pinup fashion

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
Devel Branded Fashion Show | 1960’s Inspired Fashion

Devel Branded Fashion Show | 1960’s Inspired Fashion

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

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

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

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

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

With style and sass,

                  Velvet

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

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

Do you love vintage clothes?

I love vintage clothes.

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

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

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

1.  Does the garment have any damage?

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

2. Are the fastenings intact?

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

3. Does it fit?

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

4. Can you wear it right away?

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

5. Does it suit you?

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

best vintage shopping tips

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

Happy shopping x

With style and sass,

                                Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments

Monday Style Tip No.34

secure-plunging-necklines-with-fashion-tape

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

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments

Monday Style Tip No.34

 

pearl-or-diamante-studs-match-everything

They’re basically the perfect earring

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments

Monday Style Tip No.29

 

Shoe clips add versatile glamour | Monday Style Tip

I’ve also used them as dress clips, brooches and hair accessories, so don’t feel like you can only use them on shoes!

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments

Monday Style Tip No.28

one colour plus white is crisp and fresh | Monday Style tip

 

Struggle to pair colours? Try choosing just one colour and white for a quick and easy was to look fresh and chic. (for example a classic white shirt with blue jeans, a blue clutch and a blue statement necklace, or a yellow dress with a white belt, bag and shoes.)

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments

Monday Style Tip No.27

Iris Apfel dress to please you | Monday Style Tip

If it worked for Iris, it’s good enough for me.

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments

Monday Style Tip No.24

Monday Style Tip petticoat

Wearing a fitted top with a full petticoat and circle skirt can make your waist seem smaller than it is. Top the look off with a wide belt for extra impact!

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments