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The Inaugural Easter Bonnet – Along 2018!

The Inaugural Easter Bonnet – Along 2018!

Welcome to the inaugural annual Easter Bonnet-Along!

What’s better than hats?
Really fancy hats.
Really fancy hats paired with friends and Easter treats!

What’s This Easter Bonnet – Along Then?

An Easter Bonnet-Along ( according to me ) is where we all decorate fancy Easter hats so we can feel like Judy Garland in Easter Parade. Sounds great, right!?

Here’s How It Works

  1. Enjoy some fabulous vintage Easter inspiration on the special Pinterest Board I created just for you.
  2. Join the Inaugural Easter Bonnet-Along Facebook group so you can share your inspiration and hat decorating progress.
  3. Sew, build or decorate your themed Easter bonnet however you like!
  4. Post a photo of you looking fancy AF in your bonnet by Easter Sunday ( April 1st 2018)

Optional step 5: Arrange an Easter weekend meet-up with your fellow Bonnet-Alongers so you can admire each other’s handiwork!

 

Welcome to Velvet DeCollete's inaugural Easter Bonnet Along 2018!

 

Why Make An Easter Bonnet?

The tradition of wearing new clothes at Easter goes back at least as far as the 16th century, possibly as a result of Christianity adopting Pagan celebrations where the new life and bounty of spring represented the renewal of the year. Wearing new clothes for Easter was thought to bring good luck. By the end of the Great Depression new clothes weren’t affordable for many, so existing hats and clothes were retrimmed. Irving Berlin cemented the modern Easter bonnet in popular culture by celebrating the New York Easter parade in his 1948 film.

Religious beliefs aside, Easter Bonnets can be creations of pure joy. Just check out the incredible creations of the NYC Easter parade; see any sad faces? Nope. Personally I just love anything themed, and who doesn’t want a bouquet on their head as the Autumn months start to loom?

I hope this Bonnet-Along will give people some crafting inspiration and an incentive to catch up with friends and maybe meet some new ones!

 

I’m so excited to get creative and decorate my own hat while you make yours! While you get a-thinkin about your glorious future headwear, I’ll leave you with the dulcet tones of Bing Crosby. *sigh*
Just look at all those fancy hats.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments
Black & White Glamour | Pin Up Photoshoot

Black & White Glamour | Pin Up Photoshoot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outfit Details

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photography | Froger

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

With Style & Sass,

     Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 3 comments
Living The Pin Up Mermaid Dream

Living The Pin Up Mermaid Dream

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

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

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

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

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

Actually I bought two tails and a monofin. After trying and failing to buy locally due to horrific customer service, I ordered the Liquid Sun Gold and Catalina Green tails from the2tails.com. Shipping and currency conversion from the United States were a bit of a killer, but I was stubbornly set on having them by this point.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Style & Sass,

      Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 2 comments
Florals for a Florist | Sam’s Custom Swing Dress

Florals for a Florist | Sam’s Custom Swing Dress

Some people put a smile on your dial in an instant. Samantha is one of those people!

She’s also a total babe.

Florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha wearing her custom made floral 1950's swing dress designed and made by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer

We met at The Very Vintage Day Out 2015, in the fruit smoothie queue – as ya do- and struck up a conversation over our outfits. Samantha’s enthusiasm and humour over the glories and pitfalls of pinup style was contagious, and I was thrilled when she contacted me about a custom dress.

Sam needed a dress for a family wedding. She was doing the flowers, so she needed to retain an easy range of movement, but still look amazing ( obviously).  Inspired by her vivacious nature, I designed something bright that showed off her stunning tattoos. I really wanted to make her feel special

The Dress

Bright floral swing dress custom made for florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer specialising in 1950s and vintage reproduction inspired gowns, made to measure.

Bright floral swing dress custom made for florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer specialising in 1950s and vintage reproduction inspired gowns, made to measure.
Bright floral swing dress custom made for florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer specialising in 1950s and vintage reproduction inspired gowns, made to measure.

Bright floral swing dress custom made for florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer specialising in 1950s and vintage reproduction inspired gowns, made to measure.

The resulting swing dress combined elements from the 50’s style gowns she loved, mixed with the modern comfort of a stretch cotton sateen. As always I tailored the dress to Sam’s shape for a perfect fit ( Well fitting clothes are so important but can be hard to find for our curvy pinups! ).

The bodice is fully boned for support and shaping, and while  bright floral print is colourful it doesn’t clash with her fiery red hair. Stretch mesh allows movement in the folded cowl around the wide neckline. A feminine bow and a line of sassy cobalt blue covered buttons finish the back.

For the Very Vintage Day Out 2016  Sam accessorised her dress with the most gorgeous jewel green hat, green shoes and a wide white belt.

Florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha wearing her custom made floral 1950's swing dress designed and made by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer
Florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha wearing her custom made floral 1950's swing dress designed and made by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer

Sam was stoked with her dress and we’re excited be working on another gown later this year!

” Velvet is such a star! We bumped into each other at the very vintage day out in 2015 and early 2016 she finished off a beautiful custom dress for me! She was a dream to work with, a very clever lady and such a sweetheart. ”
– Samantha Keen

 

Photos of Samantha | Fran Robertson – Taken at VVDO 2016

 

If you’re interested in having your own dream garment made, you can contact me here for more information and to discuss your ideas. More happy clients and their stories can be found on my Fashion Design Page for your viewing pleasure!

With Style and Sass,

 

       Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Vintage Fashion | Glove Etiquette for Beginners

Vintage Fashion | Glove Etiquette for Beginners

I admit, I have a bit of a thing for gloves.

Specifically vintage gloves that are small enough for my stubby hands. They look smart, come in a trillion styles and colours and make you feel like a lady. They are also the one part of my wardrobe that gets consistently noticed.

But since our mothers were freed from the social expectation of hats and gloves, we’ve forgotten how to wear them! Gloves were an integral part of dressing for many eras, but the majority of questions I receive are from lovers of 1940’s – 1960’s fashion. So here, my darlings, is a beginners playbook for the wearing of gloves – information courtesy of several 1950’s fashion etiquette brochures.

When to wear gloves

Gloves should be worn on the streets of cities and large towns.
They should be worn when driving or travelling on trains, planes or other public conveyances.
Gloves should be worn for church and formal occasions including weddings, luncheons, dinners, garden parties or receptions.
The hostess should also wear gloves while she is receiving guests at these functions.

When not to wear gloves

Please remove your gloves to eat, smoke, apply makeup or play cards.

Glove Etiquette

  •  If you are lunching in a restaurant remove your coat on entering but retain your hat and gloves. Removeyour gloves when you are seated at the table.
  •  When attending a party with food or hors d’oeuvres turn your gloves back at the wrist or remove one while eating. ( This is where those gloves with wrist buttons come into play )
  •  When attending an informal event, remove your gloves on arrival and leave them with your coat.
  •  Always remove your gloves completely when seated for a meal. Try to do so discreetly, a lady does not make a spectacle of removing her gloves.
  • Gloves are left on while shaking hands.
  • Bracelets are the only jewellery that should be worn over your gloves.

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeColette walks us through the basic rules for wearing gloves, the perfect vintage fashion accessory.

Which gloves do I wear?

Day Gloves 

  • Short gloves in cotton or nylon come in lovely styles. Consider bright polka dot prints for the races, and embroidered or lace-trimmed gloves for summer parties.
  • Black kid leather is appropriate for city sightseeing and theater in metropolitan settings.
  • Crotchet or string gloves for casual garden parties and fairs in the country, or at the beach.
  • Leather gloves are wonderful in winter, especially for shopping and also driving.

Evening Gloves 

  • The appropriate length of glove can be chosen according to the length of your sleeves – the shorter your sleeves, the longer your gloves.
  • White and off white, including ivory, beige and taupe, are the traditional colors for opera gloves. these pale colours are appropriate for virtually any occasion on which opera gloves are worn.
  • Black Opera Gloves should not be worn with light-colored dresses, but can be worn with black, dark-colored or bright-colored clothing.
  • Black gloves are also considered the most elegant with evening dress.
  • Long coloured gloves should really be worn only with dresses of a coordinating colour scheme.
  • Opera gloves should not be put on in public but should be put on in the privacy of your own home. If they must be removed in public please do so discreetly. ( I can only imagine this was included in 1954’s brochure as the sight of a woman peeling off an opera glove could drive a man crazy.)

Lilli Ann inspired gold and black floral ladies suit. Made and worn with vintage hat and gloves and modern back seam stockings and leather heels.

Of course, these are the fashion rules from the era our beloved gloves are from. Modern women have the freedom to disobey or obey them as they please. Personally I find the subtle nuances of wearing vintage clothing part of the experience, so I  hope these guidelines will help you confidently don your gloves like the retro beauty you are! Have fun and be bold!

With Style & Sass

    Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 4 comments
The Devel Branded Pinup Shorts

The Devel Branded Pinup Shorts

Summer is arriving in the southern hemisphere, and it’s bringing BOOTY SHORT WEATHER!

Winter really isn’t my jam and I’m excited to swap my jeans and jumpers for short shorts and crop tops. In fact, I might swap some of my hard earned cash for the most perfect pair of bootie shorts I’ve ever tried on.

The Devel Branded Pinup Shorts

The Pinup Shorts from Devel Branded are vintage inspired,  high waisted and hard working. But that’s not even the best part. Danielle of Devel designed these shorts to give you the perfect, peachy, heart shaped butt! My derriere has never looked perkier than it does in these shorts.

Now if you’ve read my Vivien of Holloway Swing Trouser review, you’ll know I despise bulky front zips. The Pinup Shorts sport a discreet invisible zip in the back, leaving the front nice and smooooooth. Shaped by front and back darts the shorts taper into a flat waistband, while a cuffed hem accentuates the shape of your cutie patootie.

Oh, and they have a back patch pocket that’s big enough to hold my phone!


Sewn in practical dark indigo denim, these are the kind of shorts that survive a week of camping without looking any worse for wear.
At $159 NZD they’re more expensive I’d usually spend on summer denim, but are around the same price as Pinup Girl Clothing or Vivien of Holloway shorts once you take into account the exchange rate and shipping. ( Plus they’re made to measure so you know they’re going to fit!)

So while the Pinup Shorts will set you back the same amount of dough as three pairs of Glassons cut-offs, there’s a few thing you need to keep in mind…

  1. These will outlast cheap one season shorts, meaning you’ll never need to buy those three pairs. I’ve had a pair of denim shorts literally tear from the pocket edge to the waistband after a couple of wears, not exactly a great investment.
  2. They’re ethically made and support a local small business. ( So your cash isn’t supporting sweat shops, child labour or environmentally dodgy practices.) This is important to me because I’m making an effort to shop more consciously by supporting brands that share my values.
  3. Did I mention they’re made to measure? IE. will fit your curves like a glove, no pulling, squishing or baggy waistbands here!

Just look at that tushy!

Outfit Details

Pinup Shorts | Devel Branded
Rosie Shirt | Devel Branded
Shoes | Doc Martens
Bandanna | Discount Store


With Style & Sass,

     Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Honest Review | Collectif Clothing Juliette Pencil Dress

Honest Review | Collectif Clothing Juliette Pencil Dress

Today we’re talking wiggles. Not the wiggle in your walk and the giggle in your talk, but the Collectif Clothing Juliette wiggle dress.
Being in the Southern Hemisphere we’re coming out of winter as I write this, so I’ve had ample opportunity to test drive this cozy number for our Northern Hemisphere friends!

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

Let’s talk aesthetics first.

The Juliette pencil dress is a green and navy woven ‘chaise check’ (essentially a slightly glitchy looking tile pattern).
A sexy scooped back offsets the high boat neck front. It has a wide fur trim at the hem and a removable fur collar.
It also has a back split, but we’ll talk more about that later.

Overall verdict? It’s a demure yet foxy dress Joan Holloway style dress.

Now on to the serious stuff. How well does the Collectif Juliette dress wear?

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

Fab things about wearing the Juliette pencil dress

  • You feel like a sassy 1960’s martini drinking secretary. That scoop back is all kiiiiiinds of sophisticated sexy.
  • The fur trim is soft and snuggly, and the fur pile is long enough that it feels luxurious.
  • While the dress is unlined, the fabric is soft and non irritating.
  • It’s cooooooooozy. I’m not a fan of winter clothes ( I feel so frumpy all bundled up) but this is flattering and dressy enough that I’ve worn it to formal events and haven’t frozen!
  • It makes your butt look great. seriously. Check it out in the next photo.

Sad things about wearing the Juliette pencil dress

  • It’s a bit big in places. I ordered the size 8, which matched my measurements on the size chart. The Juliette dress is non-stretch fabric, so while some ease is required I find the waist and sleeves a bit looser than they need to be.
  • It’s made for someone taller (I know I’m short, I know ). The sleeves and hem are both too about 4cm too long. Which wouldn’t bother me much except… being a wiggle the Juliette has a slim skirt. When a slim skirt extends too far below the knees it increases the risk of the back split ripping when you walk.
    Which is exactly what happened to me. And then it just kept unravelling until it was dangerously high and I had to put my coat on.
  • The facing DRIVES. ME. NUTS. You can see in the photo below that the neck facing has a naughty habit of riding up above the level of the fur collar. This seems to be because it isn’t tacked down at all, so I can fix it, I just never remember to before I put it on.
  • It’s not easy care. Fur goes a bit gross if you chuck it in the washing machine so this is gentle hand wash or dry clean only.

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim
An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

Outfit Details

Dress | Collectif Clothing Juliette Pencil Dress
Shoes | Remix Vintage Shoes
Glasses | Eyebuy Direct
Earrings | Vintage
Hosiery | Columbine 70 denier pantyhose from Farmers

Photos taken at the Wellington Opera House

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

So there you have it, and honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette dress. As you can see, the pros and cons are fairly even, and while I get a lot of wear out of this dress, the length issues mean I wouldn’t buy another one. I just don’t have the free time to fuss around altering the hem with all that fur in the way!

The Juliette dress is also available in black ( which I bought at the same time as the this one ) and a regal gold and black jacquard. I believe all colourways are on sale right now, so if you want to pick one up now is the time!

With Style & Sass,

      Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 4 comments
Waterfront Style | Vivien of Holloway 1940s Swing Trousers

Waterfront Style | Vivien of Holloway 1940s Swing Trousers

A weekend getaway to windy Wellington requires a practical, yet stylish wardrobe. Something suitable for sunshine with blustery arctic breezes, waterfront strolls and eating waaaaay to much. I’m not one for wearing exercise gear when I’m not, well, exercising, so I opted for the clean lines and practical fabrics of 1940’s swing pants and a button down blouse.

* I wasn’t paid, sponsored or cajoled into writing the following post, just so ya know. However If you would like to sponsor, cajole or otherwise encourage me to review your product or service, please contact me here*

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

I gotta tell you, these trousers are something special. I’m short in the legs, long in the torso and there’s a large disparity between my waist and hip measurements. But the Vivien of Holloway 1940’s swing trousers don’t care.

Apart from being 4cm too long – like every pair of pants ever – they fit beautifully! I’ll be shortening them and widening the cuff in the process, but for this look I was happy to wear a comfortable heel.
Based on a WWII era pattern these swing trousers are ACTUALLY high waisted. As in they go well above my belly button. The wide waistband is firm and doesn’t fold down or scrunch up ( woooohoo!) and front patch pocket is cute, if not overly useful. But what really sold me is the side button closure. Leaving a smooth panel over the stomach, it’s both classic and far more flattering than a bulky front zip.
( Can you tell I’m not a fan of front zips? Why are 90% of pants determined to make one’s tummy look bigger!?)

Pairing these green trousers with navy, off white and chocolate brown felt so right for a brisk oceanfront walk. I’m loving how the emerald green and deep blues reflect the water.

Oh and did I mention the pants are pretty easy care? I’ve just been chucking mine through the washing machine and line drying them. The fabric is durable enough for everyday wear without worrying about damage from pets or rough surfaces, which is great if you’ve got an energetic dog like mine! Wide leg trousers are such a versatile style. Wear them casual with a knit top, or dress them up with a sophisticated blouse and jewellery.

Outfit Details

Trousers | Vivien of Holloway 1940’s Swing Trousers
Blouse | Collectif Clothing – Mona Shirt
Houndstooth Coat | Vintage
Gloves, Hat & Enamel Brooch | Vintage, Tock Tick Vintage
Two Tone Shoes | Remix Shoes – Sydney Heel 

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

Things you might want to know about Vivien of Holloway 1940’s swing trousers…

  • In my experience the poly cotton fabric doesn’t stretch much, so choose your sizing carefully.
  • I’m 5.3″ and these are 4cm too long if I’m wearing flat shoes.
  • I’m wearing the VOH size 10 which nicely defines my 26″ waist. For comparison I normally wear an NZ 6-8 in pants, or an XS in Collectif.
  • The fabric was a bit… crispy? Possibly to hold the front creases while packed? I washed them before wearing to remove the extra starch so they’d hang well.
  • Vivien of Holloway makes swing trousers in at least four fabrics and around a dozen colours, most of which I’d love to add to my wardrobe! Especially the Teal and Ocean colourways.

Waterfront Style in Vivien of Holloway green 1940's swing trousers. Velvet DeCollete is dressed in pinup style for the windy wellington waterfront wearing Vivien of Holloway, Collectif Clothing and vintage fashion.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 4 comments
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