NZ

The Bride Wore Black | A Gothic Wedding in NZ

The Bride Wore Black | A Gothic Wedding in NZ

I spent hours trawling through images of artist Vivien Master’s amazing big fat gothic wedding trying to pick my favourites.

They’re all gorgeous… It’s a hard life…

But two cups of tea and many biscuits later, here they are – wedding photos proving that brides can wear black, gothic weddings can be classy, and that getting married your way is the best way! For all the wedding details visit the photographer’s blog, she’s captured them so well.

Fashion geeks can find full details and workroom photos of this bespoke wedding gown and it’s layers on my workroom journal post. ( I know you’re wondering how we supported those dramatic skirts, or how she no one tripped over the incredible veil!) I designed and made this black bridal gown back in 2014 and it’s still my favourite. Probably because I would 100% wear it myself!

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This is my favourite photo in the world right now..

Outfit Details

Couture wedding dress, foundations & veil | Velvet DeCollete ( That’s me!)
Floral Headress | Created by the bride, Vivien Masters
Shoes | Pinup Couture

Vivien looked like some kind of aristocratic vampire queen and couldn’t have been more beautiful. Imagine how those taffeta skirts rustled as she walked down the aisle. Imagine Nick’s jaw dropping when he saw this vision in lace, her ivory skin glowing against the black. It’s just too perfect.

I can never stress enough how personal wedding gowns are, and how the right one can fill you with confidence. It’s not a day to compromise on style, to bow to someone else’s demands or to water down your own unique flavour. It’s your day to celebrate your love. So be you! Be the most you possible and experience the pure joy that brings.

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I often make little information sheets for my clients, because it’s easy to forget hidden closures and details when you’re excited. While my info sheets look a lot fancier these days I found it so sweet that the wedding photographer decided to include Vivien’s in her photographs.

When I create custom wedding gowns and costumes, I always include care and wearing instructions for my clients

Making once in a lifetime dream gowns makes me happier than anything else. Nothing beats seeing someone put on their custom made dress and absolutely light up because they feel so confident! If you’d like to chat about having a unique gown of your own feel free to drop me a line, I’d love to make you feel like a million dollars x

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 4 comments

Casually Glamorous | Michele’s Glittering Bridal Party

Some things happen for a reason. In this case I’d say that reason is love. Michele and Rob were meant to be, and their wedding was one of the most joyous and emotional I’ve seen.

The Design Process

When it came to gowns bride Michele and her daughter Kathryn knew what they wanted. With inspiration images and (sparkling, enchanting, ocean-esque) fabrics in hand they arrived on my doorstep for Michele’s first consultation. The theme was casual glamour – glittering gowns and romantic flowers in an outdoor wedding ceremony, followed by the reception was in an adorable rustic hall.

By the end of that consultation we had sketches for a glamorous wedding gown and three bridesmaids, each tailored to the individual body shape of the wearer.

The custom design process always has ups and downs. Weight loss and a last minute bridesmaid swap due to pregnancy threw some spanners in the works. Luckily creating dresses for happy people is a great motivator and a few late nights later I was back on schedule. Keeping calm when hiccups happen is part of my job as the designer – the bride has enough on her mind!

 

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That Beaded Jacket

My favourite detail of Michele’s bridal gown? The beaded lace jacket. Designing garments around lace patterns and hand stitching lace and beads is my specialty. ( Vivien Master’s gown is another example of my love for lacework, check out her delicate corded lace bodice here. )

I carefully cut the jacket from the center length of the embellished lace, placing each pattern piece to ensure a symmetrical result. I then trimmed the wide scalloped border from the lace and hand applied it to the constructed jacket to line up with the existing motifs. Careful cutting and overlapping of the scalloped border created the right shape and fit around the hem of the garment. Any stray beads were then resewn into the design. The dress itself features beaded lace motifs on and under the bust, making the jacket and dress appear as one piece.

The result is a garment that looks like it’s made from one piece of specially designed lace, when in fact it’s made from many. As a bonus, the separate jacket can worn over any dress, so Michele can enjoy wearing this sentimental piece on special occasions.

 

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All of the gowns are fully lined and boned to give flattering support and shape. This is essential when creating strapless dresses – there’s nothing worse than seeing a beautifully presented woman hiking the top of her dress up all the time!

If you’d like to enquire about creating a stunning gown of your own, feel free to contact me. I promise it’s a relaxed process and not at all scary! More beautiful gowns and happy clients can be found in my design gallery.

With Style & Sass,

       Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 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

Reading in Lingerie | New Problems in Medical Ethics

Pin Up Fetish Model | Velvet DeCollete

You’re going to love this photo set. Oh and there’s now a second edition of Reading in Lingerie.

A foreword on these photos |
In my vintage collection is a set of medical journals; “New Problems In Medical Ethics”. Translated from the French Cahiers Laennec, ( a set of texts from 1934) they present ‘morally problematic’ medical cases and the treatments prescribed by the Catholic medical practitioners of the time.
Topics discussed include why adultery is morally and legally abhorrent when committed by women ( but acceptable from men ), how birth control emasculates men and destroys marriages, and how homosexuality is a mental illness to be treated using electrotherapy.

As a modern woman believing in gender equality and ownership of ones own body you can imagine I strongly disagree with these views. Especially as they are still being spouted by certain groups! Apparently so does our dog Echo, who promptly destroyed one of the books when my back was turned. (That’s the book you see being torn later, I’d never damage a salvageable book!). Being photographed with the journals while portraying behavior they deemed unacceptable in women seemed an appropriate way to express my opinion.

So here you have it. A lingerie clad, empowered, makeup wearing woman who has no fucks left to give for outdated “moral illnesses”. Enjoy.

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Outfit Breakdown

Lingerie | Pleasure State
Stockings | Pretty Polly
Shoes | Siren
Pearl collar | Vintage from Tock Tick Vintage

I wanted to contrast 1920’s / 30’s inspired hair with modern wardrobe, creating a juxtaposition of styles reflecting the conflict of past and present. It was my first attempt at a faux bob using a wet set and I’m absurdly happy with it.

Photos | Froger
Model, HMUA, Styling | Velvet DeCollete

You can see more of this photoshoot in the December 2016 issue of Sinical Magazine, available in print or digital format.

With style and sass,

               Velvet

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 2 comments
Banana Muffins Two Ways

Banana Muffins Two Ways

Making tasty food for your loved ones is a simple pleasure. Something you’ve made with your own hands that brings comfort and instant gratification should never be underestimated.

Personally I like simple baking – thrown together in ten minutes and ready to eat in twenty on a rainy day. Which is exactly where this recipe came from!
A cold rainy morning had me hankering for something warm and sweet. Bananas needed using but without enough chocolate for a whole batch of banana choc  I decided to make a new flavour as well. Thus Banana Muffins Two Ways was born.

24 hours later there’s only two left so I figure that’s a success!

banana chocolate muffins | The Beckoning Blog

A Banana, Coconut & Raisin muffin and a Banana Chocolate muffin

Banana Muffins Two Ways
This recipe starts as one batch, and is split into two – Banana Chocolate and Banana, Coconut and Raisin. This recipe makes about twenty regular size muffins.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1/3 cup chopped chocolate – I use Whittakers 72% dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 large handful raisins

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220c
  2. Sift flour and mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl melt the butter and add the milk, egg and vanilla essence. Beat well.
  4. Mash bananas ( I bash them into submission with a fork in the measuring jug ) and stir into the liquid mix.
  5. Pour liquid mix into dry ingredients and fold with a metal spoon until just combined. Never over mix muffins or they’ll end up dense and heavy.– Now comes the Two Ways part –
  6. Split half your muffin batter into a separate bowl. Throw in the chopped chocolate and stir through very gently. 3/4 fill greased muffin trays and pop them in the oven for 12-15 minutes while you prep the second batch.
  7. Add the coconut and raisins to the remaining half of the batter and mix gently. 3/4 fill greased muffins trays and sprinkle a little extra coconut on top of each one. (The coconut sprinkle ends up all toasted and delicious!)
  8. Both batches will be a golden brown colour when cooked and will spring back when touched. Turn muffins out onto a cooling rack and enjoy warm with a cup of tea or coffee.

banana coconut muffins | The Beckoning Blogbanana muffins two ways | The Beckoning Blog

Optional Chocolate Icing
I was in the mood for a ton of chocolatey goodness so my banana chocolate muffins got icing. All available chocolate was used in the batter so here’s my surprisingly rich and decadent improvised chocolate icing recipe!

Ingredients

  • 25g softened butter
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp Delmaine chocolate sauce.

Method

  • sift icing sugar and cocoa powder into a small bowl.
  • slowly add water while stirring with a fork to avoid clumps.
  • once you have a thick paste, stir in chocolate sauce until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency.
  • Spread over cooled muffins with a warm knife.
  • Eat all the leftover icing with a spoon while no one’s looking.

chocolate icing | The Beckoning Blog

 

Bon Appetit!

Velvet x

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