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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

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 comments
Garter Snap Girl | A Bardot + Bellucci Inspired Pinup Shoot

Garter Snap Girl | A Bardot + Bellucci Inspired Pinup Shoot

Brigitte Bardot and Monica Belluci; two great style icons who inspired the style of this shoot. Part 1960’s ingenue, part bombshell, part Hitchcock heroine.

As always Froger captured the mood perfectly. Strategic lighting turned the lounge of a rundown historic hotel into the set of a retro thriller movie. (not that it was far off to begin with!).

Garter Snap Girl | Velvet DeColleteGarter Snap Girl | Velvet DeColleteGarter Snap Girl | Velvet DeColleteGarter Snap Girl | Velvet DeColleteGarter Snap Girl | Velvet DeCollete

Outfit Breakdown

Skirt | Mirrou
Top & Sunglasses | Boohoo
Stockings | Vintage nylons
Shoes | Pulp Noir

Love,

      Velvet

Posted by velvetdecollete in OTHER, PINUP, 1 comment

A Very Pretty Failure | Lemon Raspberry Rosemary Muffins

lemon-raspberry-rosemary-muffins-5

“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.

lemon-raspberry-rosemary-muffins-4

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.

lemon-raspberry-rosemary-muffins-6

lemon-raspberry-rosemary-muffins-1

Not quite so deliciously yours,

                        Velvet

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, 0 comments
1960’s Lavender Sleepwear | A Lingerie Addict’s Diary

1960’s Lavender Sleepwear | A Lingerie Addict’s Diary

Aside from black (my one true love), green and purple hold my affection above all other colours.
Lilac, lavendar, aubergine, olive, emerald and chartruese, any shade will do! These colours suit my pale olive complexion tone and green eyes, and I love them more for their rarity in modern fashion.

I love them so much that when this lavender sleep set appeared during my obsessive trademe trawling I pounced on it at once. I knew it was too big, I just didn’t care. I wear it anyway.

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Made in New Zealand by ‘Lesley Lingerie’ I’d say this sleep smock and robe date from the mid 1960’s.
Why? let me tell you…

 The style

Simple and voluminous this is quintessential 60’s lingerie. The peter pan collar and lace placement are typical of designer sleepwear and home sewing patterns of the era.

The label

A printed fabric label without fabric content or care instructions places this garment prior to 1972 (when permanently attached care labels became mandatory). It was produced after embroidered labels became less popular but before all tags were made of stiff or plasticy materials.

The Fabric

Some careful testing tells me the lining is a polyester cotton blend, while the outer layer and robe are nylon ‘chiffon’. Lingerie designers went crazy for these fabrics in the 60’s!

The Construction

Serging or overlocking is used on these garments. While serging was used in the 1950’s and earlier, it wasn’t overly common until the 1960’s.

Regardless of age, this baby doll nightie is unashamedly feminine and takes me one step closer to owning a rainbow of vintage lingerie. Now to get my hands on something green…

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A humongous snuggly thank you to La Vonne at Tock Tick Vintage for letting me prance around her absolutely adorable pastel kitchen! It’s actually the cutest place ever.

Photos | Clementine
Model, HMUA | Velvet DeCollete

With style and sass,

                 Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment
Retro Wedding Dress Parade

Retro Wedding Dress Parade

So Clementine has these wedding dresses that fell off the back of a truck.

No, really. Her friend found them in a giant plastic bag in the road, and actually does think they fell off the back of a truck. The obvious solution? Promptly deliver dresses to Clementine because lets face it, she needs nine retro wedding dresses.

Anyway, fancy dress aside she’s not going to get a lot of use out of these leg o’ mutton sleeved beauties so they’re destined to be recut into  more … wearable … designs. (Personally I hope she keeps the plastic beaded fringing, it’s fantastic!). But before the dismantling begins I got to model them for some lovely ‘before’ photos.

Here’s a selection of my personal favourites for your 1980’s fashion enjoyment.

retro 1980's wedding dress | Velvet Decollete

This top one’s part Disney princess, part evil queen. Look at those sleeves. The one below made me feel like a frilly sea cucumber and is my absolute favourite of the lot!

retro 1980's wedding dress | Velvet Decollete

retro 1980's wedding dress | Velvet Decollete

The lace neckline, those sheer sleeves, if this dress had fit I may have tried to steal it. Sadly it’s being held in with about 20 pins in the back! It reminds me of the Swan Princess animated movie.

retro 1980's wedding dress | Velvet Decollete

And lastly who doesn’t want to loll around in a bed full of wedding dresses?

Huge thanks to Lavonne at Tock Tick Vintage for letting us shoot in your adorable B&B (that’s right ladies, you can stay the night there!) and Clementine for asking me to play dress ups. You know I love it.

Clemetine will be sharing the rest of the dresses we photographed as she redesigns them. Make sure you like her facebook page to see them!

Model, HMUA | Velvet DeCollete
Photos | Clementine
Host, assistant, furniture mover and beautiful person | La Vonne

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 comments
Diy Retro Furniture Revamp

Diy Retro Furniture Revamp

I’m unashamedly fond of pretty things. I’m also fond of saving for travel and a house, so paying big bucks for pretty things isn’t happening. Luckily you don’t need to be swimming in cash to have sassy personalised furniture…

 DIY Retro Furniture Revamp

Follow these three simple steps and you can give wooden furniture a makeover easy as pie.

  1. dismantle
  2. sand
  3. paint

It’s actually that simple.

The Ever Patient Husband found this dresser on Trademe. It had the storage and mirror I needed, but lets face it, it’s kinda boring right? (Apart from the pansy drawer liners, those are nana-fabulous).workroom furniture revamp | Velvet DeCollete

The first thing I did to revamp this puppy was dismantle it. It makes it easier to sand, paint and ensures you don’t paint anything shut that shouldn’t be shut.

Then came the sanding. This is the most time consuming part and I highly recommend borrowing a mouse sander from someone if you don’t have one. You’ll also want some kind of dust mask and probably a bandanna to stop dust getting in your hair. Sand off all the old varnish and smooth out any dings or scratches. I find it’s easiest to sand in a gentle circular motion so I don’t make any dents from over-sanding one place.

Now use a soft brush or cloth to wipe off any dust before moving on to the painting.

I used an interior/exterior paint for my dresser because I had some already. (the colour is Summer House mixed half and half with white if you’re interested).  Just make sure the paint you choose is durable enough for your furniture’s purpose. Using a wee fluffy paint roller I painted two coats. Being a stinking hot sunny day it only took a few hours for the first coat to dry but normally I’d leave it overnight before applying the second coat.

Once everything is nice and dry, reassemble your furniture and screw any handles back on. Ta Da! You have fancy schmancy new furniture, how awesome is that?

workroom furniture revamp | Velvet DeCollete

I kept the original handles for my dresser, but I might swap them out for cute pink or blue crystal ones in the future. What do you think?

Posted by velvetdecollete in OTHER, 2 comments

Monday Style Tip No.31

cover regrowth or frizz with a cute beret

Cringing over your regrowth or fussing over flyaways? Cover a multitude of sins with an elegant beret a la Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep. Or forget your hair and go watch The Big Sleep, it’s a classic and Bacall has a killer wardrobe.

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments
Novelty Gumboot Review (Plus my top picks for Spring)

Novelty Gumboot Review (Plus my top picks for Spring)

novelty gumboots for spring | Velvet DeCollete

Rainy weather really gets me down. The roiling grey sky, the mud, the darkness; it’s just not my thing. Choosing cute gumboots over a purely utilitarian style helps brighten the days and get me through til summer. Since the demise of my beloved leopard print wellies I’ve been looking and I’ve finally found a replacement! Echo and I headed over to Victoria Battery to try them out.

Before we go any further I just want to say That I’m not paid, endorsed or sponsored in this review. I just get super excited about shoes and want to share my joy!

I found these gumboots at The Warehouse. They’re a size 5 wide. ( Which is perfect because while small, my feet have spread from going barefoot every summer!)  The navy blue creates a nice background for the fabulously bright shabby chic-ish floral print and the construction seems nice and solid. Echo had a nibble on the top of one but didn’t manage to do any damage. For $29 I honestly don’t think you could do better.

novelty gumboots for spring | Velvet DeColletenovelty gumboots for spring | Velvet DeColletenovelty gumboots for spring | Velvet DeColleteThe battery is the old ruin of a historic ore processing plant. It’s currently flooded after fourteen straight days of rain and Echo is LOVING it. Having her own private lake kinda makes up for us moving away from the beach – at least for now.

novelty gumboots for spring | Velvet DeCollete

There’s no good reason for boring footwear, so here’s a few of my favourite printed gumboots to inspire you! Priced between $30 and $90 (and with mine now on sale at The Warehouse online for $12.98!) there’s a wellie for every budget.

watermelon-print-gumboots | Velvet Decolleteleopard-print-gumboots | Velvet DeCollete

pug-printed-gumboots | Velvet DeColletetropical-print-gumboots | Velvet Decollete

 

 

Muddily yours,

                           Velvet

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, 0 comments