FASHION STORIES

Vintage, reproduction or custom, fashion can empower and entertain. Find it here.

Spider Girl | Halloween Fetish Pinup

LET’S GET DRAMATIC.

If there’s one thing Froger and I do well, it’s high drama fetish pinup. Looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because his new assistant Kyrissa nailed our edgy style perfectly! But before we get into the details of this shoot, I need to tell you something  personal…

I was a hypocrite when these photos were taken.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I felt unattractive because I’d been unwell, gained weight and lost confidence in my body’s strength.⠀My inner demons whispered that my softer-than-usual figure wouldn’t photograph well. BUT I put on my confident face, gave myself a pep talk and got on with doing what I love – creating art and stories in front of the camera.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I realized I was being a hypocrite. I was seeing change as a flaw in my body, when I see it as natural and adore it in others. Why wasn’t I applying that same love I have for others to myself?

Seeing these final photos gave me that love. I absolutely adore them. They made me appreciate that my body can surprise me. That my curves can rise and fall like the tides and be beautiful either way.

The moral of the story? What our inner demons tell us isn’t true. Don’t let them hold you back.

 

Photoshoot & Style Concept

You’ve probably noticed that everyday is Halloween for me, so when it’s ACTUALLY Halloween things get extra kooky. In honour of the spooky season this shoot was inspired by spiders, awkward angles, Bettie Page, Helmut Newton and fetish elements! I wanted to capture a dramatic, unashamedly sensual side of my pinup style.

Heavily inspired by the arachnid world, my outfit plays on the contrast between the toughness of a spider and the delicacy of its web. Sculptured leather and glossy satin highlight the softness of flesh, mesh and nylon. Ballet stilettos, opera gloves and strappy lingerie bring to mind the long, articulated shapes of spidery legs.

In true ‘anything for the art’ pinup model fashion, I borrowed the ballet heels from Mike’s kit, even though they were three sizes too big for my tiny feet. I’m OBSESSED with them, once my 2019 Vegas trip is paid off I’ll be saving up for my own pair.  Creating poses that explore the visual beauty but physical discomfort that’s part and parcel of fetish fashion was key , and the fact I couldn’t put my weight on the too-big shoes forced me to pose in ways that didn’t involve standing.

 

Outfit Details

Spiderweb Bra + Knickers | Bras n Things ( Previous collection, no longer available)
Eight Strap Garter Belt | Shirley of Hollywood, altered by me
Leather Belt | Alannah Hill
Satin Opera Gloves | Vintage
Crystal Spider Hairpins | Custom made by me, similar items available in my Etsy store or by custom order.
Stockings | Voodoo Hosiery
Shoes | Photographer’s own

 

Hair & Makeup

Hair and makeup can make or break the cohesiveness of a look. For this high contrast look I applied a white eyeshadow with an aubergine cut crease (purples often look darker than black eyeshadow when converted to black and white) and winged eyeliner. Paired with defined and elongated brows a cut crease makes small hooded eyes look larger.

I kept contouring very minimal for a more authentically vintage look, finishing the makeup with a small beauty mark under my right eye.

For hyper-feminine vintage hair I wore a long clip in ponytail with my signature bumper bangs. Thank the gods these are black and white photographs because my hair darkened so much over winter that my ponytail doesn’t match well anymore!

 

 

Photography |Shot Kyrissa Kolisnyk, edited by Mike Froger.
As always, become a member of Froger’s website to see the full photo set, and many, many others.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, or subscribe in the sidebar to see all my new photos fresh off the camera!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

Pssssst; If you liked these photos you’ll love my Boardroom Meets Bathtub post, and this tribute to John Willie x

 

Spider girl Halloween pinup Velvet DeCollete

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Vintage Witch | 1970’s Inspired Outfit

Vintage Witch | 1970’s Inspired Outfit

It’s October now (how did that happen!?), the month where I dress like the love child of Stevie Nicks and the spirit of Halloweens gone by.

Halloween aligns with spring here in New Zealand and isn’t widely celebrated, so I dream of a spooky autumn Hallow’s Eve surrounded by pumpkins and crimson leaves. While I hope to one day spend October in the USA or Europe, for now I  make do by making my wardrobe and life even spookier than usual.

What else could you expect from someone who lives in a haunted hotel?

This vintage witch outfit is inspired by the dreamy white witches of the 1970’s, using their crystals and spells for love and healing.

THE OUTFIT

1970s romantic vintage witch outfit Velvet DeCollete

 

It’s fairly simple as my outfits go. Just a hat and a dress.
No gloves, no shoes, basic accessories.
But with a dress like this, who needs ’em?

This bewitching dress is a vintage gothic dream. Inky black satin falls in glossy folds and the cut is impeccable. Delicate latticework on the shoulders and yoke creates just the right amount of texture and definition. The double sleeves are my favourite feature, the silhouette created by that cape-like oversleeve is so dramatic!

Created by iconic New Zealand designer Annie Bonza, this gown is one of the most precious in my collection. Owning such a beautiful piece of Kiwi fashion history is a humbling experience.  Considered a pioneer of boutique fashion, Annie’s signature ‘doodle’ style consists of braiding, ribbon, beading, embroidery and hand painting clothing with Māori and Polynesia influences. You can see some of that trademark braided lattice on this dress! Her designs are held in collections at Te Papa Museum and won awards at the Benson & Hedges Fashion Design Awards in 1971 and 1989.

If you’re not familiar with Annie Bonza, I recommend you visit this New Zealand Fashion Museum page to find out more about her.

 

1970s romantic vintage witch outfit Velvet DeCollete

1970s romantic vintage witch look by Velvet DeCollete

 

I made this witch hat from an old pre-loved felt hat I had lying around. Its crown is softly pointed, in a wearable  ‘daily witch’ style. The fluttery pink flowers are two hairflowers that I clipped to the grosgrain band for a romantic, feminine finish.

(Keep scrolling to find a quick tutorial for reshaping your own hat!)

I tied a dusty pink grosgrain ribbon around my neck to carry on those soft femme vibes, threw on a few silver rings and pronounced this outfit done!

1970s vintage witch dress Velvet DeCollete

1970s romantic vintage witch dress and hat Velvet DeCollete 1

HAIR & MAKEUP

In keeping with the romantic 1970s influence I chose a simple makeup look.  A swipe of pale green eyeshadow, bold liquid eyeliner and long lashes, with white eyeliner pencil on the inner rim to create that bright eyed effect. I did apply false eyelashes to the edge of my bottom lashes for the first time! I loved the bottom lash effect, but I wish I’d blended the edge in with liner a bit more.

Cheeks and lips are dusted with subtle peachy pinks, and brows are softly defined.

I left my hair in its natural curly state, and backcombed the bottom half for fluffy volume.

 

1970s Vintage witch makeup look Velvet DeCollete

 

DIY VINTAGE WITCH HAT

1970s vintage witch hat diy

 

I don’t know about you, but  cheap plastic witch hats make me cringe. They’re not sustainable, they don’t look good and the number of them that end up in landfill every Halloween hurts my soul.

Good thing ethical witches like you can make a vintage inspired witch hat with a wave of your wand! Or at least with nothing more than a thrifted felt hat and your own two hands.

Make your own vintage style pointy witch hat

  1. Find an old felt hat. I used a thrifted one that bought a few years ago. I forgot to take a photo before I started, but it had a standard round crown, and had become a bit faded on my hat rack, which doesn’t matter if you’re making it into a vintage witch hat!
    Now stick that hat upside down in a pot or bowl of hot tap water. Make sure the whole of the crown is submerged, I plonked a bowl in mine to stop it floating back up. ( The yellow in the water is just dye from the hat, don’t panic if this happens. )
  2. Once the crown of your hat is totally soaked through and warm, you can start shaping it! Put an old towel on your bench to catch the excess water and start gently stretching and pulling the crown into it’s new shape. If it starts drying out, just pop it back in the hot water for a minute.
    I created the pointed shape by holding one side of the crown against my benchtop like in the photo, and then pulling on the top side to stretch it out. I worked my way around the crown like this, making sure I kept my fingertips where I wanted the point to be.
  3. Every now and then check your shape and use your hands or the side of a bowl or vase to smooth our any unwanted dips or bumps. You can also lightly wet the brim and reshape that if you want to!
  4.  Try on your damp hat and make sure you like the shape. Then leave it somewhere warm and sheltered to dry – I left mine in the sun on my deck.

Now your hat is reshaped trim is with ribbons and flowers, paint it, glitter it, whatever you want!

 

Reshaping a felt hat into a diy vintage witch hat

Don’t feel like you have to stick to wide brimmed hats either! I also reshaped an old felt fedora into a 1920’s influenced witch hat.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

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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

 

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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

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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

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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

 

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

With Style & Sass,

  Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 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