High Tea & Curious Food with Miss Charlotte Cake

High Tea & Curious Food with Miss Charlotte Cake

These are the happy faces of two pinups who are about to stuff their faces with tasty tasty food!

Miss Charlotte Cake and I enjoyed a foodie gal’s dream day out, visiting the first Curious Food Festival, followed by tasting the High Tea at Hector’s Restaurant for the Very Vintage Day Out. It was a day of belly laughs and bellyfulls of utter deliciousness.

Of course we dressed in style. I opted for my strawberry field hat and corsage with a vintage gingham dress to make a perfectly picnicky looking outfit. Charlotte wore an amazing tropical print three piece vintage ensemble.

The Curious Food Festival

Held at Shed 10 on the Auckland Waterfront, the inaugural Curious Food Festival promised “12 city centre eateries creating their most imaginative and delicious dishes“. The teaser menu looked promising, and we showed up early to make sure we were at the front of the queue.
( Waiting in long lines makes us hungry, and you won’t like us when we’re hungry.)

One of the festival crew ran out asking to take our picture for their social media, which was super cute.

Our planning and patience paid off, and we managed to scope out all the vendors and get ourselves some treats before the crowds rolled in!

Spaghetti From Toto

First up was rich spaghetti cooked with brandy in a giant wheel of cheese. Toto delivered both scrummy food and entertainment with their Parmesan wheel pasta, cooked in front of each customer, and doused in one of three sauces and crispy bacon after being pulled from its cheesy nest.

We shovelled this into our faces in near silence, because it was So. Damn. Good. I’d happily eat this for a week, although my arteries my say otherwise.

Gelato From Lalele

Unusual taste combinations were a strong theme at the Curious Food Festival.

Lalele Organic Gelato were offering two special flavours alongside their usual gelato, cocolato and sorbet; Black Garlic, and Persimmon & Pine Needle.

I wasn’t brave enough to sample the Black Garlic gelato. Charlotte did, but her face said it all, garlic is not a good gelato flavour haha! The Persimmon & Pine needle however was surpisingly moreish. Rather than the Christmasy pine needle scent I expected, Lalele utilised the sap of the pine needles, creating a sweet honeyed taste that blended with the delicate persimmon flavour. We both snapped up serving and savoured it while appreciating the animated performance of the singer and guitar duo onstage.

Tarts from Scratch Bakers HQ

Our next stop was the delightfully tiny tarts prepared by Scratch Bakers HQ. Mindful that we were about to partake of a full high tea, Miss Cake and I both opted for takeaway tarts (although she sensibly chose four, and I went for nine to share my my family). Inventively flavoured to intrigue your tastebuds the tarts included a caramalised banana jam, maple curd and crispy bacon tart,  a beautiful pink strawberry jam, goats milk custard and rhubarb marshmellow tart and my personal favourite, caramalised popcorn, dark chocolate and popcorn custard, as well as espresso and lavender meringue based varieties.

The tarts were decadently sweet and I’m glad I saved them for later. They went down perfectly with a cup of tea the next morning!

High Tea at Heritage Auckland’s Hectors Restaurant

Lunchtime hunger sated, we strolled through the city to the tropical decor of Hector’s at the Heritage Hotel.

Joined by Ruth from the Very Vintage Day Out, we chatted to Executive Chef Gerard about his favourite high tea treats (opera cake) and his impressive vegan high tea menu. Gerard’s a bit shy, so he didn’t join us on camera while we tasted and talked high tea, parrots, VVDO 2018 and the fact I wave my hands around too much when I talk.

You can watch our livestream below for a good giggle, and our honest opinions on the vegan high tea options. ( Spoiler alert, even my non-vegan self thought it was totally nom-worthy).

Look like something you’d enjoy? Yeah it does!
Even better, you could win a Hector’s High Tea experience for yourself! Just book your Very Vintage Day Out High Tea and post a selfie of you enjoying it to go in the draw!

Photos | Velvet DeCollete, Miss Charlotte Cake, Lemongrass Productions

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments
How To Choose Your Pinup Pageant Gown

How To Choose Your Pinup Pageant Gown

When it came to prepping for Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017, evening wear was the outfit I was most excited about. Looking forward to 19 Black Miss Pinup NZ 2018 it’s the category I’m most excited to judge. It’s the section that steps furthest away from our daily lives, transporting us a to a world of romance and glamour.

But it is so different from our usual clothes. How do you pick a pinup pageant gown? What if you’re not a dress kinda gal?

Don’t stress doll, just read on for simple ways to choose your pageant gown….or ballgown, prom gown, fancy work-do gown etc etc.

Go With Your Gut

Don’t overthink it. If I learned one thing as a bridal consultant, it’s that overthinking takes the joy out of picking a dress.

If your gut says wear green even though you alwaaaaaaays wear green, do it (I did). If you are leaning towards a mermaid gown over a ballgown, but can’t really explain it, go for the mermaid. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONSIDER EVERY OPTION. The more options you have the harder it is to make a decision and the more stressed you will be.

I picked out blue for my evening wear, but when I went to buy the fabric it just didn’t feel right. So I went for what called to me. Guess what? It was green. No surprises there! Worried that I’ve worn green evening gowns before I considered other options, but in the end I went with my gut and it was perfect! You can see more of my evening gown here.

Pinup lifestyle blogger and fashion Velvet DeCollete shares her favourite 1950's inspired olive green evening gown

 

Category Is….Colour Darling!

Colour plays a massive role in how we subconsciously perceive people. Use this in your favour by choosing an evening gown colour that reflects the personality traits you want to embody! It’s also worth considering what pinup celebrities have been wearing recently. If you immediately think of wearing that colour or gown style, chances are your competitors will too.

Let’s take a look at what your favourite colours might say, and get some gown inspo from our favourite Hollywood icons…

 Red

You are sexy, confident and bold! Red says you are here to be seen. Pinup bombshells love red and it’s a common colour in reproduction clothing. Reds can range from romantic to raunchy,  so make sure the cut of your gown works complements the shade.

What's the best colour evening gown for you?

 

 Pink

Pink is soft, delicate and feminine. Bright bubblegum pinks appear confident and quirky, while softer petal shades hint at sensitivity and vulnerability. Pink can be a super fun colour, but be careful that the cut of your gown doesn’t look childish! Pinks and peachy colours look beautiful for those with fair skin and light hair, but paler tones can wash out ladies with dark hair.

What the colour of your evening gown says about you

 

 Purple

Purple makes you look regal, extravagant, and adventurous. Associated with creativity, power, wealth and decadence, purple makes a statement that you’re already royalty.

Choosing your pin up ballgown

 

 Blue

Blue projects loyalty, intelligence and level headedness (there’s a reason it’s worn by politicians, policemen, surgeons and nurses). There’s a shade to complement almost every skin tone and hair colour.  Blue is growing in popularity among winning mainstream pageant gowns, and can sometimes look a little ‘safe’, so go bold with your gown design.

How to choose an evening gown

 

  Green

You are earthy, safe and peaceful. Green is known to be calming, revitalising and restful on the eyes. It isn’t a common colour choice for eveningwear and can make you look quirky and creative.

Which colour evening gown should you wear?

How to Choose your pinup pageant eveningwear

 

            Yellow and Orange

You are sassy, happy and exuberant! Yellow and orange have a fun, carefree vibe and make people think of happiness and summer. They’re a bold choice for evening wear, but can convey a sparkling personality like no other! (Just ensure you don’t stand between someone in a red gown and someone in a green gown.)

Hollywood glamour evening gown colours

 

White

Pure, angelic and dazzling, white is a always popular color for pageant evening gowns. It’s also (obviously) a very popular colour for wedding dresses, so make sure your gown has details that set it apart from a wedding gown. I haven’t seen too many white gowns in pinup pageants, but if you’re after Shirley Mclaine ice queen elegance, it’s a stunning choice.

How to choose the right eveningwear for a pinup contest

How to choose your pinup pageant ball gown

 

Grey

There’s a reason is called a ‘ grey area’. Grey isn’t here or there, and it says the same thing about your personality. Combine that with it’s inability to stand out under strong stage lights and maybe it’s a shade best left out of a pageant’s evening wear category.

 

   Black

Black is the most popular colour in mainstream evening wear, making us feel simultaneously edgy, sophisticated, safe and slimmer. We feel formal in black.  In pinup black brings to mind gothic beauties and film noir vixens.
Black isn’t hugely popular in pageants due to it’s association with funerals, and the fact it can easily blend in to a dark stage backdrop. Having said that, if you look incredible in black, the fact few competitors wear it can help you stand out!

Glamorous black pin up and vintage evening gowns

 

What If I’m Not an Evening Gown Kinda Gal?

Evening wear isn’t just for femme women. Look to the gender-bending or male stars of old Hollywood for inspiration. Think silk palazzo pants, tailored jackets, tuxedos or jumpsuits in luxe fabrics.

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

We’re all familiar with the dazzling Marlene Dietrich, yes?

Blonde Venus Marlene Dietrich in a white tuxedo

And Remember…

  • Off the rack gowns might need hemming, so try them on with your shoes well before competition day.
  • If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid online sites like RoseGal and Retrostage, if it seems like an amazing deal on a well known design – It’s a knockoff. It will look cheap!
  • Practice walking up stairs and sitting in your gown so there are no surprises on the day.
  • Thinking about a bespoke gown? Get to your seamstress ASAP, as many of us are booked up months in advance of big events.

Most importantly, have fun and live the glamoooooouuuuuuur daaaaaarling!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

How to Choose your pin up pageant evening wear colour and style

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
How To Look Confident (Even When You’re Not)

How To Look Confident (Even When You’re Not)

Fake it ’til you make it.

When it comes to confidence, that’s the best advice I ever got. Faking it can lead to making it, and real, actual confidence.

But how do you act confident when you’re not?
You act babes, you act like you’re the bomb diggity and that no one can tell you otherwise.
Here’s how…

Take Up Space

Anxious people make themselves as small as possible, hoping people won’t notice them. Confident people take up space.

Stand tall and straight. Imagine you’re being pulled up by an invisible string from the top of your head (you can thank my grade three ballet teacher for that one). Pull your shoulders back, push your chest out and keep your chin up. This isn’t how most of us naturally stand, so practice your posture until it comes as second nature. A good trick for this is to consciously correct your posture every time you walk through a doorway, until it becomes habitual to stand up straight!

If I want to exude extra confidence I put one hand on my hip for bonus sass – taking up even more space.

These photos show examples of poses that take up space!

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

Pause & Pose

Confident people aren’t afraid of being seen. So pause, and pose.

Pause and pose for a few seconds when you make an entrance, whether it’s a room or a stage.
Pause before answering questions, because your answers are worth thinking about.
Pose for photos.
Pose when you’re standing in line or chatting to people and take up space.
Take your time and let people admire you!

You can see some mini pauses in action in this wee snippet, filmed by L’Amour Cartier during my Miss Pinup NZ swimwear walk.

Talk Slower Than You Think You Need To

I talk a mile a minute when I’m nervous. Most people do. Time seems to pass slowly when you’re speaking under pressure, but in reality, you sound like you’re on fast forward.

Speak at half the speed you think you need to.  Enunciate clearly. Take deep breaths. Pause.

Also don’t be afraid of silence. I say dumb, weird shit when I force myself to make small talk. I just find it so awkward.  Don’t feel the need to fill every gap in the conversation because you’ll only get flustered!

Smile

As we say in show biz, tits & teeth honey.

Smiling doesn’t just make you look more confident,  it releases the feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin in your brain, reducing stress and actually making you feel happier and more confident. Think of something you love to give you a genuine smile. (Faking it can look more like a grimace.)

Velvet DeCollete smiling tiki pinup girl on beach

Make Eye Contact

But don’t forget to blink.

Eye contact makes people feel a connection to you. Make eye contact as you speak to people to seem more self assured and honest. If you’re competing make eye contact with the judges. If you’re on stage, pick a few people in the audience to make eye contact with. Pretend you know them if it helps!

Just don’t forget to blink. Staring is creepy.

Mrs Greatnews is a perfect example of someone who looks confident on stage. Notice how she’s making eye contact with the judges, smiling and taking up space?

Don’t Fidget

I don’t know about you, but I read that in my Mother’s voice.

Fidgeting is a dead giveaway of anxiety. We do it unconsciously to calm ourselves. To appear more confident, keep your hands relaxed at your sides or on your lap. Try not to play with your hair, touch your face, or constantly check your phone. If you know you’re a nervous fidgeter, consider holding a handbag or a fan to keep your hands occupied.

Oh, and if you’re holding a parasol, try not to spin it if you’re waiting on stage with other people. It’s distracting and you’ll look nervous, or like you’re not paying attention.

So How Do We Fake Confidence?

  1. Take up space
  2. Pause & Pose
  3. Speak Slowly
  4. Smile
  5. Make eye contact
  6. Don’t fidget

Now go out there and fake it ’til you make it!

 

You’ll love these posts for more pinup and confidence building tips…

pinup blogger | Things I wish someone had told me when I was a new pinup

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, PINUP, 0 comments
Yellow Made Me Cringe Until I Saw These | Vintage Fashion in Yellow

Yellow Made Me Cringe Until I Saw These | Vintage Fashion in Yellow

I feel like I should apologise to yellow. For years I’ve trash talked it, calling it sallow, unflattering, ‘eugh‘. It’s the colour associated with happiness, laughter and  springtime, but we just never got along.

Then I saw these.
Vintage outfits changed my mind (and wardrobe) about yellow forever.

Even if you’ve been giving yellow clothes the side eye for years, these sunny style moments might change your mind. Read on for three bright and beautiful reasons why yellow should feature in your vintage fashion collection.

 

Reason One | Lemon Yellow Day & Leisure wear

I feel like we can sum up reason number one in two words…

Yaaaaaaaaaaaas Dovima!

Dovima, photo by Avedon, Harper's Bazaar, December 1954

If that chic yellow bathing suit with black trim – worn by the equally chic Dovima in 1954 – isn’t enough to convince you, stop reading now. In fact, if all the bold yellow and black combos in this section don’t make you swoon, I’m going to assume you hate bees in which case we can’t be friends.

In all seriousness though, reason number one to let yellow back into your post toddler life is day wear.

Buttercup coloured daywear says one of two things; either you’re happy and you know it, or you’re fabulous and deserve to be noticed. The woman in that triple collared dress certainly isn’t fucking around when it comes to style.

Reason Two | Golden Gowns

These designers are serving lemon meringue, and I am Eating. It. Up.

Not only do these images show yellow worn with several hair colours and skin tones, they show it being glamorous, elegant and mature. Dare I say 1950’s evening gowns made yellow look sexy!? I’m so conflicted right now. That women in the fitted yellow gown doesn’t even vaguely resemble a banana.

Half of me refuses to accept that yellow can look this good, half of me wants to throw on that immense chartreuse velvet coat and dare someone to tell me it’s not amazing.

Reason two to start loving yellow? Edith, Dior and Pierre Cardin draping women in sunlight.

Reason Three | Daffodil Coats, Jackets & Accessories

Okay reason three might just be because it’s winter in New Zealand, but don’t those yellow coats look GREAT? I’m a fan of coloured coats and accessories for brightening a winter look, and these are aggressively cheerful.

I’m also crushing on the yellow and soft grey combo in the glove image. I don’t have either in my closet, but now I have a yearning to find both and wear them immediately. The fluffy textures remind me of the yellow and grey budgies my Nana had when I was a kid.
Nostalgia aside, these vintage fashion photos prove that yellow, grey and black are far more wearable than I ever imagined.

If you’re not brave enough for a yellow overcoat, start small. A yellow hat, brooch or shoes could be enough to lift your mood (or someone else’s) on a rainy winter’s day.

 

So there you go, maybe you can have your limoncello and drink it too?

From lemon sorbet to mustard, vintage clothes prove yellow isn’t the unbearable curse of a colour I always thought. In fact, it’s fun, feminine and strong, and I’m actually looking forward to adding some wasp-like ferocity to an outfit or two.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on yellow clothing. Drop a comment below or on my Insta and let’s talk!

Visit my Yellow Pinterest board for more clothing from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s in every shade of yellow.

With Style & Sass,

   Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Winter Sunshine | Styling Summer Clothes For Winter

Winter Sunshine | Styling Summer Clothes For Winter

If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to stop wearing your favourite clothes just because the seasons change. I’m very much a summer person, so keeping a summertime vibe in my wardrobe all year round helps cheer me up during winter!

But…not all clothes are made for winter? Especially not a bone chilling Waikato winter?
It’s all in the styling babes, and I’ve got some tips up my merino sleeve to help you  get the most out of your wardrobe, by wearing those summer pieces through the colder months.

Let’s use this vintage prairie skirt as an example.

Yellow vintage prairie skirt and bangles

 

How To Wear Summer Clothes In The Winter

I unearthed this 1960’s Eddy George California skirt at Frocks & Slacks in Melbourne. The buttery yellow muslin has a fine synthetic lining, and feels almost weightless. It’s made for breezy summer days, not frosty July mornings. Making this light summer skirt winter-wearable comes down to two simple things – layering and accessorising.

 

Style blog how to wear summer clothes in the winter. Yellow vintage prairie skirt and bangles

 

Layering Garments In Winter

When it comes to layering it’s all about warmth without bulk.

  • Keep layers fine and fitted to create layers of air without extra bulk. Capturing layers of air between your body and the elements works the same way as insulating your house, keeping you cozy warm!
  • Choose textiles that wick away moisture and act as natural insulators. Think wools and natural fibres, especially merino, which is soft and makes excellent thermals.
  • High denier stockings or pantyhose are your friend. Keep your pins warm with 200 denier pantyhose or vintage inspired cable knit tights underneath skirts and dresses. I’ll admit to wearing two pairs on extra cold days.
  • Slip on a slip! You can pick up a variety of slips for a few dollars in almost any op shop or thrift store. Layer them over your tights, under your skirt or dress to create another air layer and prevent static cling.
  • Choose knitwear. Fluffy knits, turtlenecks, cardigans and sweaters can be worn with skirts, and under or over dresses. Think Velma in Scooby Doo, or a fifties swing dress with a long sleeve top underneath.

In these photos I’m wearing a long singlet, an elbow length thermal, a fluffy knit top, thick woolen pantyhose, a calf length slip, the prairie skirt, and sneakers. That’s a lot of layers, but rather than looking like the Michelin Tyre man, I still feel retro cute.

 

Yellow vintage prairie skirt and bangles

 

Accessorising Summer Clothes For Winter

Now, if I’d just worn the yellow boho skirt and the white knit top (plus all those hidden layers), the outfit might have looked a bit disjointed.  Accessories are the key to making an outfit out of clothes that you wouldn’t normally wear together.

Let’s take a look at how accessories made this outfit work…

  • Colour palette. I pulled that yummy yellow from the skirt through into my bangles and nylon hair scarf. I chose warm woods and neutral tones for the rest of my bangles, because they feel more wintery to me than the bright colours I’d normally pair with this skirt. The white belt connects the white lace on the skirt with the top half of the outfit.
  • Proportion. Using a skinny white belt to define my waist helps offset the looser fit of the knit top, making sure I don’t lose my waist to all those layers!Ru Paul's Drag race proportionising
  • Don’t forget about hats. I wore a hairscarf, which is doing double duty hiding my frizzy rained-on hair, but hats do an amazing job of keeping your head warm while looking fabulous AF. I’d love a white or yellow wide brimmed felt hat with this outfit, or even a fluffy knit beret.

 

How to style summer skirts in the winter. Yellow vintage prairie skirt and bangles

 

Outfit Details

Vintage Nylon Hair Scarf | Preloved, belonged to my Nana
Top | Pagani -Thrifted
Vintage Skirt | 1960’s Eddy George, from Frocks & Slacks
Belt | Forever New
Bangles | Mix of hand-me-downs and thrifted
Sneakers |
Wild Pair
Cotton Blend Tights ( Not visible) | Simon De Winter, from Farmers
Thermal top + slip ( Not visible ) | Thrifted
Singlet ( Not visible) | Supre

 

Yellow vintage prairie skirt and bangles

 

I’d love to see your summer-turns-winter outfits! I’ll be sharing this post in my Facebook group for new pinups – The Pinup Posse, so please join us and share how you make the most of your wardrobe all year ’round! Stay cozy!

For more vintage and pinup style tips, you should check out these posts on Vintage Corsages and How To Wear Them, and How To Wear All Colour With Zero Effort.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Sensitive Skincare | Glow Lab Honest Review

Sensitive Skincare | Glow Lab Honest Review

My skin has always been hyper sensitive. It’s red, itchy, and throws up a variety of dermatitis and excema conditions. Doctors have struggled to identify or effectively treat any of them. One of them was described as ‘mystery psoriasis’, no joke. If I wear makeup for two consecutive days my skin starts flaking off in chunks.

I develop sensitivities to products over time, meaning that I have to change my skincare regime around every 8-12 months. I’ve been through a lot of products! My last love was Steam Cream, but that’s vanished from New Zealand stockists.

SO, here’s an honest, unsponsored review of my latest skincare find – Glow Lab!

 

Why I’m Trying Glow Lab

I’m meandering around the supermarket, pondering the meaning of life and whether four packs of Tim Tams is enough, when a white box catches my eye on the skincare shelf. It’s a pack of mini products.

As a member of the super sensitive skin society, mini sized skincare gets me excited. I know ‘travel minis’ are for travelling, but they’re also perfect for trialing new products.

My Tim Tams instantly forgotten, I cross my fingers and pray that the contents aren’t patchouli scented.
They aren’t, so the box goes in my trolley.

 

 

Initial excitement over mini sized products aside, here’s why I’m giving Glow Lab a go;

My budget is tight. It doesn’t stretch to expensive skincare, or throwing out full bottles of product because I had a reaction. If I can get sample sizes of a brand, that’s going to be the first brand I try. (Can all brands make travel mini’s please?)

Aaaaand the packaging is pretty. I’m a designer okay? I like nice packaging, and Glow Lab’s white and gold branding got me. It also gets the facts across pretty quickly.

Glow Lab products are |

  • Cruelty free
  • Made in New Zealand
  • PH Balanced
  • Vitamin enriched
  • Free of sulphites, parabens, phthalates, silicones, synthetic dyes, mineral oil and cocamide dea.
    I admit I have no idea what that last one is.

My Honest Glow Lab Skincare Review

 

The “Treat Yourself” mini pack I bought contained:

  •  Creme Cleanser
  • Facial Serum
  • Facial Moisturiser
  • Night Cream
  • Body Lotion

When you have allergies, plant based products can be just as dangerous as products full of chemicals. I was nervous that Glow Lab products would be heavily scented (nope), or coloured (also a nope). All the products were very lightly scented, and none of them made me sneeze.

Hallelujah, none of the Glow Lab products made my skin angry.

Since finishing my mini products, which lasted about three weeks, I’ve bought the full size night cream, body lotion, facial moisturiser and serum. I swapped the creme cleanser out for the exfoliating cleanser, because exfoliates help keep my flaky skin in check. This one uses seeds instead of nasty plastic beads for guilt free exfoliation!

The night cream is my favourite product in the range. With a whipped, moussey texture it feels velvety soft and kinda fancy, probably because I’ve never had a specific night cream. Please keep the wrinkles away night cream. Please.

The body lotion has similarly thick consistency, which I love, but it caused issues with the full size pump bottle.
After pumping the top for about 5 minutes, taking the pump off, putting it back on and leaving it for a day I finally got the product to come out! It also has a delicious gentle fragrance – Sweet almond oil? Macadamia? Evening primrose? If anyone from Glow Lab reads this please tell me what the yummy smell is!

A month later my skin is feeling soft and less irritated. I still have sensitive skin and redness around my nose, mouth and eyes most days, but it’s noticeably less inflamed.  I’m excited to see what another month of use will do. My skin’s definitely peeling off less too, even when I wear makeup. Yay!

Sensitive Skincare That’s Eco Friendly!

Unpacking the mini kit, the first thing I noticed was that the expected plastic insert… wasn’t there.

 

Instead of being displayed in a plastic tray, the skincare tubes and tubs were nestled inside a fabric bag. Nice!  Even nicer, while studying the ingredients lists I noticed all the mini and full sized containers are recyclable. Good on ya Glow Lab.

I’m sure I’m not alone in trying to cut down my consumption of single use plastics, so I like knowing I can recycle my skincare containers once they’re empty.

The Final Sensitive Skin Verdict On Glow Lab

I’m a fan!

Products suitable for sensitive skin don’t often feel luxurious. They have names like ‘fatty cream’ and come in plain white plastic tubs. They smell clinical, have unpleasant textures, or are terrifyingly expensive. Don’t even get me started on ‘natural’ skincare packed so full of perfumes my eyes water just opening it. But Glow Lab hits the sweet spot between price point, gentle products and being eco-conscious, while still letting you feel like you’re treating yourself.

Plus, if the only downside I’ve found is that the lotion’s a bit thick for the pump bottle, they’ve done well.

Needless to say I hope my skin lets me use this range for at least a year before it packs a sad!

 

 

* One last reminder that I wasn’t paid, sponsored or given free products to write this review. I know how hard it can be to find affordable, effective skincare for allergy prone skin, so when I find a good ‘un I spread the word!*

If you’ve found a fantastic sensitive skincare product at regular gal price, please let me know! Leave me a comment below, or message me on Facebook or Instagram with your recommendations.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in BEAUTY, 4 comments
1950’s Inspired Evening Gown Elegance

1950’s Inspired Evening Gown Elegance

I feel most myself in an evening gown. Being encased in yards of fabric makes me feel invincible, like an unquestionably fabulous avalanche of textiles. I know ya’ll are fancy gown fans too, so I’m I’m absolutely thrilled to document and share my favourite vintage inspired dress with you!

 

Vintage Gown Inspiration

Created in collaboration with my talented Mum, this dress was designed for my MPUNZ 2017 evening wear category. Drawing inspiration from the cascading overskirts and elegant sheaths of Dior and Balmain, we paid homage to iconic 1950’s designers.  Like a butterfly with folded wings, the combination of a narrow silhouette with nipped waist and voluminous skirts is utterly feminine and beguiling.

These are some of our reference images from the design process. See how the shape of the gown creates and enhances an hourglass figure?

 

1950s evening gowns by Dior, Balmain, Perlmutt and Co and James Galanos

 

Unlike these 1950’s vintage gowns, my dress doesn’t have an internal corset. My mum is waaaay more practical than me, she was concerned that I’d be unable to move around backstage, or that I’d pass out if I was both nervous and corseted! Her practicality resulted in the huge overskirts being attached to a removable waistband, something I was very thankful of once confined to the backstage area. Plus it means I can mix and match the skirts with other dresses!

The dress is made from stiff taffeta fabric in my signature olive green. (Similar but not identical in colour to my Orchid gown.) The overskirt has layers of gathered tulle sewn inside to support all that volume.

I chose a halterneck bodice for two reasons. Firstly I don’t have anything else with a halter. Secondly, it shows off my back and shoulders, they’re one of my favourite features!

Styling The Finished Evening Gown

 

With a beautifully cut gown you don’t need a lot of accessories.

My Mum created the gorgeous corsages on the bust and waist of the gown, using vintage velvet roses from her personal collection. Their vanilla and champagne petals have hints of green, matching the tulle layers in the overskirt. For the Miss Pinup New Zealand pageant I borrowed her champagne coloured gloves and wore diamante studded champagne satin shoes. ( you can see my MPUNZ look in the photo below, also by Elizabeth J!).

For my photoshoot I chose white vintage gloves and white satin shoes.

 

Velvet DeCollete Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 photographed by Elizabeth J at the Very Vintage Day Out

 

For both occasions I wore a green 1950’s iridescent earring and necklace set, using the necklace as a bracelet. The green glass beads complement the gown’s olive taffeta, bringing the colour up to my face without being intrusive. I wore my hair the same simple ‘do as well.  I’d say it’s only because I like a sleek updo with a halterneck, but actually I’ve only perfected two hairstyles!

The Photoshoot

One of my Miss Pinup New Zealand prizes was a photoshoot with Elizabeth J Pinup photography. Liz has photographed so many of my pinup friends so it was wonderful to finally have a chance to work with her!

I’d like to express my enormous thanks to Samantha at Highwic House. We were incredibly lucky to secure a photoshoot at the iconic historic homestead, where crimson curtains and dark wood lent us moody olde worlde vibes.

 

 

Vintage Vogue Magazine images have always been the epitome of fashion photography for me. I love the soft, grainy quality of those early photographs. Sometimes slightly unfocused or blurred, the models looked out of the page through a dreamlike haze. A air of elegant aloofness pervaded, largely thanks to Dovima’s impeccably drawn and raised eyebrows. Liz and I wanted to capture that feeling.

 

Outfit Details

Dress | Bespoke gown by myself & my Mama
Gloves | Vintage, thrifted
Earrings & necklace | Vintage, Tock Tick Vintage
Shoes | Number One Shoes

Photography

All photos by Elizabeth J Pinup photography, who is super lovely, chatty and relaxed to work with
(phew! I fear the day I end up working with a very serious photographer haha!)

 

Do you have any questions about wearing or styling evening gowns? I’ll be writing about choosing your pinup pageant eveningwear soon, so drop me a line if there’s anything you’d like to know!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment
French Twist

French Twist

They say dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If that’s the case, the job I want is 1980’s Tekken character, who’s about to shiv you for your Louis Vuitton in a Parisian disco.
Seriously, I’ll cut you for that purse. (And then walk into the club purse first.)

 

French Twist, green eyed pinup girl Velvet DeCollete sits cross legged wearing suede boots, a black lace teddy and pink leather accessories

Style Concept

This outfit didn’t have a specific style inspiration, it was all about the mood. Feminine, soft but extroverted, sensual and slightly dangerous. The kind of woman you want to hit on, but you’re pretty sure she’ll kick your ass.

Baby pink and black is a favourite combo of mine, as you might have noticed from my branding. I adore the contrast, and the connotations of good girl and dangerous dame assigned to each colour.

Aaaand I really wanted to wear these boots. A beautiful line is created with an over-the-knee style, gently pointed toe and platform-less sole, making the perfectly shaped boot for cosplaying classic superheroines.  A night of dancing proved them to be surprisingly comfortable!
The cherry on top? Got ’em on sale too!

The rustic sitting room hints at alpine ski club vibes – post midwinter party? Underwater tones thrown by the stained glass windows create nightclub-esque streaks of colour in what would otherwise be a cozy room.

 

French Twist, sexy green eyed pinup girl Velvet DeCollete sits cross legged wearing suede boots, a black lace teddy and pink leather accessories

French Twist, Pinup Girl Velvet DeCollete poses in long boots, leather gloves, stockings, black lace lingerie and a pink beret

French twist, pink leather and black lace pinup girl Velvet DeCollete

Outfit Details

Satin + Lace Bodysuit | Pleasure State
Leather Gloves | Vintage via Trademe
Wool Beret | Boohoo.com
Vinyl Belt | Pinup Girl Clothing
Stockings | Pretty Polly
Suede Boots | Number One Shoes
Leather Collar + Cuffs | Aliexpress
Earrings | So old I can’t remember!

 

French Twist cute modern pinup girl Velvet DeCollete is a good girl gone bad in leather and lace

 

Love this look? Follow me on Instagram, subscribe to my blog in the sidebar, or sign up for a membership at Frogerphoto.com for more photos from this set, and other sets like it!

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

With Style & Sass,

  Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments

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, 2 comments
Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started In Pinup

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