintage playing card pin ups Velvet wears a Collectif clothing harlequin playsuit and custom made jester's ruff and frilly cuffs.

Velvet DeCollete is serving mid century jester realness in these cheesecake pinup photos by Tony McKay and the Beauty School Dropouts. Inspired by vintage playing card pin ups Velvet wears a Collectif clothing harlequin playsuit and custom made jester's ruff and frilly cuffs.

Joker Outfit Details

Playsuit | Atomic Harlequin Playsuit from Collectif Clothing (pom poms added by me)
Ruff and frilled cuffs | Velvet DeCollete
Shoes | Number One Shoes ( old collection)
Pom pom shoes clips | Velvet DeCollete
Belt | Forever New
Hair flowers | Fran Robertson Decorator of People & Things

Classic pin up girl velvet decollete poses in a 1950s black swimsuit with red roses while sheltering under a bright red parasol. Her brunette hair is in a poodle 'do with bumper bangs and she wears shiny red high heels

Classic pin up girl velvet decollete poses in a 1950s black swimsuit with red roses while sheltering under a bright red parasol. Her brunette hair is in a poodle 'do with bumper bangs and she wears shiny red high heels

Queen of Hearts Outfit Details

Swimsuit | Thrifted, altered and embellished by me
Shoes | Pinup Couture, bought second hand from Honey L’Amour
Crown in card image | Velvet DeCollete
Bangles | Borrowed from Fran!
Parasol | Gifted

Photography | Tony McKay Studios
Hair & Makeup | The Beauty School Dropouts

 

With Style & Sass,

    Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 comments
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

Posted by velvetdecollete in 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
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
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

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

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

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

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

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

Miss Havisham's Day Out | Velvet DeCollete

Miss Havisham's Day Out | Velvet DeCollete

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

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

Miss Havisham's Day Out | Velvet DeCollete

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

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

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments

Golden Age Glamour

Golden Age Glamour: An evocative phrase, bringing to mind diamantes and satin gloves, fluffy boudoir mules and furs. Nothing makes you feel more glamorous.

Golden Age Glamour | Velvet DeColleteGolden Age Glamour | Velvet DeColleteGolden Age Glamour | Velvet DeCollete

Golden Age Glamour | Velvet DeCollete

Outfit Breakdown

Bra + Suspender Belt | Pip & Pantalaimon
Knickers | The Warehouse – unsure of brand as I always cut the tags out!
Gloves + Fur | Vintage
Earrings | Diva
Stockings | Undercover back-seam stockings by Voodoo
Boudoir Mules | Thrifted

A side note on bras | This bra was too big in the band for me, but I also found the cups just weren’t the right shape for augmented breasts! Any recommendations for vintage style bras that work for ladies that have had some help?

Photos | Froger
Model + Styling | Velvet DeCollete

With style and sass,

               Velvet

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The Classics Museum Calendar | Behind the Scenes

The Classics Museum Calendar | Behind the Scenes

Classic cars, classic dames and classic film noir vibes; the 2017 Classics Museum Calendar is the most glamorous way to organise your year. I’m so chuffed to be featured in it ( Check out March!) so I’m taking you behind the scenes of the massive undertaking that is shooting twelve months worth of moody noir goodness.

There’s a hard working team behind the calendar. Photographer Tiffany Curtis, Glory Days Magazine, The Beauty School Dropouts , Tony McKay Commercial, Debonair Do’s , Honey L’Amour  and of course the models and the team at the Classics Museum and Jukebox Diner. It takes a lot of hands and six days to get fifteen models through hair and makeup, wardrobe and finally in front of the camera! Tony made these beautiful videos to give you an idea of what goes on behind the photos…

The day starts early with hair and makeup (contrary to popular belief we don’t wake up looking that glam!). Inspired by noir film The Dark Mirror Debonair Do’s and The Beauty School Dropouts gave Lola and I mirror image 1940’s hairstyles and classic vintage makeup. That’s Lady Kittyhawk below applying my false eyelashes while the rollers cool.

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Classics Museum Calendar 2017 | Velvet DeCollete

Photo | Tiffany Curtis

Then it was off to Rose from Glory Days for wardrobe. Those adorable retro play-suits are from Vivien of Holloway! Things don’t always fit perfectly but there’s always tips and tricks to make it look great on camera. My belt was a little loose so it’s pinned and bulldog clipped in at the back!

Time for a quick test shot before heading downstairs to the cars.

As a model shooting something like this means early morning travel ( some people came from as far as Christchurch!) and cold locations. The darling Jukebox Diner staff kept us warm with delicious hot chocolates as we snuggled into our coats between makeup and shooting. If you’ve been to the Classics Museum you  can imagine that high ceiling and concrete floor are perfect for displaying cars, and perfect for chilling models haha!

 

We shot several different poses, some in this gorgeous old car and some next to it, trying to channel the tension and atmosphere of The Dark Mirror. I won’t give away too much, but it’s a thriller about two twins, one of whom acts with evil intent.

One of the things that surprises people is how many people are actually at a photoshoot like this! It certainly puts the pressure on when everyone is staring at you making sure the hair, makeup, lighting and pose are just right. That attention to detail is what makes the end result so excellent.

And that’s a wrap!

A few quick portraits and we’re done. Of course we couldn’t resist a wander around the museum to see the other cars and pose with the old petrol pumps…

I loved working with such a professional and talented team, and I love seeing the stunning cars up on my wall. I just wish my hair could look this good every day haha!

2017 Classics Museum Calendar | Velvet DeCollete

This really is a beautiful calendar, with people from every age and walk of life within it. You can grab your own online or from me directly by commenting below or sending me a message on Facebook. If you’re in the Waikato pop in to the Museum or the Waikino Tavern and pick one up in person!

With style and sass,

                Velvet

PS: Lady Kittyhawk is a brow wizard, just look how sharp and defined they are!

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Reading in Lingerie | New Problems in Medical Ethics

Pin Up Fetish Model | Velvet DeCollete

You’re going to love this photo set. Oh and there’s now a second edition of Reading in Lingerie.

A foreword on these photos |
In my vintage collection is a set of medical journals; “New Problems In Medical Ethics”. Translated from the French Cahiers Laennec, ( a set of texts from 1934) they present ‘morally problematic’ medical cases and the treatments prescribed by the Catholic medical practitioners of the time.
Topics discussed include why adultery is morally and legally abhorrent when committed by women ( but acceptable from men ), how birth control emasculates men and destroys marriages, and how homosexuality is a mental illness to be treated using electrotherapy.

As a modern woman believing in gender equality and ownership of ones own body you can imagine I strongly disagree with these views. Especially as they are still being spouted by certain groups! Apparently so does our dog Echo, who promptly destroyed one of the books when my back was turned. (That’s the book you see being torn later, I’d never damage a salvageable book!). Being photographed with the journals while portraying behavior they deemed unacceptable in women seemed an appropriate way to express my opinion.

So here you have it. A lingerie clad, empowered, makeup wearing woman who has no fucks left to give for outdated “moral illnesses”. Enjoy.

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Outfit Breakdown

Lingerie | Pleasure State
Stockings | Pretty Polly
Shoes | Siren
Pearl collar | Vintage from Tock Tick Vintage

I wanted to contrast 1920’s / 30’s inspired hair with modern wardrobe, creating a juxtaposition of styles reflecting the conflict of past and present. It was my first attempt at a faux bob using a wet set and I’m absurdly happy with it.

Photos | Froger
Model, HMUA, Styling | Velvet DeCollete

You can see more of this photoshoot in the December 2016 issue of Sinical Magazine, available in print or digital format.

With style and sass,

               Velvet

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 1 comment

A Very Pretty Failure | Lemon Raspberry Rosemary Muffins

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“No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing. ” – Julia Child

Some of my greatest cooking achievements have been experiments. This isn’t one of them.

This one goes on the list with the moonrock microwave muffins I made when I was seven, and the dissolving cheesecake I made at the age of twenty two. (Which coined the phrase ‘failcake’ to describe anything you expect will be amazing, but really isn’t).

Recipe testing for a post Miss Charlotte Cake and I are planning I thought I’d fiddle with my favourite lemon muffin recipe by Alison Holst. Let’s just say the old “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ phrase certainly has a point.

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Because I was frosting these citrus babies I omitted the usual syrupy glaze, thinking it would make the muffins go mushy once iced.

Bad idea.
I repeat BAD IDEA.

Unless you want little rubbery missiles, douse those suckers in syrup. Or add more moisture to the batter itself.

Failed experiment aside at least they look pretty! I’m no expert cake decorator so I kept it simple with lemon buttercream icing, berries and rosemary blossoms. The resulting fragrance and colour combination was absolutely lovely. (But didn’t quite make up for the gummy texture as I found out shortly after the photos below).

Surely I can’t be the only one to make ammunition instead of nutrition – have you made hilariously bad food recently? You know you want to tell me.

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Not quite so deliciously yours,

                        Velvet

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, 0 comments