velvet decollete

Less Bitchy, More Kitschy | Anti-Bullying Charity Pins

Less Bitchy, More Kitschy enamel pins are here!

The proceeds from every pin help the No Bullying Initiative Trust continue their anti-bullying work with children and adults around New Zealand, so please grab yourself a kitschy pin and support making the world a safer place!

Less bitchy more kitschy Anti Bullying Charity Enamel pins by Velvet DeCollete

 

The Less Bitchy, More Kitschy Story

New Zealand has the second worst bullying rates in the world. Look at those statistics from Pink Shirt Day. It’s not good.

I was physically and verbally bullied as a child. I left a corporate job due to workplace bullying as an adult. Almost every pinup who reaches out to me for style advice or support has been bullied at some point, and are turning to fashion as a way to reclaim their identity. The mental, emotional and educational toll bullying can take is all too real.

 

Pink Shirt Day New Zealand bullying statistics

 

What Could I do?

I found my confidence through pinup and vintage style, and was horrified when I witnessed – and had to intervene with – bullying in the seemingly supportive community. But what could I do?

For me, being a modern pinup means taking inspiration from groundbreaking women of the past, to provide strong role models for the future. As a result, I want to make the most of my opportunities as a pinup role model to take a stand against bullying. I believe in living a life less bitchy, more kitschy. One where women raise each other up, celebrating our shared passions and successes.

So I founded the Pinup Posse. Our Facebook group provides a safe space, encouragement and education for pinup and vintage enthusiasts to develop their confidence. We currently have 180 members and 5 pinup mentors. I’m loving the opportunity to support new pinups and vintagettes!

But I wanted to tackle bullying on a larger scale.

Less Bitchy, More Kitschy isn’t just my personal motto, it’s a daily reminder to focus on what makes us happy (and to not be a dick).
These pins aren’t just a cute atomic era accessory, they’re a fundraiser for non profit organisation the No Bullying Initative Trust. The proceeds from every pin will be donated to NBIT,  helping provide preventative education, support and advocacy for victims of bullying in schools and workplaces all over New Zealand.

 

Less bitchy more kitschy, Mid Century Inspired Anti Bullying Charity Enamel Pins

 

How To Get Involved!

Join the less bitchy, more kitschy movement

Step 1. Get yourself a sassy enamel pin!
Step 2. Wear it to remind you of what really matters, and spread the anti-bullying message.
Step 3. Share your style, and your story, using the #lessbitchymorekitschy tag on social media!

 

how to join the less bitchy more kitschy movement

 

The motel sign pin design represents a sanctuary, a neon light in the darkness, somewhere safe to wait out the storm.

You can purchase your pin from my Etsy boutique, or directly from me if you live in New Zealand. This allows more money to go to NBIT by avoiding Etsy fees!

New Zealand buyers (and potential stockists) please contact me via the options below to order your pin or to discuss stocking them in your store!
Facebook 
Instagram
Email | velvetdecollete@gmail.com

Share The Love

I’m so excited to see how you wear your pins and share your stories with the #lessbitchymorekitschytag!

Don’t forget to share this post, or any of the social media posts to help spread awareness of NBIT’s work and raise funds to fight back against bullying! Every post and pin makes a difference.
To find out more about the No Bullying Initiative Trust and their awesome work, please visit their website.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in LIFESTYLE, 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

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
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
Waihi Warmup Best Dressed Comp 2018

Waihi Warmup Best Dressed Comp 2018

This year I had the tough task of judging the Waihi Warmup best dressed competition.

Starting the Repco Beach Hop festivities, the Waihi Warmup has been running for about ten years. The main road gets closed while the hot rods and classics roll in. Music, food and market stalls and hundreds of people packs the streets. The Drag Race ( a relay race down the main strip run by men in drag ) and the best dressed competition are crowd favourites. I spent the day signing up our well dressed contestants, snapping photos and making the hard decisions!

With over eighty contestants this year I can’t share them all, but I will share my winning outfits and honorable mentions! You can see all the contestants – and maybe some familiar faces – in the Gold FM photo gallery.

Best Dressed Group

Every year these couples cook up the coolest matching ensembles.

Last year was baby pink suits, this year was blue, black and striped rock n roll outfits. Check out those blue suede brothel creepers! I love how they embrace the fun side of vintage culture and had the biggest smiles on their faces!

Best Dressed Woman

Waihi-Warmup-Best-Dressed-Competition-Female-WinnerSandra Strickland won Best Dressed Woman at the Waihi Warmup.

Repco Beach Hop 2018 had a Tiki theme. I felt this fab tropical set with matching hair flowers and ladylike 1950’s pearls reflected the theme and a  vintage vibe without crossing over into culturally appropriative territory. I also appreciated how her white parasol brought out the white jewelry and the white accents in the print, preventing her outfit from becoming too dark.

Best Dressed Boy

Waihi-Warmup-Best-Dressed-Competition-toddler-elvisHey baby Elvis!

Do I even need to explain why Lewis Lehman took out the Waihi Warmup’s Best Dressed Boy? This is a pretty involved costume for a little kid to wear and Lewis rocked it like a champ! His jumpsuit even had ‘Elvis’ on the back in glittery letters. He was serving cute smiles and thumbs up’s to everyone!

Best Dressed Man

Waihi-Warmup-Best-Dressed-Man

Mike Jacobs took home the Warmup’s Best Dressed Man prize with this suede trimmed suit.

The men’s category but the hardest to judge with the gents putting in a massive amount of effort. The bold orange and blue colour combo and graphic appeal of this outfit made it stand out, and I appreciate that Mike’s blue leather shoes matched his suit!

Best Dressed Girl

Waihi-Warmup-Best-dressed-girlOlivia Keightly was all smiles in her flamingo print dress.

This was a cute, age appropriate girls outfit that reflected Beach Hop’s Tiki theme. Olivia’s yellow gumball necklace and earrings suited the summery fun atmosphere of the Waihi Warmup, and her little victory rolls were so pretty.

Honourable Mentions

Waihi-Warmup-Best-Dressed-Competition-man-in-leopard-print-trim-rock-n-roll-suitThis rocker is my new idol and very nearly won. Look at awesome leopard fur collar and welt pockets on that jacket! I’m a sucker for leopard print and partial to those snazzy AF python shoes as well.

 

Waihi-Warmup-Best-Dressed-CompetitionPoodle skirt alert! Classic 1950’s diner style from this jitter buggin’ couple.

Waihi-Warmup-Best-Dressed-Competition-Elvis

Another take on The King. While this was popular with the crowd Best Dressed comps for me are about having the best outfit rather than the best costume so Elvis took out an Honourable Mention prize.

Waihi-Warmup-Best-Dressed-Competition-cute-rock-n-roll-coupleHow sweet are these guys? I love the dapper gent’s bold colour choices and pattern mixing while the lady had a strong red theme uniting her dress and accessories. I want her adorable sweet heart handbag!

Waihi-Warmup-Best-Dressed-Competition-red-hat-ladiesThe Tauranga Red Hat ladies were a flurry of colour in the busy Waihi streets.

 

Waihi-Warmup-rock-n-roll-dancersThis couple didn’t enter best dressed, but I love her outfit and they had the best dance moves!

 

I’ll be back helping Gold FM with the best dressed competition at the Waihi Warmup in 2019, I hope I see you there!

 

With Style & Sass,

  Velvet DeCollete

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments
A Photographic Tribute to John Willie

A Photographic Tribute to John Willie

Foreword

I first published this fetish inspired photo set back in February 2016.

One of my first forays into alternative pinup, it was a vital step toward developing my own style as a pinup model. Looking back at it now, I feel like it was a decade ago – Ruby and I look so young! With fetish influenced material now making up a high percentage of my modelling catalogue it seems like a notable shoot to revisit…

Alternative Pin up models Velvet DeCollete and Ruby Von Rifle pose in corsets, gloves and thigh high nylons for an homage to fetish godfather John Willie

My original 2016 Post ( With a Little Fleshing Out )

As a vintage loving model and designer I’m ever excited to pay tribute to those who shaped the worlds of fashion, pinup and vintage erotica. Illustrator and publisher of Bizarre magazine John Willie played an enormous role in these areas, so when Froger approached me about a photographic homage I was immediately on board.

 

Whisked off to a secret derelict location with co-model and friend Ruby Von Rifle, we worked in dingy, damp surroundings to create a fitting tribute to Sweet Gwendoline and her more dominant counterparts. It’s a more fetishistic theme than my previous shoots; something that presents its own challenges but which I thoroughly enjoyed and hope you will too x

 

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Pin up models Velvet DeCollete and Ruby Von Rifle pose for a photographic tribute to Sweet Gwendoline creator and Bizarre fetish magazine publisher John Willie

Pin up models Velvet DeCollete and Ruby Von Rifle pose for a photographic homage to fetish magazine creator John Willie

 

Outfit Breakdown
-Damsel in Distress-

Vintage yellow robe & nightgown | Preloved
Sheer nude nylons | Pretty Pins Hosiery

Would you believe that nightgown and robe are from different sets!? Both are vintage nylon garments and are identical shades of lemon sorbet yellow. I found the nightgown in a op shop, it has the loveliest sheer embroidered midsection. The robe came with a fluffy babydoll nightgown I purchased on Trademe. You can find photos and info on that set in my Lemon Souffle Sleepwear post.

 

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Outfit Breakdown
-Madame in Charge-

Corset | Corset Story
Wet Look Garter Belt & Gloves | Khandikane.co.nz
Knickers | Dita Von Teese Lingerie
Shoes | Gifted
Fully fashioned nylon stockings | Photographer’s own

Nothing makes me feel more in control than a black on black outfit. For fear of sounding like a broken record, creating a photo friendly black ensemble is all about layering those textures! Here I’m wearing a mix of smooth black satin, glossy PVC, sheer nylon and suede leather.

Visit Froger’s website to see more of Ruby and I, as well as a bevy of foxy vintage and alternative dames.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

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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
Workroom Journal: A Terrifyingly Beautiful Bride

Workroom Journal: A Terrifyingly Beautiful Bride

Eighteen meters of fabric. Seven meters of netting. One bag of Polyfill. Around ninety hours of work. One rock star of a bride.

A while back I introduced you to Vivien Masters , one of my gorgeous brides for the season. Apart from having impeccable taste (obviously), she’s also stunning. Like,  ethereal creature stunning. At first sight her future husband described her as ‘terrifyingly beautiful’.

Needless to say, her wedding gown had to be equally majestic…
I think it was…

Photo: Nisha Ravji Photography

Photo: Nisha Ravji Photography

 

Photo: Nisha Ravji Photography

Photo: Nisha Ravji Photography

Those first photos are by the immensely talented Nisha Ravji Photography. I’m following her Facebook page with baited breath, and letting out an excited squeal with every image she posts! ( You can see more glorious wedding photos in my full feature post now! )

The following photos are from my workroom records, showing you a bit more detail that you might otherwise see.

Dramatic goth rococco black wedding gown custom made in New Zealand

Bespoke gothic wedding dress with lace over sweetheart corset bodice NZ

 

The Dress

Fully boned and stiffened, the structured sweetheart bodice gives a corseted effect, slimming and supporting the bride. I created the bodice overlay by hand cutting and appliqueing delicate French corded lace over fine sheer mesh to achieve invisible stitching and closures. The lace looked incredible over Vivien’s porcelain skin!

The pleated overskirt allows the most beautiful light play on the textured silk taffeta fabric, showing off the texture and volume of the skirts. As a firm believer in wearability, I hate seeing brides hobbled by wrist loops on long trains – so Vivien’s dramatic train features bustle loops and ribbons hidden on the inside. A few quick adjustments and the gown’s train gathers into structure voluminous folds, leaving Vivien free to dance the night away unencumbered!

A smooth fronted underskirt, pleated around the sides and back, finished the visible elements of the gown. ( Viv actually took this underskirt with her when she moved overseas, and continues to wear it.)

Gothic Bespoke Wedding dress dramatic gown
Bespoke black rococo corseted wedding dress with bustle ties and train New Zealand

The Veil

Let me introduce you to the fairy gothmother of all veils.

An extravagant gown deserves an extravagant veil, and Vivien’s didn’t disappoint. With three layers of fluffy net at royal, cathedral and elbow lengths this was a gothic fairytale come true. The Royal and cathedral layers are trimmed with more painstakingly hand cut and stitched French lace.

You remember how I said I love wearability? The royal length layer of this veil – That’s the really long one – is detachable. Vivien wore it for the ceremony and photos, before removing it for the reception. No one’s standing on her veil!

Bespoke black rococo corseted wedding dress and custom made black veil New Zealand

The Foundation

So you’ve been wondering how the gown keeps that divine Rococo inspired shape?

I design and create customised foundations for specialty garments. Supporting the sides and back of the wedding gown is the sweetest lace trimmed bustle you ever did see! Inspired by structures used through the Rococo and Victorian eras this soft pillowy bustle is light, squishable and comfortable. No awkward seating issues or stabby crinoline here! I couldn’t resist designing a heart shaped pad for the back in celebration of such a romantic couple.

The best part? Vivien actually squealed with girlish excitement when she saw it. Her reaction made me so happy!

Bespoke heart shaped pillow bustle NZ

 

If you’d like to find out more about my bespoke bridal gowns you can contact me here ( I don’t bite! ), or take a stroll through my design gallery to see more of my glowing clients. Don’t forget to check out the official wedding photos, they were also featured in New Idea magazine and on the BBC news website!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 1 comment

Blue Hawaii | How To Wear All Colour With Zero Effort

It’s summer, and in summer I like to dress like a tropical island. Probably one with an early 1960’s themed resort and 24/7 kitschy soundtrack, because that’s how I roll. ( If these still exist, please tell me and I will 100% go there to live out my retro resort dreams.)

So in honour of pastel stucco’d resorts and mid century vacation-wear, this week’s look is all about COLOUR. Colour is synonymous with holidays for me, I can’t image lying on a beach or drinking cocktails poolside in neutral tones!
I’ll explain how I put together outfits that are bright and bold with almost zero effort. It’s actually so easy.  In fact, it’s how I taught myself to wear colour after my goth phase haha.

Just read on and join me in a tropical fantasy.

Pin up model and Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 wearing retro tropical vintage reproduction summer tiki fashion

How To Wear All Colour With No Effort

Step One

Okay so step one is actually not even a step, it’s just having a vaguely organised wardrobe.

I’ve starting using a closet organiser app so I can search my clothes by colour, but before that I just hung my clothes in garment and rainbow order. Mostly because it looks pretty, but also because if all your clothes are organised by colour and clothing type it’s waaaaaay easier to find stuff.

Step Two

Start with the one thing you know you want to wear.
For me, it was this tropical print crop top.

Now if the garment or accessory you picked has a pattern this is a piece of cake. Just pick two or three colours out of the pattern that you know you have clothes and accessories in!
For this outfit I picked the blue, purple and bright green from the tropical print.

If the garment you picked is a solid colour you can pick any two colours that you like with it. OR you can pick something with a pattern that uses the colour of the item you picked and use colours from that.

That sounds super confusing so lets break it down; let’s say you picked a solid yellow skirt.
You might pick a yellow, orange and pink colour scheme because you like those colours together.
Or you might choose a floral top to wear with the skirt. The top has yellow and green on a pink background, in which case you’d have a yellow, green and pink colour scheme.
Make sense?

Step Three

Here’s where it all comes together.

Look at your wardrobe and pick out things you have in the colour scheme you’ve chosen.
I had a purple belt, some green and blue bangles, a pair of blue shoes, and a pair of multicoloured shoes.

Basically you can throw on any clothes and accessories in your colour scheme and your outfit should look sweet as tropical punch. Because we limited the amount of colours we’re using it won’t look chaotic.

BUT if you’re worried about your outfit looking too busy – which can be overwhelming if you’re a short, small person like me – you can split your outfit into two halves. I like to keep either the top or bottom half of my outfit a solid colour. Choosing the solid blue shoes and pants keeps my lower half looking streamlined, while the patterned top, bangle stack and belt accentuate my upper body and waist. Patterned clothes and pops of colour can draw attention to the parts of yourself you like the most!

 

Velvet DeCollete in the Remuera Gardens wearing sixties fashion colourful summer pinup outfit

 

Uh Oh?

What if you get to step three and realise you don’t own anything that goes with the garment you chose in step two?

Do you know what that means? You’re buying or keeping clothes that don’t match anything else in your wardrobe.
Do you always wear that top or skirt with neutral tones? Or do you never wear it at all? If you’re staring at your wardrobe and nothing seems to go with anything else, you might need to have a clear out and create a capsule wardrobe!

Kiwi pin up icon Miss Victory Violet has a fantastic capsule wardrobe section on her blog. She shows you examples of capsule wardrobes and all the outfits you can make from just ten well chosen pieces!

 

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeCollete wearing modern retro inspired colourful pin up clothes


Outfit Details

Crop Top | Custom by Velvet DeCollete ( me!)
Pedal Pushers | Pin Up Girl Clothing – Preloved
Belt & Bangles | Thrifted
Shoes | Number One Shoe Warehouse
Sunglasses | Boohoo.com

See this top with it’s original skirt and bangles

Style Tip | Mixing smooth and carved bangles of different sizes kept my lil’ bangle stack looking ‘ equal parts curated and haphazard‘, as accessory maven Fran Robertson puts it. Fran is the unchallenged queen of stylish overkill and she wrote all about building the perfect bangle stack! I highly recommend giving her post a read if you need some bangle inspiration.

Would you look at my fluffy hair!!! The humidity was killer when we shot this outfit, and my beautiful Priscilla Presley curls and bouffant just turned into frizz and fluff. What a waste of setting spray. For makeup I went with a neutral eye and a 1960’s inspired nude lip.

 

Velvet DeCollete blue and green retro pinup girl style

Velvet DeCollete at the Remuera Gardens wearing a sixties tropical style inspired outfit

Shoot Details

Photos | Froger
Model, HMUA, Styling | Me

 

Velvet DeCollete soft summer colours retro style pinup photo

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 5 comments