velvet decollete

Food That Makes Memories | My Favourite Festive Recipes

Food That Makes Memories | My Favourite Festive Recipes

Christmas is one of those times that can really divide people. The Christmas carol lovers vs the Grinches, the maximists from the minimalists and the restrained vs the festive feasters. But celebratory preferences aside, for most of us it’s a time of traditions, memories and people we love even if they drive us crazy.

I fall on the “more is more” side of Christmas. Overwhelming decorations, Christmas carols 24/7 and pass that second bowl of trifle thanks! I got this obsessive festive joy from my Mum, whose Christmas decor looks like an editorial in Home & Garden ( even if that did mean redecorating our childhood tree in the night after we mashed the ornaments on!). And it’s not Christmas until she brings out a massive plate of glossy chocolate dipped strawberries.

Christmas pinup Velvet DeCollete shares the classic Kiwi dishes that make her Christmas memories

Food is inextricably linked to my memories of family events, with reoccurring dishes defining birthdays, holidays and seasons. While ham and turkey are great, for me these are the festive foods that make Christmas, Christmas. As Kiwi as Pohutakawa and Boxing Day BBQ’s. Like a Labrador I don’t know when to stop eating, overindulging until I have to lie on the floor because my stomach is crushing my internal organs! But even then there’s probably room for a wafer thin mint, a tiny little thin one

 

Lolly Cake

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

If you’ve ever been to a bakery or a birthday party in New Zealand, you’ve seen lolly cake. This humble no bake slice is uncomplicated, easy to make and while it’s not classy, it’s a classic. My Nana has been making this for god knows how long. It’s not a special occasion without her producing at least one wax paper wrapped log, usually two. I can reliably tell the date in December by it’s appearance in the fridge.

While recipes may vary slightly depending on the family, the most common recipe is something like this one from Foodlovers. I remember using a can to crush the biscuits in a big metal bowl as a kid – no food processor required!

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

 

Steamed Pudding

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

Steamed pudding comes in various flavours, but this is the one I wolf down every December. ( Well, the closest recipe I can find anyway, I have a photocopy of my Nan’s recipe but the cursive handwriting is intelligible ).

Firm, moist, spiced and sweet this is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE festive treat. While it’s traditionally served warm with custard I’m quite happy slicing off a chunk and eating it cold while helping in the kitchen. Stuffed with fruit it’s an energy rich snack in my opinion! Best of all it’s actually best to make this plum pudding at least a month in advance. It gets better with age and is one less thing you have to do during the silly season!

 

Pavlova

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

Love it or hate it, it wouldn’t be a NZ Christmas without a marshmallowy, crispy shelled pav piled with whipped cream and fruit. And if you’re an Aussie – you’re dreamin’ mate, it’s Kiwi as. As Kiwi as Edmonds, whose recipe book and it’s pavlova recipe are a quintessential gift for New Zealanders leaving the nest.

At least one of my aunties brings a pavlova to Christmas every year. The sugary clouds of meringue challenge even my sweet tooth to handle more than one generous slice, but you can’t resist a second helping. Strawberries are my ideal topping, balancing the sweetness with their tart summery taste. That and I’m not a huge fan of the traditional Pavlova dressing – kiwifruit – eurgh.

 

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Classic Kiwi Christmas foods the festive season isn't complete without.

Chocolate + strawberries are a no brainer right? This classic combo makes me nostalgic for lazy Christmas brunches at my Mum’s house. Plates piled high with fruit, muffins and fresh bread, wrapping paper everywhere and new books to read. No matter where I am these have a direct line to my memories and stomach.

The recipe is so basic it’s not even a recipe. Melt chocolate over a low heat ( I like Whittakers ), dip your strawberries in and sit them on a wax paper covered tray to set in the fridge!

Christmas pinup Velvet DeCollete shares the classic Kiwi dishes that make her Christmas memories

Food Photography | As linked
Pinup Photography | Bay Glamour
Find more of this domestic pinup photoshoot in the September ’17 issue of Delicious Dolls Magazine.

I’m off to wrap gifts and sing along to White Christmas now, but I’d love to know what your festive foods and traditions are! Please share your Christmas classics in the comments below, on this post on my Facebook page, or on Instagram!

With Style & Sass,

     Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, 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, 0 comments
Reading in Lingerie | Miss DeCollete Learns Deportment

Reading in Lingerie | Miss DeCollete Learns Deportment

Hello dear readers, and welcome to the latest installment of my Reading in Lingerie series. This week Miss DeCollete learns deportment, gets distracted by Mills & Boon and discovers the fine art of undressing!

I adore the fresh, innocent vibe of my latest collaboration with Froger, and I’m excited to share a few of my favourite images! We were inspired by the vintage romance novels found in a rural bach.  The kind of flowery romance novels that fill the heads of good girls with dreams of rugged men on the Scottish Moors. The kind of story that distracts a demure 1950’s lass from her deportment guide.

This delightful set of pinup photographs is available in full as a titillating e-book from Froger Photo.

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete reading romance novels
” Reginald unsheathed his…. oh!…. how scandalous!”

Outfit Details

1950s style bra and roll on girdle | House of Satin
Knickers | Pleasure State Lingerie
Knit top | Review Australia
Skirt | Boohoo
Patent High heels | Thrifted
Fully fashioned nylon stockings | Photographers kit

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete wears white lace vintage lingerie and learns the art of undressing
Undressing is an art, especially if one draws pose inspiration from romance novel covers.

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete balances books on her head

Proper posture is so much easier without those pesky restrictive clothes!

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete wears white lace vintage lingerie and sits surrounded by books

What can I say? I like big words and I cannot lie…

If you’re into pinups with books and lingerie, you love my previous Reading in Lingerie Posts!

The Nympho and Other Maniacs
1920's Parisian inspired pinup reading on the stairs in stockings and a beret
New Problems in Medical Ethics
Pinup girl Velvet DeCollete makes a statement, tearing pages from a vintage medical journal with outdated views on women's rights and feminism. Clad in black and gold lingerie and black thigh high stockings and armed with books and knowledge this modern pinup is not to be messed with.

With Style & Sass,

                  Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 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
Velvet 101 | Frequently Asked Questions About Pinup, Fashion and Shark Attacks

Velvet 101 | Frequently Asked Questions About Pinup, Fashion and Shark Attacks

I love it when people aren’t afraid to ask me questions in person or on social media, curiosity is how we learn! I also know some of you are shy so I thought I’d answer alllllll the questions I get asked in one post.
I’ll update this post when I get new questions so it’s your one stop shop for Velvet 101.

 

I also made this dorky video for ya’ll answering some of the questions.

How did you get into modelling and what was your journey like? – Miss Katie Darling

I got into modelling through burlesque, which I started doing to boost my confidence. I had some photos from shows, and was told I should get in front of the camera more. The idea of pinup modelling appealed to my love of vintage and creating characters and context through style, so I entered a contest to become the ‘face’ of a local pinup photographer. While that didn’t work out well, it did give me a few photos for my portfolio. After a while my now regular photographer Froger asked if I’d like to work together. His alternative take on pinup appealed to me, plus women he’d photographed said he wasn’t a creep, so we organised a shoot and the rest is history!

My modelling journey has been positive. I attribute that largely to being VERY picky about who I work with. If a photographer contacts me and their photographic style doesn’t suit my personal brand, or I get a weird vibe from them, I say no. This means I’ve said no to quite a few people, some take it well and some don’t, but as a result I’ve never felt in danger or taken advantage of at a shoot.
My journey has also been slow. At 5.3″ tall I’m too short for commercial work so carving out my own niche in the small world of alternative and vintage pinup modelling is taking A LOT of work!

How long does it take to do your makeup?

About an hour for makeup and an hour for hair. I’m by no means a professional at either so I’m probably pretty slow. I have super fine, thin curly hair so taming it is always a struggle for me!

If you were a cake, what would you be and why? – Fanciforia Foxglove

I put a lot of thought into this because cake is important to me.
I’d be a carrot cake. Not because I like carrot cake ( I don’t ), but because it has all these weird ingredients that I don’t think should be in cake, but people like it anyway. That’s kinda how I feel about myself, I have lots of weird ingredients but people seem to like me anyway!
PS: eating carrot cake is essentially eating a waldorf salad and a bread roll. bleurgh.

Are your glasses for seeing or for fashion?

For seeing! I have degenerative myopia and astigmatism in both eyes, and can only see clearly for about a 30cm distance. My contact lenses irritate my eyes and can’t completely correct my sight so I only wear them for photoshoots, events and swimming.

modern pinup girl and Miss Pinup New Zealand wearing her large tortoiseshell glasses

 

What’s your favourite red lipstick?

Both my favorite red lipsticks are from New Zealand companies
Bright red – True Love from Karen Murrell
Deep red – Casablanca Luxury Matte from Face Me Makeup

Where and how did you learn to sew? How long have you been sewing?

I’ve been sewing for roughly thirteen years. My mother is a very talented dressmaker so I picked up the basics watching her. I then did one term of fashion technology in high school which was a COMPLETE DISASTER and almost put me off sewing forever! The majority of my learning happened during my fashion design degree which was largely practical work, and from vintage sewing and millinery books which I teach myself from.

What draws you to the silhouettes you tend to use in your outfits? – Mrs Greatnews

I’m drawn to exaggerated or dramatic shapes that hyper feminise or accentuate my curves. So If I’m going for a sleek hourglass shape I’ll choose streamlined, form fitting clothes that nip in at the waist and enhance my shoulders and hips. Or If I’m going for a full skirt, I want the BIGGEST skirt I can get, paired with a fitted top to make it look even bigger.

What’s your Hogwarts House? – Miss Scarlett May

According to the Pottermore quiz I’m a Ravenclaw. I haven’t actually read many of the Harry Potter books, but I do like the movies!

What’s that big scar on your arm from?

Contrary to popular belief it’s not from a bar fight or a shark attack.
I was standing on a wobbly chair to reach something , fell and snapped my elbow joint. The ligaments tore off the bone (taking part of the bone with them) and I needed major reconstructive surgery. Followed by a small surgery to remove some metal parts that were threatening to pierce my skin. I now have metal buttons and wires holding my joint together and a scar half the length of my arm. The photo below is what it looked like when it was stapled up and healing.

How do you deal with your body issues?

Like most women, there are things about my body that I don’t like. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of things about my body and I feel very comfortable naked ( you can read about my nude modelling experience here) , but being a model opens you up to people critiquing your physical appearance. Mean people choose to do this in an unkind way, which can make any insecurities a hundred times worse.

Here’s how I combat those insecurities and negative inner voices. Notice that I say ‘I try’ because there are days when none of this works. Usually when I don’t look after myself or when I’m in a bad mental health space.

1. I try to be realistic about my body and my expectations of it. I can’t make myself taller, fix my sensitive skin or change my features, so I try not to compare myself directly to other people.
2. I try look after myself with exercise, reasonably healthy eating and not too much alcohol. I feel better about my appearance when I’m mentally and physically healthy.
3. I try to surround myself with body positive people. Hanging out with people who constantly put their own bodies down will only make you question your own.
4. I try to be aware of photoshopping in images I see online, in social media and print media. DO NOT think that everyone looks perfect in real life.
5. I try to remember that I am more than my body. Emotion, poise and style play a huge part in successful modelling.

Would you rather be attacked by a shark or mauled by a bear? – Miss Monique Sweet

Bear. Once you bleed in the water there’s going to be more than one shark, and I’m not a great swimmer. At least with a bear I might be able to play dead until it gets bored?

If you didn’t dress pinup how would you dress? – Xamia Arc

Probably still in the goth / metal / alternative style I wore until I found pinup. ( I used to wear fourteen eye Doc Martins everyday and a lot of fishnet, black bootie shorts and camo pants ).

When did you discover pinup?

Around 2014. I went to my first Very Vintage Day Out in 2015, but didn’t start moving my daily wardrobe into pinup style until mid 2016.

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What inspires you to make new creations? – Miss Honey Bee

I mostly make custom clothing so my creations are inspired by the personalities, figures and lifestyles of my clients.
If I’m making ready to wear or for myself I draw inspiration from vintage fashion, films, books, music and locations. I try to imagine a character and what they would be wearing and doing in a specific setting.

What are the top five tracks on your go to playlist? – Ginger

I have extremely varied and often dubious taste in music so my top 5 changes on the regular.
Right now it’s…
Safari – J Balvin ft Pharrell
Despacito – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ( NOT the Justin Beiber version )
Hollywood Nights – Bob Seger
Love on the Brain – Rihanna
American Woman – Lenny Kravitz

Do you wear makeup everyday? 

Hell no! My skin is super sensitive, it goes red and peels off if I wear makeup for more than a day at a time. I constantly have dermatitis and allergies so I only wear makeup for special occasions, events and photoshoots.

What do you love most about vintage fashion? Do you have a most treasured item? – Miss Foxylocks

The quality, attention to detail and inventiveness of vintage fashion appeal to me. Fashion in the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s was far more adventurous than fashion today, with more thought put into accessories and fabric use.
I don’t think I could pick a favorite piece of vintage! I have some special pieces of jewellery and accessories given to my by family members so probably those.

What is your favourite type of accessory?

Gloves! I have tiny hands so vintage gloves fit me beautifully. they also hide the fact that sewing and working in hospitality can leave my nails and skin looking awful! I even wrote a blog post about vintage glove etiquette.

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What made you move away from the steampunk style you used to design? – Fran Henricksen, decorator of people and things

While I still love steampunk style I made a conscious decision not to create steampunk stock anymore for the following reasons:

1. Plagiarism of my designs. People (and a film crew) openly taking photos of my garments at steampunk events and markets while unashamedly telling me they were going to copy them.
2. A decrease in the appreciation and support of quality construction from the steampunk community. There are people in every style circle who would rather buy something cheap than invest in a quality item, but it seemed  to be especially bad in the NZ steampunk community where a “just glue some cogs on it” attitude was becoming prevalent.
3. The ‘anything can be steampunk’ idea. While I encourage creative expression, steampunk style was originally based around an fairly specific imagined literary past, future and set of technological ideas, and as someone who does their research I found the lack of knowledge in members of the community about what steampunk actually is very frustrating.

I still make steampunk designs and automated, realistic props to order, but choose not to create off the rack items anymore.

What is your favorite style of clothing to design?

Evening wear and bridal! I adore the drama and elegance of special event clothing and the sentimental value that becomes attached to it. Helping someone feel incredible for an important occasion gives me a real sense of purpose and happiness.
* I like big dresses and I can not lie* My favourite creation is this black modernised rococo gown for artist Vivien Masters.

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If you read this far, well done, this post was longer than I expected!
If you have any questions about pinup life, vintage fashion, modelling or just about me, feel free to ask me by leaving a comment on Facebook or Instagram x

With Style and Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, 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

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 comments
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

 

 

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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