velvet decollete

High Tea & Curious Food with Miss Charlotte Cake

High Tea & Curious Food with Miss Charlotte Cake

These are the happy faces of two pinups who are about to stuff their faces with tasty tasty food!

Miss Charlotte Cake and I enjoyed a foodie gal’s dream day out, visiting the first Curious Food Festival, followed by tasting the High Tea at Hector’s Restaurant for the Very Vintage Day Out. It was a day of belly laughs and bellyfulls of utter deliciousness.

Of course we dressed in style. I opted for my strawberry field hat and corsage with a vintage gingham dress to make a perfectly picnicky looking outfit. Charlotte wore an amazing tropical print three piece vintage ensemble.

The Curious Food Festival

Held at Shed 10 on the Auckland Waterfront, the inaugural Curious Food Festival promised “12 city centre eateries creating their most imaginative and delicious dishes“. The teaser menu looked promising, and we showed up early to make sure we were at the front of the queue.
( Waiting in long lines makes us hungry, and you won’t like us when we’re hungry.)

One of the festival crew ran out asking to take our picture for their social media, which was super cute.

Our planning and patience paid off, and we managed to scope out all the vendors and get ourselves some treats before the crowds rolled in!

Spaghetti From Toto

First up was rich spaghetti cooked with brandy in a giant wheel of cheese. Toto delivered both scrummy food and entertainment with their Parmesan wheel pasta, cooked in front of each customer, and doused in one of three sauces and crispy bacon after being pulled from its cheesy nest.

We shovelled this into our faces in near silence, because it was So. Damn. Good. I’d happily eat this for a week, although my arteries my say otherwise.

Gelato From Lalele

Unusual taste combinations were a strong theme at the Curious Food Festival.

Lalele Organic Gelato were offering two special flavours alongside their usual gelato, cocolato and sorbet; Black Garlic, and Persimmon & Pine Needle.

I wasn’t brave enough to sample the Black Garlic gelato. Charlotte did, but her face said it all, garlic is not a good gelato flavour haha! The Persimmon & Pine needle however was surpisingly moreish. Rather than the Christmasy pine needle scent I expected, Lalele utilised the sap of the pine needles, creating a sweet honeyed taste that blended with the delicate persimmon flavour. We both snapped up serving and savoured it while appreciating the animated performance of the singer and guitar duo onstage.

Tarts from Scratch Bakers HQ

Our next stop was the delightfully tiny tarts prepared by Scratch Bakers HQ. Mindful that we were about to partake of a full high tea, Miss Cake and I both opted for takeaway tarts (although she sensibly chose four, and I went for nine to share my my family). Inventively flavoured to intrigue your tastebuds the tarts included a caramalised banana jam, maple curd and crispy bacon tart,  a beautiful pink strawberry jam, goats milk custard and rhubarb marshmellow tart and my personal favourite, caramalised popcorn, dark chocolate and popcorn custard, as well as espresso and lavender meringue based varieties.

The tarts were decadently sweet and I’m glad I saved them for later. They went down perfectly with a cup of tea the next morning!

High Tea at Heritage Auckland’s Hectors Restaurant

Lunchtime hunger sated, we strolled through the city to the tropical decor of Hector’s at the Heritage Hotel.

Joined by Ruth from the Very Vintage Day Out, we chatted to Executive Chef Gerard about his favourite high tea treats (opera cake) and his impressive vegan high tea menu. Gerard’s a bit shy, so he didn’t join us on camera while we tasted and talked high tea, parrots, VVDO 2018 and the fact I wave my hands around too much when I talk.

You can watch our livestream below for a good giggle, and our honest opinions on the vegan high tea options. ( Spoiler alert, even my non-vegan self thought it was totally nom-worthy).

Look like something you’d enjoy? Yeah it does!
Even better, you could win a Hector’s High Tea experience for yourself! Just book your Very Vintage Day Out High Tea and post a selfie of you enjoying it to go in the draw!

Photos | Velvet DeCollete, Miss Charlotte Cake, Lemongrass Productions

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments
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
Sensitive Skincare | Glow Lab Honest Review

Sensitive Skincare | Glow Lab Honest Review

My skin has always been hyper sensitive. It’s red, itchy, and throws up a variety of dermatitis and excema conditions. Doctors have struggled to identify or effectively treat any of them. One of them was described as ‘mystery psoriasis’, no joke. If I wear makeup for two consecutive days my skin starts flaking off in chunks.

I develop sensitivities to products over time, meaning that I have to change my skincare regime around every 8-12 months. I’ve been through a lot of products! My last love was Steam Cream, but that’s vanished from New Zealand stockists.

SO, here’s an honest, unsponsored review of my latest skincare find – Glow Lab!

 

Why I’m Trying Glow Lab

I’m meandering around the supermarket, pondering the meaning of life and whether four packs of Tim Tams is enough, when a white box catches my eye on the skincare shelf. It’s a pack of mini products.

As a member of the super sensitive skin society, mini sized skincare gets me excited. I know ‘travel minis’ are for travelling, but they’re also perfect for trialing new products.

My Tim Tams instantly forgotten, I cross my fingers and pray that the contents aren’t patchouli scented.
They aren’t, so the box goes in my trolley.

 

 

Initial excitement over mini sized products aside, here’s why I’m giving Glow Lab a go;

My budget is tight. It doesn’t stretch to expensive skincare, or throwing out full bottles of product because I had a reaction. If I can get sample sizes of a brand, that’s going to be the first brand I try. (Can all brands make travel mini’s please?)

Aaaaand the packaging is pretty. I’m a designer okay? I like nice packaging, and Glow Lab’s white and gold branding got me. It also gets the facts across pretty quickly.

Glow Lab products are |

  • Cruelty free
  • Made in New Zealand
  • PH Balanced
  • Vitamin enriched
  • Free of sulphites, parabens, phthalates, silicones, synthetic dyes, mineral oil and cocamide dea.
    I admit I have no idea what that last one is.

My Honest Glow Lab Skincare Review

 

The “Treat Yourself” mini pack I bought contained:

  •  Creme Cleanser
  • Facial Serum
  • Facial Moisturiser
  • Night Cream
  • Body Lotion

When you have allergies, plant based products can be just as dangerous as products full of chemicals. I was nervous that Glow Lab products would be heavily scented (nope), or coloured (also a nope). All the products were very lightly scented, and none of them made me sneeze.

Hallelujah, none of the Glow Lab products made my skin angry.

Since finishing my mini products, which lasted about three weeks, I’ve bought the full size night cream, body lotion, facial moisturiser and serum. I swapped the creme cleanser out for the exfoliating cleanser, because exfoliates help keep my flaky skin in check. This one uses seeds instead of nasty plastic beads for guilt free exfoliation!

The night cream is my favourite product in the range. With a whipped, moussey texture it feels velvety soft and kinda fancy, probably because I’ve never had a specific night cream. Please keep the wrinkles away night cream. Please.

The body lotion has similarly thick consistency, which I love, but it caused issues with the full size pump bottle.
After pumping the top for about 5 minutes, taking the pump off, putting it back on and leaving it for a day I finally got the product to come out! It also has a delicious gentle fragrance – Sweet almond oil? Macadamia? Evening primrose? If anyone from Glow Lab reads this please tell me what the yummy smell is!

A month later my skin is feeling soft and less irritated. I still have sensitive skin and redness around my nose, mouth and eyes most days, but it’s noticeably less inflamed.  I’m excited to see what another month of use will do. My skin’s definitely peeling off less too, even when I wear makeup. Yay!

Sensitive Skincare That’s Eco Friendly!

Unpacking the mini kit, the first thing I noticed was that the expected plastic insert… wasn’t there.

 

Instead of being displayed in a plastic tray, the skincare tubes and tubs were nestled inside a fabric bag. Nice!  Even nicer, while studying the ingredients lists I noticed all the mini and full sized containers are recyclable. Good on ya Glow Lab.

I’m sure I’m not alone in trying to cut down my consumption of single use plastics, so I like knowing I can recycle my skincare containers once they’re empty.

The Final Sensitive Skin Verdict On Glow Lab

I’m a fan!

Products suitable for sensitive skin don’t often feel luxurious. They have names like ‘fatty cream’ and come in plain white plastic tubs. They smell clinical, have unpleasant textures, or are terrifyingly expensive. Don’t even get me started on ‘natural’ skincare packed so full of perfumes my eyes water just opening it. But Glow Lab hits the sweet spot between price point, gentle products and being eco-conscious, while still letting you feel like you’re treating yourself.

Plus, if the only downside I’ve found is that the lotion’s a bit thick for the pump bottle, they’ve done well.

Needless to say I hope my skin lets me use this range for at least a year before it packs a sad!

 

 

* One last reminder that I wasn’t paid, sponsored or given free products to write this review. I know how hard it can be to find affordable, effective skincare for allergy prone skin, so when I find a good ‘un I spread the word!*

If you’ve found a fantastic sensitive skincare product at regular gal price, please let me know! Leave me a comment below, or message me on Facebook or Instagram with your recommendations.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in BEAUTY, 4 comments
1950’s Inspired Evening Gown Elegance

1950’s Inspired Evening Gown Elegance

I feel most myself in an evening gown. Being encased in yards of fabric makes me feel invincible, like an unquestionably fabulous avalanche of textiles. I know ya’ll are fancy gown fans too, so I’m I’m absolutely thrilled to document and share my favourite vintage inspired dress with you!

 

Vintage Gown Inspiration

Created in collaboration with my talented Mum, this dress was designed for my MPUNZ 2017 evening wear category. Drawing inspiration from the cascading overskirts and elegant sheaths of Dior and Balmain, we paid homage to iconic 1950’s designers.  Like a butterfly with folded wings, the combination of a narrow silhouette with nipped waist and voluminous skirts is utterly feminine and beguiling.

These are some of our reference images from the design process. See how the shape of the gown creates and enhances an hourglass figure?

 

1950s evening gowns by Dior, Balmain, Perlmutt and Co and James Galanos

 

Unlike these 1950’s vintage gowns, my dress doesn’t have an internal corset. My mum is waaaay more practical than me, she was concerned that I’d be unable to move around backstage, or that I’d pass out if I was both nervous and corseted! Her practicality resulted in the huge overskirts being attached to a removable waistband, something I was very thankful of once confined to the backstage area. Plus it means I can mix and match the skirts with other dresses!

The dress is made from stiff taffeta fabric in my signature olive green. (Similar but not identical in colour to my Orchid gown.) The overskirt has layers of gathered tulle sewn inside to support all that volume.

I chose a halterneck bodice for two reasons. Firstly I don’t have anything else with a halter. Secondly, it shows off my back and shoulders, they’re one of my favourite features!

Styling The Finished Evening Gown

 

With a beautifully cut gown you don’t need a lot of accessories.

My Mum created the gorgeous corsages on the bust and waist of the gown, using vintage velvet roses from her personal collection. Their vanilla and champagne petals have hints of green, matching the tulle layers in the overskirt. For the Miss Pinup New Zealand pageant I borrowed her champagne coloured gloves and wore diamante studded champagne satin shoes. ( you can see my MPUNZ look in the photo below, also by Elizabeth J!).

For my photoshoot I chose white vintage gloves and white satin shoes.

 

Velvet DeCollete Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 photographed by Elizabeth J at the Very Vintage Day Out

 

For both occasions I wore a green 1950’s iridescent earring and necklace set, using the necklace as a bracelet. The green glass beads complement the gown’s olive taffeta, bringing the colour up to my face without being intrusive. I wore my hair the same simple ‘do as well.  I’d say it’s only because I like a sleek updo with a halterneck, but actually I’ve only perfected two hairstyles!

The Photoshoot

One of my Miss Pinup New Zealand prizes was a photoshoot with Elizabeth J Pinup photography. Liz has photographed so many of my pinup friends so it was wonderful to finally have a chance to work with her!

I’d like to express my enormous thanks to Samantha at Highwic House. We were incredibly lucky to secure a photoshoot at the iconic historic homestead, where crimson curtains and dark wood lent us moody olde worlde vibes.

 

 

Vintage Vogue Magazine images have always been the epitome of fashion photography for me. I love the soft, grainy quality of those early photographs. Sometimes slightly unfocused or blurred, the models looked out of the page through a dreamlike haze. A air of elegant aloofness pervaded, largely thanks to Dovima’s impeccably drawn and raised eyebrows. Liz and I wanted to capture that feeling.

 

Outfit Details

Dress | Bespoke gown by myself & my Mama
Gloves | Vintage, thrifted
Earrings & necklace | Vintage, Tock Tick Vintage
Shoes | Number One Shoes

Photography

All photos by Elizabeth J Pinup photography, who is super lovely, chatty and relaxed to work with
(phew! I fear the day I end up working with a very serious photographer haha!)

 

Do you have any questions about wearing or styling evening gowns? I’ll be writing about choosing your pinup pageant eveningwear soon, so drop me a line if there’s anything you’d like to know!

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 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

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, 2 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