vintage style

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
Yellow Made Me Cringe Until I Saw These | Vintage Fashion in Yellow

Yellow Made Me Cringe Until I Saw These | Vintage Fashion in Yellow

I feel like I should apologise to yellow. For years I’ve trash talked it, calling it sallow, unflattering, ‘eugh‘. It’s the colour associated with happiness, laughter and  springtime, but we just never got along.

Then I saw these.
Vintage outfits changed my mind (and wardrobe) about yellow forever.

Even if you’ve been giving yellow clothes the side eye for years, these sunny style moments might change your mind. Read on for three bright and beautiful reasons why yellow should feature in your vintage fashion collection.

 

Reason One | Lemon Yellow Day & Leisure wear

I feel like we can sum up reason number one in two words…

Yaaaaaaaaaaaas Dovima!

Dovima, photo by Avedon, Harper's Bazaar, December 1954

If that chic yellow bathing suit with black trim – worn by the equally chic Dovima in 1954 – isn’t enough to convince you, stop reading now. In fact, if all the bold yellow and black combos in this section don’t make you swoon, I’m going to assume you hate bees in which case we can’t be friends.

In all seriousness though, reason number one to let yellow back into your post toddler life is day wear.

Buttercup coloured daywear says one of two things; either you’re happy and you know it, or you’re fabulous and deserve to be noticed. The woman in that triple collared dress certainly isn’t fucking around when it comes to style.

Reason Two | Golden Gowns

These designers are serving lemon meringue, and I am Eating. It. Up.

Not only do these images show yellow worn with several hair colours and skin tones, they show it being glamorous, elegant and mature. Dare I say 1950’s evening gowns made yellow look sexy!? I’m so conflicted right now. That women in the fitted yellow gown doesn’t even vaguely resemble a banana.

Half of me refuses to accept that yellow can look this good, half of me wants to throw on that immense chartreuse velvet coat and dare someone to tell me it’s not amazing.

Reason two to start loving yellow? Edith, Dior and Pierre Cardin draping women in sunlight.

Reason Three | Daffodil Coats, Jackets & Accessories

Okay reason three might just be because it’s winter in New Zealand, but don’t those yellow coats look GREAT? I’m a fan of coloured coats and accessories for brightening a winter look, and these are aggressively cheerful.

I’m also crushing on the yellow and soft grey combo in the glove image. I don’t have either in my closet, but now I have a yearning to find both and wear them immediately. The fluffy textures remind me of the yellow and grey budgies my Nana had when I was a kid.
Nostalgia aside, these vintage fashion photos prove that yellow, grey and black are far more wearable than I ever imagined.

If you’re not brave enough for a yellow overcoat, start small. A yellow hat, brooch or shoes could be enough to lift your mood (or someone else’s) on a rainy winter’s day.

 

So there you go, maybe you can have your limoncello and drink it too?

From lemon sorbet to mustard, vintage clothes prove yellow isn’t the unbearable curse of a colour I always thought. In fact, it’s fun, feminine and strong, and I’m actually looking forward to adding some wasp-like ferocity to an outfit or two.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on yellow clothing. Drop a comment below or on my Insta and let’s talk!

Visit my Yellow Pinterest board for more clothing from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s in every shade of yellow.

With Style & Sass,

   Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments
Winter Sunshine | Styling Summer Clothes For Winter

Winter Sunshine | Styling Summer Clothes For Winter

If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to stop wearing your favourite clothes just because the seasons change. I’m very much a summer person, so keeping a summertime vibe in my wardrobe all year round helps cheer me up during winter!

But…not all clothes are made for winter? Especially not a bone chilling Waikato winter?
It’s all in the styling babes, and I’ve got some tips up my merino sleeve to help you  get the most out of your wardrobe, by wearing those summer pieces through the colder months.

Let’s use this vintage prairie skirt as an example.

Yellow vintage prairie skirt and bangles

 

How To Wear Summer Clothes In The Winter

I unearthed this 1960’s Eddy George California skirt at Frocks & Slacks in Melbourne. The buttery yellow muslin has a fine synthetic lining, and feels almost weightless. It’s made for breezy summer days, not frosty July mornings. Making this light summer skirt winter-wearable comes down to two simple things – layering and accessorising.

 

Style blog how to wear summer clothes in the winter. Yellow vintage prairie skirt and bangles

 

Layering Garments In Winter

When it comes to layering it’s all about warmth without bulk.

  • Keep layers fine and fitted to create layers of air without extra bulk. Capturing layers of air between your body and the elements works the same way as insulating your house, keeping you cozy warm!
  • Choose textiles that wick away moisture and act as natural insulators. Think wools and natural fibres, especially merino, which is soft and makes excellent thermals.
  • High denier stockings or pantyhose are your friend. Keep your pins warm with 200 denier pantyhose or vintage inspired cable knit tights underneath skirts and dresses. I’ll admit to wearing two pairs on extra cold days.
  • Slip on a slip! You can pick up a variety of slips for a few dollars in almost any op shop or thrift store. Layer them over your tights, under your skirt or dress to create another air layer and prevent static cling.
  • Choose knitwear. Fluffy knits, turtlenecks, cardigans and sweaters can be worn with skirts, and under or over dresses. Think Velma in Scooby Doo, or a fifties swing dress with a long sleeve top underneath.

In these photos I’m wearing a long singlet, an elbow length thermal, a fluffy knit top, thick woolen pantyhose, a calf length slip, the prairie skirt, and sneakers. That’s a lot of layers, but rather than looking like the Michelin Tyre man, I still feel retro cute.

 

Yellow vintage prairie skirt and bangles

 

Accessorising Summer Clothes For Winter

Now, if I’d just worn the yellow boho skirt and the white knit top (plus all those hidden layers), the outfit might have looked a bit disjointed.  Accessories are the key to making an outfit out of clothes that you wouldn’t normally wear together.

Let’s take a look at how accessories made this outfit work…

  • Colour palette. I pulled that yummy yellow from the skirt through into my bangles and nylon hair scarf. I chose warm woods and neutral tones for the rest of my bangles, because they feel more wintery to me than the bright colours I’d normally pair with this skirt. The white belt connects the white lace on the skirt with the top half of the outfit.
  • Proportion. Using a skinny white belt to define my waist helps offset the looser fit of the knit top, making sure I don’t lose my waist to all those layers!Ru Paul's Drag race proportionising
  • Don’t forget about hats. I wore a hairscarf, which is doing double duty hiding my frizzy rained-on hair, but hats do an amazing job of keeping your head warm while looking fabulous AF. I’d love a white or yellow wide brimmed felt hat with this outfit, or even a fluffy knit beret.

 

How to style summer skirts in the winter. Yellow vintage prairie skirt and bangles

 

Outfit Details

Vintage Nylon Hair Scarf | Preloved, belonged to my Nana
Top | Pagani -Thrifted
Vintage Skirt | 1960’s Eddy George, from Frocks & Slacks
Belt | Forever New
Bangles | Mix of hand-me-downs and thrifted
Sneakers |
Wild Pair
Cotton Blend Tights ( Not visible) | Simon De Winter, from Farmers
Thermal top + slip ( Not visible ) | Thrifted
Singlet ( Not visible) | Supre

 

Yellow vintage prairie skirt and bangles

 

I’d love to see your summer-turns-winter outfits! I’ll be sharing this post in my Facebook group for new pinups – The Pinup Posse, so please join us and share how you make the most of your wardrobe all year ’round! Stay cozy!

For more vintage and pinup style tips, you should check out these posts on Vintage Corsages and How To Wear Them, and How To Wear All Colour With Zero Effort.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 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
Beach Hop Miss Retro Beauty + OOTD 2018!

Beach Hop Miss Retro Beauty + OOTD 2018!

Beach Hop Retro Pinup Show

One of my Repco Beach Hop highlights is always watching the Retro Pinup contest. Every year dozens of stunning ladies parade their vintage inspired outfits, competing for the title of Miss Retro Beauty.

In previous years it’s been hard for contestants to track down photos ( even with the dozens of cameras snapping away ) so this year I made it my mission to take photos and actually share them! I did my best to get photos of everyone, but some ladies didn’t pause at the end of the runway, so if you entered and I didn’t manage to catch you I’m so sorry! While it does sadden me that none of the judges this year had a vintage or pinup background it was wonderful to see so many smiles and sassy moves on the stage.

My favourite outfit of the day had to be Miss Estelle Belle’s. Her tropical inspired outfit was a perfectly accessorized riot of colour. I just love it when people can colour coordinate their outfits with their hair so well!

Miss Retro Beauty Beach Hop best dressed contest 2018

My Beach Hop Outfit

My own outfit for Beach Hop Saturday was a mix of vintage and reproduction pieces.

After altering the beaded and sequined knit top the night before I desperately wanted to wear it! Pairing it with baby blue pedal pushers, blue flowers, black shoes and a wide belt gave me the right balance of sweet and sassy. I chose a wide belt to accentuate my waist under the newly cropped top.

I couldn’t resist the spiderweb Sourpuss bag when I saw it at the Rita Sue stall. Not only have I been eyeing up those glittery webbed bags for ages, but it was on sale AND matched my outfit!

Velvet DeCollete stands next to a turquoise car at Beach Hop 2018

Velvet DeCollete Pin Up Girl Beach Hop OOtd

Please forgive my blurry AF phone photo haha!

See you all at Beach Hop 2019 x

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in ADVENTURES, LIFESTYLE, 0 comments

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
Start Your Engines | A Bad Girl Photo shoot

Start Your Engines | A Bad Girl Photo shoot

Bad girls have more fun. Especially with big shiny Cadillacs and skintight powermesh skirts.

This set was shot outside an imposing vintage venue, next to a busy dog walking park. That’s right, wholesome citizens innocently walking their dogs saw a lot more than they expected. But that’s kind of what we do right?

Stylewise this shoot is a mix of classic pin up and fetish inspired fashion. I wanted the silhouette of an 1950’s or early 60’s wiggle dress, but with the brazen sexiness of a retro grindhouse heroine. Layering garments of varying opacity and texture a game of skin hide and seek for the viewer.

My Photoshoot tip | Contrasting garments with different finishes and opacity helps the camera capture detail when photographing an all black outfit. Meaning you won’t turn into a big dark blob!

Scroll down for a full outfit breakdown.

Wardrobe and photography style can create give the same location a whole new mood. Check out my Cadillac Dreams post to see the set we shot just before this one – same location but a totally different vibe!

 

Start your engines! Velvet DeCollete mixes classic pinup with sexy grindhouse style in this bad girl photoshoot featuring a sleek and sexy Cadillac.

Alternative pinup bad girl Velvet DeCollete poses in skintight black mesh against a pastel Cadillac car

Good girl gone bad alt pinup model Velvet DeCollete poses in mesh and leather with her puppy

Outfit Breakdown

Black Satin Bra | Pleasure State
Lace and Mesh Bodysuit | Stella McCartney
Mesh Skirt | Retro Lip Service
Leather Belt | Alannah Hill
Gloves and necklace | Vintage
Sunglasses and Earrings | Tock Tick Vintage
Hosiery | Pretty Polly Vintage Top Nylons
Shoes | Borrowed from my Mother’s collection
Bracelet | Gift

 

A beehive hairstyle and cateye glasses are all you need for retro bad girl style. Black and white sexy pinup photo

Good girl gone bad, or just plan bad? Velvet DeCollete is the perfect mix of vintage pin up and fetish inspired sex appeal in this black and white pinup photo

Good girl gone bad, or just plan bad? Velvet DeCollete is the perfect mix of vintage pin up and fetish inspired sex appeal in this black and white pinup photo

Shoot Details

Photographer | Froger
Shoot Assistant | LaVonne from Tock Tick Vintage
Model | Velvet DeCollete (moi)
Puppy Wrangler | My Ever Patient Husband

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The upside of shooting near a dog park? Our then-puppy Echo got to ride along. Look how liddle she was!

We adopted Echo from an animal rescue shelter after falling in love at first sight ( After I was adamant we’d look at lots of dogs haha). It’s lovely to have photos before she grew up all big and serious looking, I can’t believe she was ever this tiny.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

 

 

Posted by velvetdecollete in PINUP, 3 comments
Florals for a Florist | Sam’s Custom Swing Dress

Florals for a Florist | Sam’s Custom Swing Dress

Some people put a smile on your dial in an instant. Samantha is one of those people!

She’s also a total babe.

Florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha wearing her custom made floral 1950's swing dress designed and made by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer

We met at The Very Vintage Day Out 2015, in the fruit smoothie queue – as ya do- and struck up a conversation over our outfits. Samantha’s enthusiasm and humour over the glories and pitfalls of pinup style was contagious, and I was thrilled when she contacted me about a custom dress.

Sam needed a dress for a family wedding. She was doing the flowers, so she needed to retain an easy range of movement, but still look amazing ( obviously).  Inspired by her vivacious nature, I designed something bright that showed off her stunning tattoos. I really wanted to make her feel special

The Dress

Bright floral swing dress custom made for florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer specialising in 1950s and vintage reproduction inspired gowns, made to measure.

Bright floral swing dress custom made for florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer specialising in 1950s and vintage reproduction inspired gowns, made to measure.
Bright floral swing dress custom made for florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer specialising in 1950s and vintage reproduction inspired gowns, made to measure.

Bright floral swing dress custom made for florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer specialising in 1950s and vintage reproduction inspired gowns, made to measure.

The resulting swing dress combined elements from the 50’s style gowns she loved, mixed with the modern comfort of a stretch cotton sateen. As always I tailored the dress to Sam’s shape for a perfect fit ( Well fitting clothes are so important but can be hard to find for our curvy pinups! ).

The bodice is fully boned for support and shaping, and while  bright floral print is colourful it doesn’t clash with her fiery red hair. Stretch mesh allows movement in the folded cowl around the wide neckline. A feminine bow and a line of sassy cobalt blue covered buttons finish the back.

For the Very Vintage Day Out 2016  Sam accessorised her dress with the most gorgeous jewel green hat, green shoes and a wide white belt.

Florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha wearing her custom made floral 1950's swing dress designed and made by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer
Florist and Heritage New Zealand worker Samantha wearing her custom made floral 1950's swing dress designed and made by Velvet Decollete. Velvet is a pinup girl, vintage blogger and clothing designer

Sam was stoked with her dress and we’re excited be working on another gown later this year!

” Velvet is such a star! We bumped into each other at the very vintage day out in 2015 and early 2016 she finished off a beautiful custom dress for me! She was a dream to work with, a very clever lady and such a sweetheart. ”
– Samantha Keen

 

Photos of Samantha | Fran Robertson – Taken at VVDO 2016

 

If you’re interested in having your own dream garment made, you can contact me here for more information and to discuss your ideas. More happy clients and their stories can be found on my Fashion Design Page for your viewing pleasure!

With Style and Sass,

 

       Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 0 comments

Honest Review | Collectif Clothing Juliette Pencil Dress

Today we’re talking wiggles. Not the wiggle in your walk and the giggle in your talk, but the Collectif Clothing Juliette wiggle dress.
Being in the Southern Hemisphere we’re coming out of winter as I write this, so I’ve had ample opportunity to test drive this cozy number for our Northern Hemisphere friends!

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

Let’s talk aesthetics first.

The Juliette pencil dress is a green and navy woven ‘chaise check’ (essentially a slightly glitchy looking tile pattern).
A sexy scooped back offsets the high boat neck front. It has a wide fur trim at the hem and a removable fur collar.
It also has a back split, but we’ll talk more about that later.

Overall verdict? It’s a demure yet foxy dress Joan Holloway style dress.

Now on to the serious stuff. How well does the Collectif Juliette dress wear?

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

Fab things about wearing the Juliette pencil dress

  • You feel like a sassy 1960’s martini drinking secretary. That scoop back is all kiiiiiinds of sophisticated sexy.
  • The fur trim is soft and snuggly, and the fur pile is long enough that it feels luxurious.
  • While the dress is unlined, the fabric is soft and non irritating.
  • It’s cooooooooozy. I’m not a fan of winter clothes ( I feel so frumpy all bundled up) but this is flattering and dressy enough that I’ve worn it to formal events and haven’t frozen!
  • It makes your butt look great. seriously. Check it out in the next photo.

Sad things about wearing the Juliette pencil dress

  • It’s a bit big in places. I ordered the size 8, which matched my measurements on the size chart. The Juliette dress is non-stretch fabric, so while some ease is required I find the waist and sleeves a bit looser than they need to be.
  • It’s made for someone taller (I know I’m short, I know ). The sleeves and hem are both too about 4cm too long. Which wouldn’t bother me much except… being a wiggle the Juliette has a slim skirt. When a slim skirt extends too far below the knees it increases the risk of the back split ripping when you walk.
    Which is exactly what happened to me. And then it just kept unravelling until it was dangerously high and I had to put my coat on.
  • The facing DRIVES. ME. NUTS. You can see in the photo below that the neck facing has a naughty habit of riding up above the level of the fur collar. This seems to be because it isn’t tacked down at all, so I can fix it, I just never remember to before I put it on.
  • It’s not easy care. Fur goes a bit gross if you chuck it in the washing machine so this is gentle hand wash or dry clean only.

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim
An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

Outfit Details

Dress | Collectif Clothing Juliette Pencil Dress
Shoes | Remix Vintage Shoes
Glasses | Eyebuy Direct
Earrings | Vintage
Hosiery | Columbine 70 denier pantyhose from Farmers

Photos taken at the Wellington Opera House

An honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette pencil dress, in green and navy chaise check and dark green fur trim

So there you have it, and honest review of the Collectif Clothing Juliette dress. As you can see, the pros and cons are fairly even, and while I get a lot of wear out of this dress, the length issues mean I wouldn’t buy another one. I just don’t have the free time to fuss around altering the hem with all that fur in the way!

The Juliette dress is also available in black ( which I bought at the same time as the this one ) and a regal gold and black jacquard. I believe all colourways are on sale right now, so if you want to pick one up now is the time!

With Style & Sass,

      Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 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?

Miss Pinup New Zealand, MPUNZ 2017, Miss Pinup NZ, Pinup pageant nz, the very vintage day out, sailor jerry spiced rum, pinup girl, nz pinup girl, kiwi pin up, modern pin up, velvet decollete, votevelvet, vintage hair, poodle do

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