very vintage day out

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
Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 | Who, Why, What and Where?

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 | Who, Why, What and Where?

During the Miss Pin Up New Zealand application process I put a lot of thought into what ‘Pin Up’ and pinup culture really means to me.
What do I love about pinup?
What do I want people to know about pinup?

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For me pinup culture is about more than fashion, more than photos and more than a homage to vintage beauty. For me, pinup is an opportunity to learn from the inspirational women of the past and the impact they had on our social, political and creative landscapes. By doing so we can become stronger, more confident women and better role models for those who follow in our footsteps.

Pinup is also a way for me to express myself through style, using clothes, hair and makeup to create the woman I want to be on any particular day. In a society that places increasing pressure on women to look a certain way, taking ownership of your body and personal style is incredibly freeing!

I entered Miss Pinup to share those views with as many people as possible, inspiring women of all ages to educate, encourage and empower each other.
I hope you’ll join me – whether you’re cheering from the audience or encouraging your mates to vote online in the People’s Choice category , your support will make all the difference!

Miss Pinup New Zealand in association with Sailor Jerry spiced rum is held on Saturday October 28th at the Very Vintage Day Out.

 

Let’s Take a Look at the Ten Finalists!

The top ten finalists for Miss Pinup New Zealand have been announced!
They’re an impressive posse of pinups and I’m absolutely thrilled to say I’m one of them ( and that I can breathe again after holding my breath til the call came in! ).


 Taking the stage at Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017  are….
*drumroll please*…..

From left to right, top row then bottom row:
Miss Lulu Jade
Miss Kitty Kaos
Mrs Greatnews
Velvet DeCollete
Miss Jessica Mae
Miss Honeybee
Xamia Arc
Ginger
Miss Flossy Pots
Vola Tile

This is my first pageant and I’m not going to lie, the competition looks intense. There isn’t a single pinup in that lineup who doesn’t deserve to win, so it’s going to take a lot of work to stand out!

If you’d like to support my Miss Pinup New Zealand journey you can…

Vote for me in the People’s Choice category
Share my Facebook or Instagram posts and encourage your friends and family to vote using the hashtags #VoteVelvet and #MPUNZ2017 !

 

Finalist montage | Various Photographers via Miss Pinup New Zealand
Vote Velvet Photo | Tony McKay, Hair and Makeup by the Beauty School Dropouts

 

With Style and Sass,

               Velvet DeCollete

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 2 comments

Very Vintage Day Out 2016 | Photo Safari & Outfit of the Day

Apologies on the delayed VVDO post, I’ve been focused so completely on producing the Blue Moon Ball everything else just slipped away. So here, delayed but not forgotten, is a brief outfit review and photo safari images…

In true VVDO tradition the photo safari was organised chaos! Photographers and models vied for unobstructed backgrounds and cars that matched their outfits. There were giggles and goofs as huge petticoats invaded photos and photographers backed into each other – but in the end there were wonderful photographs and killer vintage fashion.

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | David Watson

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | David Watson

My Vintage Outfit

When choosing this years ensemble I wanted a contrast to last year’s dark dress and makeup. A glorious blue lurex dress hanging in Tock Tick Vintage answered the call. Ensnared by its sparkle and texture I tried it on and immediately fell in love with how the modest cut balanced the showiness of the fabric. La Vonne found a pillbox hat close enough in colour to match so both came home with me!

Inspired by the clean, coordinated style of Jackie Onassis I chose white accessories to keep the blue dress in the limelight, and pantihose over stockings as a nod to their huge popularity upon commercial release in the early 1960’s.

Outfit Breakdown

Dress, hat + brooch | All Vintage from Tock Tick Vintage 
Petticoat + Glomesh bag | Vintage op shop finds
Shoes + vintage gloves  | Borrowed from my mother
Belt | Forever New
Sunglasses + vintage earrings | Gifted
Columbine Pantihose | Farmers

Velvet Decollete vintage style VVDO 16 | Shifting Light Photography

Velvet DeCollete onstage during the Best Vintage category at Very Vintage Day Out 2016

Velvet DeCollete onstage during the Best Vintage category.
Photo | Norrie Montgomery

Velvet DeCollete onstage during the Best Vintage category.<br /> Photo | Norrie Montgomery

Onstage during the Best Dressed Vintage category.

The Authentic Vintage category finals of the Best Dressed competition ( photos by Norrie Montgomery) were so much fun. Every year NZ pin ups pull out some simply amazing outfits from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. I’m in awe of Natalie Louise’s sorbet coloured ensemble you can see in the background!

I had such an awful morning with contact lens and eyeliner horrors my makeup could have been better, I’m just glad I managed to get myself together in time! Do any other pinups struggle with the glasses vs contact lenses debate? My daily glasses aren’t retro styled and my milk bottle lenses are far too expensive to buy an extra pair for pinup . As a result I feel obliged to wear contact lenses that irritate my eyes something awful.

The highlight of my day was (as always) the food. Miss Charlotte Cake had the most scrumptious little cakes that looked every bit as delightful as they tasted, while The Tea Ladies put on a much needed cuppa in the afternoon. While there was quite a delay in the high tea service, these things happen and cannot be predicted no matter how hard you work! Overall a lovely way to spend a day!

vintage style VVDO 16 | Velvet Decollete

If you’d like to see more of the Very Vintage Day Out, you find my posts on the 2015 event here and here!

With style & sass,

             Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 4 comments

A Very Vintage Day Out | Pt. 2

Very Vintage Day Out Part two (read part one here)! The part where I bombard you with photos from all the rad Photo Safari photographers I posed for at VVDO. Two of the photos were even judged Runner Ups in the VVDO photo comp – Proof that hard work pays off ya know.

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Photo | Byard James

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Photo | Jeff Yu – Awarded Runner Up in the VVDO photo competition

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Photo | Froger

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Photo | Reese Waters – Awarded Runner Up in the VVDO photo comp

 

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Photo | Photo by Alyssa

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Photo | Reese Waters

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Photo | Jeff Yo

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Photo | Diana Vollmerhausen

Photos | As credited
Model | Velvet DeCollete
Wardrobe | Bespoke Design by Velvet DeCollete


These are the Very Vintage Day Out Best Dressed competition finalists! I was humbled to stand alongside such awesome girls and fab retro fashion. Isn’t Georgia the cutest with her diner girl tray!

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Photo | David Michael Photography – the Best Dressed Finalists!

As always, I’d love to know how you spent the day if you attended, there was so much on that I missed!

With style & sass,

                Velvet x






 


Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 2 comments

A Very Vintage Day Out 2015 | Pt. 1

One day I will die of hairspray inhalation. No joke.

Yesterday was the amazing vintage wonderment that is the Very Vintage Day Out, and it saw my hair soar to new heights of backcombing and hairspray. SO MUCH HAIRSPRAY. Totally worth it though to finish my purple 1960’s inspired ensemble with a suitable bouffant beehive! After finishing my dress some time in the darkness of Friday evening, I was up bright and early Saturday morning to backcomb and makeup before the Photo Safari. Cue an hour of madness with pretty girls and giant cameras swarming around a bevy of brilliant classic cars. Even that early in the day the NZ sun was determined to send us home somewhat pinker than we had arrived.

I spent the rest of the day gushing over vintage wares, listening to rockabilly bands and yelling my heart out in support of the four friends I had competing for the Miss Pinup New Zealand title. What a show!

Making it to the final five of the VVDO Best dressed competition before winning Best Dressed at the Wildcat Shakeout was the cherry on top of a lovely day – how lucky can a girl be?

The Outfit

Dress | 1960’s style wiggle dress with option reversible overskirt made by me (See my work here!)
Stockings | Pretty Polly backseam nylons
Gloves | Vintage satin opera gloves with pearl buttons
Jewellery | Vintage faux pearl 3 strand necklace and earrings – Thrifted
Fabric hair flowers | Borrowed from my fabulously stylish Mama
Shoes | Delicious Shoes  – Mercy in black satin

Photos are starting to roll in, please share yours if you went – I’d love to see them!

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Yoohoo! Check out part two of my VVDO coverage here and the 2016 event here!

With style & sass,

          Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, PINUP, 5 comments