Miss Pinup Jaimee bring­ing up-dos and eye­liner to Waikino

Sunday Star-Times - - News - AMANDA SAXTON

This year’s Miss Pinup New Zealand is a girl from the gorge: 29-year-old Jaimee Beck, who goes by Vel­vet DeCol­lete on stage.

Pinup pageants are not your typ­i­cal beauty com­pe­ti­tions — they pro­mote volup­tuous­ness and quirk, colour and com­mu­nity. This com­pe­ti­tion was bright with blue hair, flamingo print dresses, and the high­est of patent leather heels.

First-time en­trant Beck is based in Waikino, a small Waikato town, next to the Karanga­hake Gorge, where she and her hus­band are restor­ing an his­toric tav­ern.

She ap­pre­ci­ated the pinup scene for its ‘‘strong sense of sis­ter­hood’’ and that her pen­chant for vin­tage cloth­ing came thanks to her mum, who ‘‘al­ways loved the style’’.

Winged eye­liner, flounced skirts, and care­fully coiffed hair are sta­ples of pinup fash­ion. Rock­a­billy dresses with tightly cinched waists — and sweet­heart neck­lines that cel­e­brate the bust — are de rigueur, as are ex­cited shrieks and hugs all round.

‘‘The com­mu­nity sup­port is the best thing about this scene,’’ Beck said. ‘‘You know ev­ery­one and you know they’ve got your back — which prob­a­bly makes it rather dif­fer­ent to other beauty pageants.’’

The co-owner of yes­ter­day’s Auck­land wa­ter­front event as part of the an­nual Very Vin­tage Day Out, Sheena Oughton, said the com­pe­ti­tion was for peo­ple who loved the vin­tage life­style.

‘‘There’s a sur­pris­ing amount of peo­ple in­cor­po­rat­ing el­e­ments of pinup into their lives, all over New Zealand. It’s about go­ing back to a sim­pler time, I think.’’

Beck and her fel­low fi­nal­ists pa­raded in day wear, swimwear and evening wear. They also per­formed an act for the tal­ent por­tion of the show: Beck did a sketch of a dress by iconic costume de­signer Edith Head.

LAWRENCE SMITH/STUFF

Jaimee Beck en­joys the sup­port she re­ceives from fel­low mem­bers of the pinup com­mu­nity.

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