Less Bitchy, More Kitschy | Anti-Bullying Charity Pins

Less Bitchy, More Kitschy enamel pins are here!

The proceeds from every pin help the No Bullying Initiative Trust continue their anti-bullying work with children and adults around New Zealand, so please grab yourself a kitschy pin and support making the world a safer place!

Less bitchy more kitschy Anti Bullying Charity Enamel pins by Velvet DeCollete

 

The Less Bitchy, More Kitschy Story

New Zealand has the second worst bullying rates in the world. Look at those statistics from Pink Shirt Day. It’s not good.

I was physically and verbally bullied as a child. I left a corporate job due to workplace bullying as an adult. Almost every pinup who reaches out to me for style advice or support has been bullied at some point, and are turning to fashion as a way to reclaim their identity. The mental, emotional and educational toll bullying can take is all too real.

 

Pink Shirt Day New Zealand bullying statistics

 

What Could I do?

I found my confidence through pinup and vintage style, and was horrified when I witnessed – and had to intervene with – bullying in the seemingly supportive community. But what could I do?

For me, being a modern pinup means taking inspiration from groundbreaking women of the past, to provide strong role models for the future. As a result, I want to make the most of my opportunities as a pinup role model to take a stand against bullying. I believe in living a life less bitchy, more kitschy. One where women raise each other up, celebrating our shared passions and successes.

So I founded the Pinup Posse. Our Facebook group provides a safe space, encouragement and education for pinup and vintage enthusiasts to develop their confidence. We currently have 180 members and 5 pinup mentors. I’m loving the opportunity to support new pinups and vintagettes!

But I wanted to tackle bullying on a larger scale.

Less Bitchy, More Kitschy isn’t just my personal motto, it’s a daily reminder to focus on what makes us happy (and to not be a dick).
These pins aren’t just a cute atomic era accessory, they’re a fundraiser for non profit organisation the No Bullying Initative Trust. The proceeds from every pin will be donated to NBIT,  helping provide preventative education, support and advocacy for victims of bullying in schools and workplaces all over New Zealand.

 

Less bitchy more kitschy, Mid Century Inspired Anti Bullying Charity Enamel Pins

 

How To Get Involved!

Join the less bitchy, more kitschy movement

Step 1. Get yourself a sassy enamel pin!
Step 2. Wear it to remind you of what really matters, and spread the anti-bullying message.
Step 3. Share your style, and your story, using the #lessbitchymorekitschy tag on social media!

 

how to join the less bitchy more kitschy movement

 

The motel sign pin design represents a sanctuary, a neon light in the darkness, somewhere safe to wait out the storm.

You can purchase your pin from my Etsy boutique, or directly from me if you live in New Zealand. This allows more money to go to NBIT by avoiding Etsy fees!

New Zealand buyers (and potential stockists) please contact me via the options below to order your pin or to discuss stocking them in your store!
Facebook 
Instagram
Email | velvetdecollete@gmail.com

Share The Love

I’m so excited to see how you wear your pins and share your stories with the #lessbitchymorekitschytag!

Don’t forget to share this post, or any of the social media posts to help spread awareness of NBIT’s work and raise funds to fight back against bullying! Every post and pin makes a difference.
To find out more about the No Bullying Initiative Trust and their awesome work, please visit their website.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, 0 comments

Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started In Pinup

Things I wish I’d known when I started exploring pin up style, and the vintage community! Hindsight is 20/20, and while I can’t go back and tell myself these tips, I can tell you!

1. People Aren’t  Scary

I’m super shy. True story ( I see you laughing in the back, cut that out!). I find it absolutely, shakin’ in my size five shoes terrifying to walk up to people I don’t know and say hi.

You’re thinking what if they don’t like you? What if they think you’re weird? What if they don’t want you in their retrofabulous clique?
Well… what if they’re the nicest people you’ll ever meet, but you never meet them?

I know it’s intimidating to walk up to a group of women dressed like tropical fruit cocktails, BUT IT WILL BE OKAY. Almost everyone I’ve met in the New Zealand pinup and vintage community has been friendly and welcoming, after all, you already have at least one passion in common! Just walk up and say ” Hi, I’m new to pinup, what’s your name”, it’s that simple.

Pro Tip | Queues are a friend-making experience. I’ve made friends with pinups waiting in the line for smoothies, the toilets and best dressed comps!

New Zealand Pinups At the Very Vintage Day Out afterparty in 2015

This photo was taken at the Very Vintage Day Out afterparty in 2015. I’m wearing the first pinup outfit I made myself, and when I went I only knew Soda Fontaine – we’re the two on the left end. Today I’m friends with all but one of the ladies in this photo! (I just haven’t seen her since then!)

 

2. Not Everyone Will Like You (And That’s Okay)

“If everybody likes you, you’re pretty dull.”
– Bette Davis

You can’t get along with everyone.
I repeat, YOU CAN’T GET ALONG WITH EVERYONE.
Bette Davis knew it and so should you.

Just like every other social group, there will be people in the pinup and vintage community that just don’t like you. There are people who love repro clothes, people who are vintage purists, people who love helping newbies and people who just don’t give a fuck. And that’s fine. If you’re true to yourself you’ll find your crowd, and chances are that someone won’t like what you’re about.

Personally I don’t tolerate bullying in our community, and I call it out when I see it. But if you just don’t click with someone, don’t stress about it, there’s plenty of other people to hang out with!

 

3. You Don’t Have To Look Like Everyone Else

The first thing I noticed about the NZ pinup scene was that everyone seemed to have a PUG Monica dress and BAIT shoes. I worried that I wouldn’t fit in without them, but they just weren’t in my budget.

Four years on and I still don’t have a Monica or BAIT shoes, and no one cares, because there are so many styles of pinup! When I think about well known pinups and vintage lovers, both locally and internationally, they all have their own personal style. Fashion is a form of self expression, use it!

If you don’t believe me, I literally dressed like a clown and people still loved it.

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.

 

4. Not Every Hairstyle Will Work For You

This is a biggie. Please don’t beat yourself up because your victory rolls don’t work, or your curls won’t hold.

Not every hairstyle will work with your hair type. Hair length, thickness and texture play a huge part in the success of a hairstyle! My hair is fine, thin and frizzy, and I only have two go-to hairstyles. No joke, scroll through my gallery and you’ll notice them pretty quickly.

You don’t need to master tons of hairstyles right away. Figure out one or two that work with your hair type and just rock those until you’re confident. Or just add different flowers and scarves to the same one forever, like me haha!

Perfect one or two hairstyles at first, then branch out into others!

 

5. There’s A False Eyelash Applicator

Seriously, why did no one tell me this?

False eyelashes are my nemesis. I poke myself in the eye and get glue everywhere without my applicator! Putting fake lashes on is hell! Okay maybe I’m unco, but I can’t be the only one?

I had never successfully applied falsies until I discovered an applicator tool. It saved my sanity. I have this one, but there’s a multitude of different styles and brands available.

False eyelash applicators make applying full lashes for that pinup look so much easier!

6. YouTube Makeup Tutorials Exist

Youtube makeup tutorials saved my face, or at least my eyeliner. There’s tutorials for hooded eyes, contouring, cut crease eye shadow and every other makeup style on the planet. And they’re free! Whoop whoop!

I wish I’d known about video tutorials when I first forayed into pinup style. They’re my go-to when I need a new photoshoot makeup look, and helped me get to grips with winged liner for hooded eyes. Just type ‘pinup makeup tutorial’ or ‘vintage makeup tutorial’ in the search bar.

I’m still no makeup expert, but Youtube makeup tutorials definitely improved my makeup game. You can check out some of my favourite hair and makeup inspirations and tutorials over on Pinterest.

7. There Are Tons Of Events

Maybe there were fewer NZ pinup and vintage events when I started, but for the longest time I only knew about Beach Hop and Very Vintage Day Out!

In the last year it seems almost every car or hotrod event seems to have a pinup pageant, and there are vintage markets popping up regularly. Find your local pinup and vintage groups on Facebook to keep updated and can head along! Events are fab places to make new friends and get some low pressure stage experience if you’re thinking of entering Miss Pinup New Zealand later on.

Flying solo? Post in your local Facebook group and you’ll often find others going alone who are happy to meet up!

Miss Retro Beauty Beach Hop best dressed contest 2018

 

What did you wish you’d known when you’d started pinup?
Share your tips in the comments below, or on Instagram by tagging me, using my #lessbitchymorekitschy hashtag or commenting on the image for this post!

If you’re new to pinup style head on over to the Pinup Posse group. It’s a safe space for pinups and we’ll be happy to answer your questions about pinup and vintage style (yes, even the ones you think are silly.)

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, PINUP, 0 comments

Tickled Pink | Vintage Fashion Inspiration

Four years ago I would never have worn pink.

I saw pink as overly ‘girly’, a symbol of the expectations and restrictions placed on women by society. A colour worn because it appealed to boys.

Now I wear pink to celebrate the power of fierce femininity, my pride in being a woman and our potential to overcome those restrictions. I wear pink aggressively and intentionally to challenge it’s reputation as a soft, submissive colour.

With that in mind, this dose of vintage fashion inspiration pays tribute to the versatility of pink!

 

Suzy Parker Sunny Harnett and Dovima in promotional shoot for film Funny Face

 

Pretty & Practical

Pink was immensely popular in the nineteen fifties and sixties, for everything. Pink furniture, pink wallpaper, pink kitchens and of course pink clothes. Pink wasn’t just for parties, it was for everyday.

While it’s hard to imagine wearing a pink suit to a contemporary office, those two women in lush pink coats are an advert for “Working Women in Pink” – featured in a 1953 issue of Glamour Magazine.

Make pinks practical with cotton or wool fabrics. Shell pink capris and knitwear the colour of turkish delight were casual wardrobe basics, often paired with the prerequisite matching hat. (Those pale trousers are a disaster waiting to happen in my house, my dog is far too keen on muddy cuddles. But they do look incredibly chic!)

All those infinitely practical shirt dresses have me swooning. I want one in every style – apron fronted, long sleeve, sleeveless… I can’t be the only one attracted to the simplicity of looking crisply put-together while only having to pick one garment in the morning!

 

Playful & Bold

I’ll take my pink fearless, sassy and occasionally bordering on the ridiculous thanks.

You see that raspberry ensemble by Jean Patou? I’m obsessed. OBSESSED I TELL YOU. I really, really want to recreate that suit and coat, only not lined with a cute Southeast Asian mammal.

And those red and pink contrasting colour combos? Diviiiiiiiiiiiine. Picking the wrong shades makes pink with red look like a four year old’s Valentine drawing, or painfully tacky lingerie. Somehow these bold choices just work though – maybe it’s the slightly purple tinged pinks?

Whether it’s a harlequin print or giant roses on your head, being adventurous with pink will ensure you’re seen, even if you’re not heard.

 

Glamorous & Romantic

Ahhh, the traditional lady in pink. Soft, sensual and elegant these gowns are all strawberry marshmallows and rose tinted visions. Bare shoulders and nipped waists prove that pink isn’t just for little girls.

Shirley Maclaine wearing Edith Head had to be included, because while it’s a costume, her pink sheath, candyfloss hair and enormous fur coat are simultaneously OTT and insanely glam.

While I feel that evening wear is a predictable choice for pink, these vintage designs are gloriously feminine.  That dusky blush bridal ensemble would look in vogue walking down the aisle today!

 

 

For even more vintage outfit inspiration in every shade of pink, visit my dedicated pink Pinterest board! A candy shop of garments and fashion photographs I couldn’t include awaits you, and I just know you’ll be inspired!

If you love nineteen forties, fifties and sixties fashion you might like this post, exploring spots and dots in vintage fashion design.

 

Polka dots and spots were immensely popular in fashion from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950's. Let's take a look at how sophisticated and sexy polka dot clothes can really be!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Wet Look | Boardroom Meets Bathtub Kink

Wet Look | Boardroom Meets Bathtub Kink

I have some really weird ideas sometimes.

Ya’ll can probably imagine how I plan most of my shoots; outfits are tried on, hair and makeup planned and poses considered. But sometimes I just show up with a suitcase of clothes and go ” Hey Mike, I had this really fucked up idea. It might not work but…”

This was one of those shoots.

 

Velvet DeCollete styles vintage hair and makeup with modern kink, wet look stockings and dangerously high stiletto heels

 

Shoot Concept

Office bitch meets bedroom kink, only it’s in the bath.

Why? No idea.
Mainly because it looks cool. Sometimes that’s enough.

Seriously though, in my mind the textures of the stockings, shirt, bathtub and water looked interesting together. I also like to get out of my pin up comfort zone and make absurdly odd art. The weird ideas don’t always work, but they keep me on my creative toes! I like to think they keep you guys thinking too, imagining scenarios to explain the sitation.

 

Pinup model Velvet DeCollete wears pvc stockings, black patent fetish heels and a white shirt in the bath

Alternative pin up model Velvet DeCollete poses in a bathtub wearing pointy toe black shiny stiletto heels

 

Outfit Details

This whole fucked up situation was sparked by my PVC stockings. I’ve had them for aaaaaaages, but never wore them because I didn’t know what to wear with them except more PVC, and that seemed a bit…basic. Then it struck me – like any garment, the key to wearability was balance. Or no pants.

I decided to play it safe, balancing the fetishy wet look stockings with a button down shirt and pussy bow tie. And no pants. (Who needs leg prisons anyway amiright?.) A black and white colour scheme keeps the outfit cohesive, while the shirt and tie reference power dressing and boardroom style. I feel like the normality of the shirt counteracts the low brow connotations of the PVC thigh highs, giving the viewer an opportunity to view them in a different light. Layering a PVC bikini under the shirt contrasts sexuality with formality and adds visual interest.

Obviously this outfit needed some fierce shoes to finish it off, so I borrowed the heels of death from Mike’s kit. They’re three sizes too big, but the look still works darling!

 

Alternative pinup girl Velvet DeCollete wears wetlook pvc stockings, and a sheer shirt and tie while sitting on the edge of a bathtub

Alternative pinup girl Velvet DeCollete wears wetlook pvc stockings, and a sheer shirt and tie while sitting on the edge of a bathtub

 

Shirt + Tie | Boohoo.com
PVC Bikini + Stockings | khandikane.co.nz
Shoes | Photographers own

Photography | Froger Photo
Model, Styling, HMUA | Velvet DeCollete

 

Black and white photograph of fetish pin up Velvet DeCollete recling in a bathtub wearing a white shirt, tie and pvc thigh high stockings

 

As always, fans of Froger and I can find the rest of this photoset over at frogerphoto.com. You should probably sign up for a membership while you’re there, he photographs stone cold foxes in vintage and fetish styles and you don’t want to miss them.

You’ll discover dozens of Velvet vs Froger pinup images here on my blog too. Just use the search box in the sidebar, or start with some of my favourites…

 

Bad girls have more fun, pin up girl Velvet DeCollete mixes raunchy vintage inspired outfits with a classic car.
1970's jungle disco inspired pinup with a classic Plymouth car. Model is Velvet DeCollete

Hitchcock heroine inspired pinup photos with Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete

 

With Style & Sass,

   Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 3 comments
Night & Day | 1920’s Burlesque Costumes

Night & Day | 1920’s Burlesque Costumes

If you’re a follower of New Zealand burlesque, you’ll already be enamoured with Dahlia and Trillian, the Ballet School Dropouts. If you’re not, get acquainted with them now. You won’t regret it. (I mean now, hit that link already!)

The Ballet School Dropouts perform as duets and soloists, delivering gorgeous 1920’s inspired performances. They capture the breathless extravagance of the era like no other act I’ve seen. Their Night and Day act pays tribute to the artwork of Erté and the music of Cole Porter, encompassing the beauty and decadence of the Art Deco period. When they approached me with their concept I knew it would be a challenge, but I was also absolutely in love with the aesthetic they were after.

Ballet School Dropouts Night and Day Art Deco burlesque wearing costumes by Velvet DeCollete 4

 

The Costume Concept

All costumes start with inspiration. Dahlia and Trillian are wonderfully organised, and sent me images of Art Deco statuettes, Erté illustrations and rough sketches. Their theme was dusk and dawn, incorporating flowing fabrics with heavier drapes, Grecian influences and colours borrowed from the sky. My job was translate their inspirations into garments that were beautiful, durable enough for stagewear and met some very special requirements for their choreography.

While designing I focused on the fluid lines of Erte and Paul Poiret, since uncluttered elegance would highlight the visual strength of the Ballet School Dropout’s tableau style choreography. The headdresses were already under construction by the talented Skull Stylist, so I sent photos and fabric swatches to ensure our costume pieces were cohesive.

 

Ballet School Dropouts burlesque wearing night and day costumes by Velvet DeCollete 5

Ballet School Dropouts Night and Day Art Deco burlesque wearing costumes by Velvet DeCollete 4


Layers, Fabrics and Construction

Heavily sequined fabric forms the top layer of drapery. Lined with satin and sparkling in silver and antique gold, this layer represents the sun, moon and stars. I carried the metallic tones into the painted vege-leather arm and neck bands.

To capture the essence of sunrise and sunset I chose diaphanous shot silk chiffon for the base layer of drapery. As the fabric swirls the colours shift between blue and purple, dusky rose and orange, just like the sky at daybreak and sunset. During this part of the act, the sheer drapery magically transforms from an asymmetric gown to an open cape attached to both arms. The mechanism behind this enchanting reveal took more than a few trial runs to perfect! Hemmed with a very fine rolled edge, the chiffon is unadorned, allowing maximum fluidity.

 

Ballet School Dropouts Night and Day Art Deco burlesque wearing costumes by Velvet DeCollete 4

Ballet School Dropouts Night and Day Art Deco burlesque wearing costumes by Velvet DeCollete 4

 

Art Deco patterns informed the lingerie and armband design. The shimmering harness draws two triangles on the torso, continuing the top line of the underwear.  Hand cut sunray vege -leather embellishments on the arm and neckbands reveal chiffon sandwiched between their layers. The bands themselves glitter thanks to geometric beaded trim.

I hand painted the underwear with sunray motifs in graduated tones, to match the chiffon and beading on the garters. ( I really love making beaded tassels, so they swing from the neckband and garters of this costume.) Dahlia and Trillian did a beautiful job of rhinestoning the painted areas to match their sunray pasties!

 

Ballet School Dropouts burlesque wearing costumes by Velvet DeCollete 1

 

A huge thank you to Roxy of Paradox Photography for these performance photos.
I don’t often see garments once they leave my workroom, so I got butterflies seeing these on stage!

If you’re in the mood for more burlesque costumes, you might like to explore my Flamingo Follies post, or the costume I created for international burlesque performer MisRed Delicious.

With Style and Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 2 comments

Vintage Brooches | Thrifted, Gifted & Carefully Chosen

In April last year (good gods has it been that long!?) I wrote a guest post for the delicious Miss Charlotte Cake, featuring 10 ways to style vintage brooches! Visit misscharlottecake.com or click the image below to see the juicy frump free brooch wearing inspo for yourself.

Vintage lover and Fashion Designer Velvet DeCollete shares 10 non frumpy ways to style your vintage brooches and pins.

Following on from all that post, I thought I’d share some of my new-old favourite pieces with you. I’ve collected most of these vintage brooches over the last year –  some were thrifted, some gifted, some carefully chosen, but all have a special place in my heart and wardrobe.

Green With Envy

A green iridescent rhinestone and frosted glass vintage starburst brooch

Green can be hard to find in accessories, especially when your older sister is equally obsessed! When she snapped this rhinestone starburst up in a Facebook group I thought my chances to claim it were long gone, but she kindly gifted it to me for my Birthday! I love how the softness of the frosted rhinestones contrasts with the sparkling iridescence of the circular ones, making the brooch seem both bold and refined.

I usually pin this large brooch to a fur stole or the self fabric belt on one of my cocktail dresses.

Deco Dame

A vintage enamel brooch in the shape of an art deco woman in profile with a butterfly

When I saw this regal portrait brooch in Tock Tick Vintage I knew exactly what I would wear it with. The powder white face and jewel tones of this 1920’s style enamel brooch look beautiful against the navy and emerald of my favourite travelling outfit. I love how uppity the woman looks, and how different this is from my other vintage brooches.

Lazy Daisy

A Vintage blue and gold enamel daisy flower brooch with red ladybug

$2.
A measly $2 bought me this cute 1960’s daisy brooch. Doesn’t it look like it’s skipping along on those two bottom stems? Okay, maybe I’ve watched Alice in Wonderland too many times, but you have to admit it’s cute. Just look at that little ladybug!

I had no idea what to pair this metal and enamel brooch with when I bought it, but I’ve mostly styled it with air hostess worthy neckerchiefs and mod peacoats.

I’m a Fan

A retro silver fan shaped brooch with floral lily pattern

Understated, with hints of Victorian Orientalism, this fan shaped brooch came to me in a sad but sweet way. When a local elderly woman passed away my friend Nicolette’s mother helped sort her belongings. There were a number of vintage jewellery pieces that her children didn’t wish to keep, but didn’t want to throw away. Nicolette’s mother was kind enough to put them aside and Nicolette re-homed them with me!

This brooch bears a subtle lily design, and its small size makes it perfect for wearing on blouses or knitwear.

Beautiful Butterflies

A Three vintage gold and shell butterfly brooches

These shell butterfly brooches did feature in my brooch styling post, where I used them to demonstrate my ‘rogues gallery‘ method for wearing multiple pins at once. Found at different locales, but all thrifted, these kitschy carved butterflies are souvenirs of my travels around New Zealand. The blue dyed one is my favourite.

Leafy… Blues?

A 1960s silver, blue iridescent rhinestone and turquoise stem and leaf brooch

Not to be confused with leafy greens, this brooch is all about leafy blues. A curved branch sprouts silver leaves, tiny pearls, rhinestones and what *might be* faux turquoise. I don’t know why, but it reminds me of how I imagine Tuscany to be.

I was lucky enough to win this brooch in the True Vintage category of the Very Vintage Day Out 2016f best dressed contest! It looks rather fetching placed on the high shoulder of a gown, or on a plain clutch.

Leopard is a neutral

A 1980's vintage gold and enamel Carol Lee jaguar brooch

He isn’t strictly vintage by my standards, but this big cat is fabulous enough that I’m including him anyway. This feline brooch came to me via a Facebook group.  I’ve seen identical 1980s gold leopard brooches attributed to Sphinx and Carolee, but I’m not sure who’s responsible for my one! Regardless of his origins he makes me feel fierce.

With his climbing pose, this jungle cat looks best pinned to the inner edge of a collar, or onto a fur where he can snuggle in.

Flower Power

A Vintage 1960s yellow glass rhinestone daisy and bud brooch

Another op shop score, this determinedly mustard yellow number set me back about $2.50. I love the depth of colour in its cut glass petals, its childlike geometric appeal and the way the bud curves out from the main flower.

I wear this retro flower brooch with baby and cornflower blues to highlights its unusual yellow tones.

 

Photos | Velvet DeCollete (that’s moi)
Props | Vintage books, leather satchel, and 1920’s spectacles all from my own collection.

 

Join me on Instagram to see more vintage brooches and clothing, or visit my dedicated Brooch Pinterest board !
If you enjoyed this visit to my personal vintage collection, you may like my post about vintage earrings.

How I found my favourite vintage earrings, and became a vintage jewellery addict

 

With Style and Sass,

   Velvet DeCollete

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Replicant Style | 1980’s Neo-Noir

Replicant Style | 1980’s Neo-Noir

When Blade Runner 2049 hit theatres in 2017,  every pop culture fan and their sister Halloweened in re-runs of 1980’s fashion, styled with a hefty dose of 1940’s noir. I don’t blame them, it’s a badass look. But it wasn’t a look I put my own spin on until my Mum thrifted this eighties-does-forties dress. After all, who am I to question the Universe’s fashion whims?

This dress is by New Zealand designer David Pond, who estabilished his brand in 1987, meaning this dress was probably released within a year or two of me being born! It features leg o’ mutton sleeves, a plunging wrap bodice with buttons at the waist, and a sassy peplum. It’s also a size 12, which gives you an idea how how different clothing sizes were historically. ( I wear a modern size 6-8!)

When life gives you killer shoulder pads, dress like Rachael Replicant.

 

Velvet DeCollete Bladerunner inspired 1980's Neo Noir outfit

Hair & Makeup

I didn’t originally intend to reference 1987 Replicant Rachael’s hair so strongly. BUT my plans for a sleeker, modern hairstyle went out the window when I arrived in Auckland the night before the shoot… and my hair curlers and straighteners didn’t. doh!

My natural curls work easier into vintage styles than modern, so I tamed my mop into a 1940’s rolled bangs, two small victory rolls, and a roll at the back. Froger and I shot this Blade Runner inspired set in an alley next to Newmarket train station, fighting the blustery wind and midday humidity. As it turns out, even half a can of hairspray can’t stand up to New Zealand weather! Some people hate frizzy hair, but in this case I feel it makes the images more convincing.

 

Velvet DeCollete Bladerunner inspired 1980's Neo Noir outfit

 

My makeup had to do double duty.(I went straight from this photoshoot to judge Press Play Improv Burlesque!.) Because trying new things under time pressure is always a marvelous idea, I attempted my first cut crease eyeshadow! To my admitted surprise it wasn’t a complete disaster, and I look forward to trying a more dramatic version. I kept the rest of my face classic with a red lip, a little cheek contouring and subtle blush.

 

Velvet DeCollete Bladerunner inspired 1980's Neo Noir outfit

 

Outfit Details

Dress | Thrifted
Belt | Alannah Hill
Gloves | Gift from the vampy Von Vonski
Shoes | Overland – A gift from my Mum many years ago
Stockings | Voodoo Hosiery

Large shoulder pads and I have a strained relationship (They make me look like I have a tiny pin head).  However this dress’s plunging neckline is just what we need to get along. Its low, defined ‘V’ draws the the eye downward from my face, and dividing the torso into two angled panels, rather than a chunky square with my head balanced precariously on top. The neckline also keeps this batwing sleeved, peplum-ed dress looking dystopian chic, rather than like something Karen was still wearing to the office in ’94.

Streamlined accessories unified in black matte leather finish my neo – noir outfit. The bold lines of the belt, gloves and shoes provide focal points amidst the dress’s small, busy print. Being a smallish dame at 5.3″, I often forgo jewellery to avoid looking cluttered. When I do wear jewellery for photographs I favour statement pieces, and nothing I had quite fit the Blade Runner vibe.

You can see this amazeballs belt styled with a different outfit in my Start Your Engines bad girl photoshoot.

Style Tip: Accenting areas like your hands, waist and feet with solid colours gives the eye somewhere to rest when viewing a printed outfit. Those rest points will help define your shape and  poses when wearing a printed outfit.

 

Velvet DeCollete Bladerunner inspired 1980's Neo Noir outfit

Velvet DeCollete Bladerunner inspired 1980's Neo Noir outfit

 

Photos | Froger Photo
Styling + HMUA + Model | Velvet DeCollete

With Style and Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Spotlight on Spots | Vintage Fashion Inspiration

Spotlight on Spots | Vintage Fashion Inspiration

From Dalmatian spots to polka dots, no one can argue that fashion went totally dotty from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. Balmain, Dior and Schiaparelli made spots a glamorous choice for well dressed women.

At some point, mainstream fashion saw spots go from stylish to childish, relegated to the playground and Disney characters. They’re still popular in vintage reproduction clothing, where in my (probably unpopular) opinion they’re horribly and un-inventively overused. A default print alongside cherries and red roses.

I’d love to see spots brought back in a thoughtful, sophisticated way, taking inspiration from our favourite fashion decades when the versatile dot was anything but twee.

Delightfully Dotty Daywear

Today’s style lovers are likely most comfortable with spotted fabrics being used for daywear. Their simple charm lends itself to casual trousers and blouses, but also to feminine shirt dresses and full skirts – silhouettes less common in 21st century ease-focused dressing.

Polka dots have also been popular in beachwear through the decades. Appearing in swimsuits and resort wear, spots seem to capture the carefree mood of vacationers. How fantastic is the woman in eye catching polka dot beach pajamas? (And why is she holding a fake pig!?)

My personal favourite garment here is the 1957 silk crepe skirt with huge balloon dots in pinks, reds and oranges. It’s a novel approach which stands out in a sea of evenly spaced polka dots.

Polka Dot Eveningwear 

Polka dots aren’t something modern fashionistas associate with formal wear, but vintage designers couldn’t get enough of the simple dot in woven or printed patterns. These gowns showcase the romantic allure of spots when paired with hourglass silhouettes, sensual off-the-shoulder necklines and romantic full skirts.

There’s nothing childish about Suzy Parker in that slinky cowl back, or the sensuality of Schiaparelli’s daintily dotted, figure hugging gown from 1953. These dots are decadent, mature and oh so elegant.

Spot On Suits & Coordinates

Woven silks, textured spots and natty polka dots made an appearance in chic coordinates, especially in fifties and sixties fashion. Layered spots made for graphic suits and two pieces, while solid colours made contrasting polka dot blouses and bows look sharp and fresh.

I’m absolutely in love with both the green outfits, from 1958 and 1945 respectively. Having gloves made to match your dress feels like the ultimate in intentional style.

 

Outerwear, Underwear & Accessories

Spots of all sizes pervaded the realm of accessories too. Spotted gloves and hats, worn with solid fabrics or matched to yet more spots. (If there’s one thing we know, it’s that the 1950’s were not intimidated by matchy-matchy outfits).  Outerwear and underwear featured decidedly bold dots in polka and irregular styles.

 

I became slightly obsessed with spotted clothes while researching for this post. The variety of patterns, colours and dot sizes is incredible, and I truly believe that the designers of the past were more inventive with how they used prints than designers are today. There were far too many photos for one post, so I’ve created a Pinterest board dedicated purely to polka dots and spots!

Do you have a favourite dotty design I didn’t feature? Slide into the comments below, or into my Facebook or Instagram DM’s so we can swoon over it together!

 

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 4 comments
My Advice For Entering MPUNZ 2018

My Advice For Entering MPUNZ 2018

It’s that time of year when Kiwi pinups start talking about the Miss Pinup New Zealand pageant. Who’s going to enter? What do you wear? What the heck do you write in your application, and don’t even get us started on that talent section!?

I remember the anxiety last year, would my video be polished enough, would my answers fit in with everyone elses? I talked it out with my ever patient husband, who wisely (as usual) observed that the idea was to show my point of difference, not my points of similarity to the other applicants. That reminder was a game changer for me, clarifying both my motivation and my approach to entering. ( You can read about my reasons here.)

With that in mind, along with lessons learned during my Miss Pinup 2017 experience, I give you my tips for entering and surviving Miss Pinup New Zealand 2018!

Check Your Motivation

Get ready, because this is the most competition changing advice you’ll ever get… Have a reason for entering other than winning.

While we’d all love to win, the reality is that nine out of the 10 finalists won’t. Having a personal reason for entering will help temper the disappointment if you don’t place.

Want to share your personal style? Awesome!
Challenging yourself to perform in public? Fantastic!
Raising awareness for a cause you’re passionate about? Bloody brilliant!

Having a reason for entering other than winning will help focus your application and pageant performance. You might begin your MPUNZ journey feeling like winning or not doesn’t matter to you, but once you’ve invested the time, effort and emotion into the experience it might affect you more than you expect. Achieving that personal goal means you’ve won before the winner is even announced.

Remember that while winning is wonderful, and validates the effort you put in, at the end of the day having a title and a sash doesn’t actually change anything. What changes things is how you use the platform that title can give you.

 

Previous-Miss-Pinup-New-Zealand-winners-alongside-MPUNZ-2017-Velvet-DeCollete

Don’t Rush Your Application

Don’t leave your application to the last minute.

Even if you’re not 100% sure you’ll enter, download the application questionnaire and get your answers ready. Pick your photos. Film your entry video. If you don’t use it at least you have something cute for your Youtube channel or social media. Get that application in early, then sit back and relax knowing you’ve thought your answers and video idea through.

Oh and leaving applications, ticket purchases or RSVP’s for ANYTHING to the last minute makes you a bit of a dick. I’m not even sorry for saying that. If everyone waits until the last minute to apply, organisers feel like they have to push the deadline out to give you more time. This might delay the announcement of the finalists and eat into YOUR prep time. Don’t be a dick, get your application in early.

 

You Do You Boo

Before you fill out that application form, grab a pen and brainstorm what pin up and vintage culture means to you. What do you love about it? How does it fit into your life? Has changed you?

Can your career, hobby, education or location inspire your video, talent or outfits? Is there a message you want to share?

I’m passionate about creating confidence through style, so I chose to make a styling video for my Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 application. My video referenced my background as a designer, displayed my personal style, and shared tips for wearing vintage gloves ( One of my style signatures) . My super supportive husband filmed it for me. Was it uber slick and professional? No. Did it represent who I am as a pinup and vintage lover? Hell yes!

Don’t feel pressured to pick a traditional pageant talent. I chose to sketch a famous Edith Head gown design, reflecting my love of fashion design and how vintage style has shaped my life. It wasn’t a high energy act, it didn’t have pretty props, but it was me and it was memorably different.

The things that make you different are the things that make you stand out. You want to stand out. You don’t have to have a professionally filmed video or a wardrobe of new outfits, you just have to do you, Boo.

 

Velvet-DeCollete-sketching-an-Edith-Head-design-during-the-talent-section-of-Miss-Pinup-New-Zealand-2017

Showcase Your Style

Just like You Do You Boo, but fashion related. Don’t wear anything in the pageant you wouldn’t normally wear.

If you’re not a full length gown gal, don’t feel pressured to wear one just because everyone else is. If you aren’t comfortable wearing togs on stage, strut down the catwalk in beach pajamas, a playsuit or resort wear a la Elizabeth Taylor. The most important thing is to look like you, rather than a ‘stereotypical’ pinup.

Mrs Greatnews and I are perfect examples of this. I wear mostly vintage colours with classic 1950’s inspired makeup, while Mrs Greatnews rocks bright modern reproduction clothes and bold makeup. We’re stylistically opposite but we took out 1st and 2nd place in MPUNZ 2017!

If you have no idea what ‘you’ looks like, read my interview with Fran Henricksen for her advice on defining your personal style.

 

Miss-Pinup-New-Zealand-2017-contestants-line-up-in-their-beachwear-category-outfits

Photo | Stuart Attwood

Get Your Pageant Prep On

Avoid last minute panic by prepping all your Miss Pinup New Zealand outfits and talent as early as possible.

Plan out your daywear, beachwear, eveningwear and talent outfits using garments you already own (two of my outfits and almost all my accessories were straight out of my wardrobe.), things you can make yourself or clothes and accessories you can borrow from friends. The New Zealand pin up and vintage community has been amazingly generous with lending items for MPUNZ in the past. Just remember to treat borrowed items with respect, clean them and return them within a reasonable time frame.

Get organised early and feel calm and collected in the days prior to the competition, rather than freaking out because your gloves haven’t arrived.

Have A Post Pageant Plan

After the pressure and excitement of Miss Pinup New Zealand and Very Vintage Day Out, there’s a good chance you’ll get the post con blues. Post con blues kick in after a massive project or event ( the ‘con’ stands for convention ) leaving you feeling down, drained and directionless. As someone who experiences depression it hits me hard. Planning some self care to restore my energy levels is vital. Please, please, read my post on how to survive the post con blues – or glitter crash as burlesquers call it – and take care of yourself post pageant.

 

Buddy Up

A lot of ladies enter the pageant with a friend for moral support.

I found the first few weeks of pageant prep pretty lonely, but then Mrs Greatnews PM’d me asking if I wanted to be pageant buddies as several of the other finalists had entered with friends. We didn’t know each other well, but I said heck yeah, and now she’s one of my closest friends. Bouncing ideas around, telling each other our talents didn’t suck, getting ready together backstage, I honestly believe it helped both of us feel more confident and sassy on that stage.

 

Velvet-DeCollete-and-Mrs-Greatnews-celebrate-their-victories-at-Miss-Pinup-New-Zealand-2017

Photo | Reality Dysfunction

Just Do It

Challenge yourself. Ask your friends to hold you accountable. Put on your big girl panties, put yourself out there and find out what you’re capable of.

 

Good Luck!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, PINUP, 4 comments
Beach Hop Miss Retro Beauty + OOTD 2018!

Beach Hop Miss Retro Beauty + OOTD 2018!

Beach Hop Retro Pinup Show

One of my Repco Beach Hop highlights is always watching the Retro Pinup contest. Every year dozens of stunning ladies parade their vintage inspired outfits, competing for the title of Miss Retro Beauty.

In previous years it’s been hard for contestants to track down photos ( even with the dozens of cameras snapping away ) so this year I made it my mission to take photos and actually share them! I did my best to get photos of everyone, but some ladies didn’t pause at the end of the runway, so if you entered and I didn’t manage to catch you I’m so sorry! While it does sadden me that none of the judges this year had a vintage or pinup background it was wonderful to see so many smiles and sassy moves on the stage.

My favourite outfit of the day had to be Miss Estelle Belle’s. Her tropical inspired outfit was a perfectly accessorized riot of colour. I just love it when people can colour coordinate their outfits with their hair so well!

Miss Retro Beauty Beach Hop best dressed contest 2018

My Beach Hop Outfit

My own outfit for Beach Hop Saturday was a mix of vintage and reproduction pieces.

After altering the beaded and sequined knit top the night before I desperately wanted to wear it! Pairing it with baby blue pedal pushers, blue flowers, black shoes and a wide belt gave me the right balance of sweet and sassy. I chose a wide belt to accentuate my waist under the newly cropped top.

I couldn’t resist the spiderweb Sourpuss bag when I saw it at the Rita Sue stall. Not only have I been eyeing up those glittery webbed bags for ages, but it was on sale AND matched my outfit!

Velvet DeCollete stands next to a turquoise car at Beach Hop 2018

Velvet DeCollete Pin Up Girl Beach Hop OOtd

Please forgive my blurry AF phone photo haha!

See you all at Beach Hop 2019 x

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments