pinup girl

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
Honest Review | Downtown Dame Faux Leather Wiggle Dress

Honest Review | Downtown Dame Faux Leather Wiggle Dress

A brief but honest review of the hottest dress I’ve ever worn
( aesthetically and physically )

I’m talking about the Downtown Dame dress from Pin Up Girl Clothing, in bubblegum pink faux leather. I’ve had this dress for a year, but it took a few wears to decide how I really felt about it.
I’ll keep it short and sweet – this dress is hot, as in you feel like a total babe made entirely of dangerous curves.
It’s also hot, as in if you’re in a warm environment you’ll sweat like cheese in clingfilm.
Personally I’m happy to make the trade off, but I’m also happy to keep it for the cooler months. Or air conditioned locales.

The only other downside to the Downtown Dame wiggle dress, is that when I wiggle, my thighs touch. In this dress they are permanently squished together and were painfully chafed by the end of a long sweaty night. I’d highly recommend wearing shapewear shorts or those wide soft lace thigh garters designed to stop chafing.
( I actually might get some of those garters just because they’re cute)

BUT… I 100% still love the Downtown Dame dress.

why?
Because it curves in all the right places. It accommodates my not-inconsiderable augmented bust, while still fitting snugly at the waist. The kick pleat extends high enough that by some miracle I haven’t torn it, as I have every other kick pleat in my wardrobe. The belt is nice and wide, and the straps are adjustable. And honestly, I feel like a vinyl wrapped fetish Barbie when I wear it.

So that’s my honest opinion of the Deadly Dames Downtown Dames dress. If you want it in the fake leather finish be aware that it’s a trade off. Will you be comfortable? Unlikely. Will you look and feel like the hottest badass to walk the earth? Undoubtedly.

If it’s any help at all I’m 5.3″ tall and my measurements are 33″ –  25.5″ – 36.25″.  I’m wearing a size XS. If you’d like to read a plus size review of this dress there’s a fabulous one over at Curves to Kill.

PS: Don’t wear this at the beach.

An honest review of the Pinup Girl Clothing Downtown Dame dress from the Deadly Dames line. Find out what it's really like to wear this bubblegum pink faux leather wiggle dress.

An honest review of the Pinup Girl Clothing Downtown Dame dress from the Deadly Dames line. Find out what it's really like to wear this bubblegum pink faux leather wiggle dress.
An honest review of the Pinup Girl Clothing Downtown Dame dress from the Deadly Dames line. Find out what it's really like to wear this bubblegum pink faux leather wiggle dress.

Photos | Froger – otherwise known as the only man who can convince me to wear stilettos on sand

* I wasn’t paid, sponsored, given product or otherwise encouraged to write this review, just so ya know. *

With style and sass,

        Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 | Who, Why, What and Where?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Let’s Take a Look at the Ten Finalists!

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

With Style and Sass,

               Velvet DeCollete

 

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Nylon Stockings & Vintage Tease

Nylon Stockings & Vintage Tease

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

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

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

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Outfit

Chemise | Galliano
Stockings | Vintage fully fashioned nylons, thrifted

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

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

Model, HMUA | Velvet DeCollete
Photographer | Froger

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

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

With style and sass,

            Velvet DeCollete

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Tui | A Bespoke 1950’s Cocktail Dress

Tui | A Bespoke 1950’s Cocktail Dress

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

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The Outfit

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

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

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

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

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

With style & sass,

                   Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
Play Your Cards Right | Lingerie Review + Pinup Photoshoot

Play Your Cards Right | Lingerie Review + Pinup Photoshoot

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Password please?

If you’re going to run illicit poker games, a derelict 1960’s camper van is the least suspicious location. And I’m all about subtlety…obviously…

The Shoot

This once cheery caravan was the quintessential backdrop to a 1960’s beach holiday. Froger and I made it anything but.
You see, photography locations aren’t about the hand you’re dealt, they’re about what you do with it. We do retro lingerie and grungy interiors, which means we make magic in locations others wouldn’t touch! I love that our shoots don’t use stereotypical pin up ‘pretty’ backdrops and studios.

The playing cards were among the scattered debris, covered in a layer of dust. Feeling nostalgic for the rainy day card games we put them to use. Playing in my knickers is the only way I’ll ever win at poker!

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Pip & Pantalaimon Lingerie Review

Can we talk about this Pip & Pantalaimon bodysuit for a sec? IT’S. SO.CUTE.

Froger calls it the Bubblegum outfit, It’s custom made to match those glossy white and pink heels. While the shoes in his kit are always too big for my teensy feet, this bodysuit was made to fit me ( and any other model he shoots my size, so get in there ladies! ). Made in white stretch mesh and satin, it sports hot pink trim – straps, garters and contrast stitching.

Soft cup bras are more comfortable on augmented breasts than underwires, and this is no exception. No digging or pinching here! The bodysuit feels soft and snug, like a firm hug, giving less compression than serious shapewear while still smoothing the silhouette.  As a seamstress I’m telling you the pink spiral stitching on the cups and front panel is PERFECT. I wish I had a close up to show you but the sun washed out the detail in these shots.

Basically, I’ll be spending some of my hard earned cash on their lingerie. Because it’s niiiiiiiiiiice. Because I believe in supporting small businesses. Because Froger won’t appreciate me stealing this from his kit. And because twelve clip garter belts. TWELVE CLIPS ladies, you have no idea of the comfort.

*As usual, I didn’t get paid or sponsored to gush about this. I just get excited about sharing stuff I love with you guys!*

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 If this taster left you wanting more I’d love you to check out the entire set here!

Photos | Froger Photo
Bodysuit | Pip & Pantalaimon
Shoes | Unknown
Stockings | Thrifted
Clip on Ponytail | Hairquip

If you’re into alternative pinup and offbeat locations read these posts…

Tribute to John Willie
Gartersnap Girl

New Problems in Medical Ethics

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment
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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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
To Cuba with Love | A Retro Baseball Pin Up

To Cuba with Love | A Retro Baseball Pin Up

 

It’s been a few weeks since my Cuban adventure and I’m still completely smitten. I can’t wait to plan a return trip to where the love, warmth and pride of the people radiate the same golden glow as their glorious sunshine.

While Cuba has its problems and surprises in store for tourists, for me it was the adventure I needed. I fell in love with the music and dancing (my poor tour guide had hardly any sleep once I’d experienced a Cuban nightclub), the food, the endless supply of cheap cocktails ( someone hand me another mohito!) and of course the friends I made along the way. The holiday was temporary, but they’re for life.

So this one’s for you Cuba, with love x

Vintage Baseball Pinup | Velvet DeCollete
baseballshirt16

baseballshirt13Vintage Baseball Pinup | Velvet DeColleteVintage Baseball Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Model, MUA, Hair | Velvet DeCollete
Photos | Duke Debonair

dog

PS: This is what happens when you’re shooting, but your dog wants a cuddle. We all know she’s the real boss around here haha!
This is also the only proof I was originally wearing sneakers for this shoot – before I remembered I’m short and I need heels.

 

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Vintage Style at the Winter Garden

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Sometimes when life gives you lemons you pull out the tequila.

It was time for my yearly chop. Determined to have Miss Victory Violet work her magic on my tresses before she leaves our humble shores I trotted off to Killer Hair. Miss V snipped and sprayed and a couple of hours later my tangled curls were a few inches shorter and impeccably groomed. I sashayed down the stairs feeling a like a 1940’s dame and … enter the lemons. Lemons of the thundering rainstorms and gale winds variety. The variety that destroys manicured hair in seconds. But I wasn’t going to let some lousy weather waste a perfectly good hair day.

Froger wrapped it up in a noir novel kinda way, I’ll pass it over to him from here…

“So when one of my fave models is getting her hair done and wants to grab a few shots afterwards …well, you jump in the car and hit town don’t you?

Yeah the weather was atrocious. Torrential rain landed just as Velvet left the salon. It blew every notion I had of getting some ultra cool shot down at Silo Park so we thought fast and decided to try the Winter Garden. It’s a horrific cliche I have to admit and I have avoided that kind of place like the plague but I didn’t have any other clever idea that might have worked in the circumstances. I mean I did think a shot in front of the big red bill boards on Symonds Street would have been pretty awesome but it would have ruined the “do” and pissed off one of my go-to models.

It was dark too. Like headlights on at 4 o’clock dark.  I didn’t bring any gear except my camera and zoom lens. Honestly I thought we’d lost any opportunity of getting a shot. And damn, Velvet looked fantastic. Anyway I haven’t tried shooting like this before. It’s a combo of action camera work and a flukey bit of luck. 200mm lens, high speed auto drive, high ISO, slow as fuck lens speed, rock steady aim and having your model face the merest smidgen of light that there was (which was almost none). She did her thing and I just pressed the trigger like a stupid monkey. But I’m really liking some of the shots. And I think I managed to avoid the Winter Garden backdrop sufficiently to maintain a wee bit of photographic street cred.”

Working with the weather instead of fighting it we dashed out in the next clear patch. I was shivering in glacial winds and Froger was lying on his jacket on the wet ground. I can’t speak for him but I think it was worth it. Time pressure, cold light and windy conditions created results so different from my previous shoots; I absolutely adore these more spontaneous images.

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Outfit Breakdown

Dress | Thrifted
Belt & Vintage crotchet gloves | Gifts from my Mother
Vintage fur cape and garter girdle | Tock Tick Vintage
Stockings with lace design | Fiori Hosiery

All photographs by Froger 

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