vintage style

Golden Age Glamour

Golden Age Glamour: An evocative phrase, bringing to mind diamantes and satin gloves, fluffy boudoir mules and furs. Nothing makes you feel more glamorous.

Golden Age Glamour | Velvet DeColleteGolden Age Glamour | Velvet DeColleteGolden Age Glamour | Velvet DeColleteGolden Age Glamour | Velvet DeCollete

Outfit Breakdown

Bra + Suspender Belt | Pip & Pantalaimon
Knickers | The Warehouse – unsure of brand as I always cut the tags out!
Gloves + Fur | Vintage
Earrings | Diva
Stockings | Undercover back-seam stockings by Voodoo
Boudoir Mules | Thrifted

A side note on bras | This bra was too big in the band for me, but I also found the cups just weren’t the right shape for augmented breasts! Any recommendations for vintage style bras that work for ladies that have had some help?

Photos | Froger
Model + Styling | Velvet DeCollete

Glamorously yours,


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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



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Buy the Right Vintage, Not Any Vintage.

Buy the Right Vintage, Not Any Vintage.

Do you love vintage clothes?

I love vintage clothes.

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

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

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

1.  Does the garment have any damage?

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

2. Are the fastenings intact?

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

3. Does it fit?

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

4. Can you wear it right away?

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

5. Does it suit you?

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

best vintage shopping tips

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

Happy shopping,

                                Velvet x




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Monday Style Tip No.34



They’re basically the perfect earring

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

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Vintage Style at the Winter Garden

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Winter Pinup | Velvet DeCollete

Outfit Breakdown

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

All photographs by Froger 

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The Orchid Dress | A Vintage Inspired Evening Gown

The Orchid Dress | A Vintage Inspired Evening Gown

Orchid Evening Dress | Beckon Couture

I’ve wanted to shoot in the Hamilton Gardens for over a year. The incredible themed areas are my dream location, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to run in with my Orchid dress as we passed by on the weekend.

I made this gown to wear to Dita Von Teese’s Sydney Strip Strip Hooray show. Thrown together in under a week of after-work evenings , it’s not perfect and needs some adjustments. All in all though it did the trick and I felt like a pinup diva!  Charlotte Cake and I were drenched in a post show storm before taking proper photos of our incredibly glam ensembles, giving me the perfect excuse to rope Duke Debonair into playing photographer.

Inspired by the elegant evening fashions of 1950’s Vogue Magazines the Orchid gown features a slim spiral skirt with gathered side and classic sweetheart bodice. Made in my signature olive green with vivid pink lining the gown boasts white and pink orchids to co-ordinate with white accessories. Vintage pink and white diamante costume jewellery ( a beautiful anniversary gift from Duke ) topped the outfit off perfectly.

Orchid Evening Dress | Beckon Couture

I Just adore how this shot in the mediation garden looks like an image from a 1950’s Vogue Magazine.


Orchid Evening Dress | Beckon CoutureOrchid Evening Dress | Beckon Couture

Outfit Breakdown

Dress | Bespoke gown made by me (Beckon Couture)
Gloves | Vintage
Necklace + Earrings | Tock Tick Vintage
Bracelet | Diva
Shoes | Number One Shoe Warehouse
Stockings | Pretty Polly

Hair and makeup by the wonderful Michelle of Debonair Dos, who worked her magic for the Classics Museum Calendar I modelled for just prior to this!

Photos by Duke Debonair

orchid dress6orchid dress8Orchid Evening Dress | Beckon CoutureOrchid Evening Dress | Beckon CoutureDue to our tight schedule we didn’t have time to see the whole garden. I’d love to return sometime with a whole wardrobe and a day put aside just to explore this absolute gem of a place!


            Velvet x


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