custom made clothing

Making History | Vintage Candy Butcher Costumes For A Halloween Ball

When Matt from Glory Days first mentioned Candy Butchers I had no idea what he was talking about.

It turns out these slightly sinister sounding fellows were actually siblings of the iconic vintage cigarette girl. Working during the intermission at theaters and circuses, candy butchers sold candy and snacks, along with the occasional con. ( There’s no harm in using an audience plant to give people the impression there might actually be a gold watch in the next box of candy they buy, right?)

Armed with this new found knowledge my job was to make history, or more accurately remake history. Costuming promo staff as candy butchers for a vintage Halloween Ball.

 

Custom designed vintage candy butcher or cigarette girl costumes made for the Blood Moon Ball by NZ costumer Velvet DeCollete

 

THE BRIEF

A pair of candy butcher costumes, one male and one female. Our candy butchers would be handing out Vintage Town Guides and Sailor Jerry promotional material at the family friendly Very Vintage Day Out. But they’d also be delivering specially made Rum & Raisin ice cream to our very adult guests at the Blood Moon Ball. The costumes needed to switch from innocent daywear to naughtier evening attire, while remaining recognizable and vintage inspired.

Being in contact with ice cream, sticky fingered children and guests with drinks meant they had to be washable. Hot environments meant they had to be breathable fabrics so our performers didn’t overheat. The costumes also needed to be durable, eye catching and fit several fashion eras.

MY INSPIRATION

I wanted to design costumes that were almost timeless – useable for events themed around the 1920’s to the 1950’s – with a fun, vibrant feel and strong graphic appeal. Inspiration came from cigarette girls, circus performers and chorus lines from the likes of the Follies and Cotton Club. Here’s a tiny sample of my mood and style inspiration.

 

Custom designed vintage candy butcher or cigarette girl costumes made for the Blood Moon Ball by NZ costumer Velvet DeCollete
Custom designed vintage candy butcher or cigarette girl costumes made for the Blood Moon Ball by NZ costumer Velvet DeCollete

 

THE RESULT

Two absolutely adorable costumes!

 

Custom designed vintage candy butcher or cigarette girl costumes made for the Blood Moon Ball by NZ costumer Velvet DeCollete

 

To evoke a vintage carnival atmosphere, I chose a classic red and white colour scheme with a wide stripe. Both candy butcher costumes have pillbox style hats, striped bow ties, and rosettes featuring the limited edition Blood Moon Ball enamel pins. Made in sturdy cotton drill and cotton polyester blends the costumes are durable, machine washable ( hats and rosettes excluded ) and can breath.

Madam Rou looked stunning in her red halter playsuit with a low v neckline ( inspired by a 1920’s chorus line costume ). Her full circle skirt features panels pattern matched to create a chevron design. An oversized wired bow with a brooch back adorned the back waistband of the skirt, and then the derriere of the playsuit come evening time. Rou had the perfect B.A.I.T Footwear shoes to match the outfit!

 

Custom designed vintage candy butcher or cigarette girl costumes made for the Blood Moon Ball by NZ costumer Velvet DeCollete

 

Nathan was dapper in a tailored red waistcoat and white soda jerk inspired shorts, shirt and shoes. The buttons on his waistcoat and both the hats feature a rope and anchor motif to reflect the branding of our sponsor Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum.

 

Custom designed vintage candy butcher or cigarette girl costumes made for the Blood Moon Ball by NZ costumer Velvet DeCollete

PHOTOS

David Watson
Reality Dysfunction
Dolly Up Photography

COSTUMES

Velvet DeCollete ( that’s me!)

With Style and Sass,

      Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 3 comments

Secret Garden | A 1950’s Inspired Cocktail Suit

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Power dressing is nothing new. From the Phoenician purple robes of the Romans to 80’s power suits, we’ve been using clothes to boost our confidence and social standing for thousands of years. Which got me thinking; what does power dressing look like to a vintage loving gal?

For me the answer was a well cut suit. The suit worn by a film noir vixen perched on a detective’s desk, knowing he’ll do whatever she asks. A suit that says you’re 100% business, and 100% woman. A suit you’d wear to the funeral of your fifth wealthy husband mysteriously dies.

Obviously I needed to make this suit.

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The Suit

Drawing inspiration from 1950’s clothing company Lilli Ann, I sketched a figure enhancing peplum silhouette. The wide neckline, fitted waist and flared hip accentuate my hourglass figure, while the slimline pencil skirt puts a wiggle in my walk – I’m known for walking quite fast and this skirt definitely hobbles my stride a bit!  A textured black fabric with a woven pattern of golden roses balances the hyper feminine cut with dark glamour.

This is my first ladies suit ( I’ve made one trouser suit before ). Delayed for months due to costume commissions I finally finished it in time for the Duke and I’s seven year wedding anniversary. ( We stayed at Hotel Debrett and watched Horror at the Civic Theatre. ) There’s a tiny area of fit I’m not quite happy with in the jacket, but considering I had to fit it on myself I’m very happy with the result!

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The Outfit

Two statement collars are better than one and the PUG Lauren top creates a striking inky black layered neckline.

No well dressed dame would be caught without gloves and hat.  The beaded gloves were a serendipitous find at Tock Tick Vintage long before I started the suit. Their glossy floral beading was too pretty to pass up!  The velvet tilt hat is from the Auckland Textile Fair. A band and bow of woven black straw circle the hat, and I added the veiling for extra sass.

My earrings are green and gold vintage clip ons . The frosted glass matches my eyes (a rarity) , and seems to glow from within . Classic back seam stockings, black leather Alonso Andretti shoes and a gold beaded clutch finished my 50’s power dressing dream.

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We shot these photos in the picturesque Hamilton Gardens while filming my entry video for Miss Pin Up New Zealand 2017. Subscribe to my blog to follow my progress in the competition!

See more outfits from my entry video below!
1940’s summer style

With style & sass

         Velvet x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment

Devel Branded Fashion Show | 1960’s Inspired Fashion

Badass boss babe is kinda my style motto right now, so it’s no surprise that Danielle from Devel Branded is one of my favourite local designers.  Not only is she freakin’ adorable, but her clothes embody the sass and vibrancy that a modern pinup needs. I had a ball strutting in her catwalk show last weekend alongside the coolest girl gang a pinup could hope for.

I wore the Freshly Squeezed Lemonade wiggle skirt. It’s bright, fresh and would you just look at those novelty appliqued pockets!? The detail and craftsmanship is goooorgeous. The Girlboss blouse is a crisp white shirt with a statement collar, very Elizabeth Taylor.

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Miss Charlotte Cake modeled the Limeade swing skirt from the Freshly Squeezed collection. If you don’t know Charlotte, she’s fricken awesome, hilarious and has an amazing blog, especially if you’re into baking taaaaaaasty stuuuuuuff!

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The show also featured garments from her Poolside and Sprinkles & Cream collections, as well as the luxe Tuxedo Dress and the Black Widow skirt that had me swooning! ( Seriously is it not the most killer goth – meets – vintage skirt you’ve ever seen?! )

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Thanks to Glory Days and Auckland Live for putting on Summer in The Square Vintage Weekend, we had a blast!

With style and sass,

                  Velvet

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments