PINUP

All my pinup goodies, photoshoots, press and behind the scenes.

My Super Cute 1950’s Halloween Outfit

My Super Cute 1950’s Halloween Outfit

I intended to have this post out before Halloween, but (obviously) that didn’t happen, so lets say it’s a nightmare before Christmas.

I bought this adorably spoopy cartoon spider print fabric at Halloween last year. I didn’t get a chance to sew up an outfit at the time, but it was on the top of my pile for this October!

 

Construction & Design

Halloween calls for boldness and fun, and so did the super cute spider print! I contrasted the printed cotton with vintage orange linen from my stash for vibrancy and graphic appeal.

The natural fibers of these fabrics makes them perfect for the humidly warm October days in New Zealand. (Which means they’re also perfect for summer, when I’ll be wearing this because everyday is Halloween!)

The Top

I used my trusty Simplicity 1426, with a few size adjustments and different straps. The cups don’t sit as smoothly as the version of this top I made in cotton sateen, I may add some foam cups at a later stage. I stitched in a nude bra strap hook and eye set for the back closure, which ended up almost invisible!

The Skirt

The skirt is a classic self drafted circle skirt. I decided on a contrast waistband to emphasise my waist, with a back zip and hook and eyes. After cutting out the skirt I cut the top out of the leftovers – a great way to make the most of fabric when you’re using a pattern with small pieces!

 

Vintage Pinup girl Velvet DeCollete talks about sewing her cute spider print halloween skirt and top set, a 1950's skirt and top using self drafted and

 

Outfit Details

Skirt + top | Made by me
Floral Haircomb | Made by me ( Similar styles can be found in my Etsy Boutique)
Bangles | Thrifted
Shoes | Preloved

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
Monochrome Minxes

Monochrome Minxes

Hellooooo darlings!

Firstly, apologies for the break in blogging.
I’ve been going through a very busy and stressful time for the last few months and needed to take a step back to avoid burning myself out.

Secondly, I’m baaaaaack!
While I’d originally planned to have these posts out before Halloween, it just didn’t happen. But I know that everyday is Halloween for ya’ll as well, and better late than never right!?

So let’s get back into some fun, spooky, retro style…

The Concept

We shot this set with Froger on the same day as my Spider Girl set. It was the first time I’d modeled alongside Rose Halfpenny, so we basically just winged it!

Rose is very much a stunning modern model – tall, incredibly slim and catwalk ready – while I’m petite, curvier and have a very vintage aesthetic. So this should could have looked kinda disjointed.  We created a cohesive look that combined our personal styles using monochrome outfits, combining modern and vintage influences, and shooting in black and white.

I styled a look focused on creating interest with layers and textures.  Vintage and fetish inspired modern pieces married sheer fabrics with leather and patent finishes, topped with my bespoke zebra stripe (faux) fur and muff. I really wanted to embody a juxtaposition of demureness, sexuality and outlandishness a la John Willie and Ryan Heshka.
Rose wore reproduction 1950’s lingerie paired with a gritty modern jacket and boots.

 

My Outfit Details

Beaded Spider Hair Pins | Velvet DeCollete ( That’s me! I make this pins to order)
Faux Fur Shrug and Muff | Fluff Club by Velvet Decollete – Custom Design
Gloves | Vintage
Sheer Blouse | Thrifted
Sheer Wiggle Skirt + Zebra Shoes | Preloved
Stockings | Voodoo Hosiery
Lingerie | Bras N Things

 

All photos by the excellent Froger Photography.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 0 comments

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

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment
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, 1 comment
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
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
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, 4 comments
My Advice For Entering MPUNZ 2018

My Advice For Entering MPUNZ 2018

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

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

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

Check Your Motivation

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Don’t Rush Your Application

Don’t leave your application to the last minute.

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

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

 

You Do You Boo

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Showcase Your Style

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo | Stuart Attwood

Get Your Pageant Prep On

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

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

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

Have A Post Pageant Plan

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

 

Buddy Up

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

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

 

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

Photo | Reality Dysfunction

Just Do It

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

 

Good Luck!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, PINUP, 4 comments