FASHION STORIES

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

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
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, 0 comments
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

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