Sartorial secrets: Bettie Rage

Behind the scenes at Miss Pinup NZ 2015Bettie Rage 

Bettie Rage wearing her Miss Pinup NZ 2015 crown and sash – image by David Michael Photography

 (If this is the first post you’ve read in Sartorial Secrets, click here to find out the background behind the series.)

Next up in the Miss Pinup NZ Sartorial Secrets series is Miss Pinup NZ 2015 herself, the sassy and terribly, terribly sexy, Bettie Rage!   Read on to find out her sartorial secrets …

Where did you source your items (including shoes, handbags, accessories etc?) What inspired your choices – was it your pinup name/character, your personal interests/something you’d seen worn by someone you admire/old, classic movies?  My day dress was an amazing vintage find on Etsy – I snagged it a year ago and have been waiting a year to wear it! It’s a Helen of California slight wiggle dress in the most amazing pineapple tropical print.

Bettie Rage Daywear
The gorgeous Bettie Rage in her daywear dress – image by David Rowe Photography.

My talent coveralls were custom-made by Danielle from Devel Branded and were based on the coveralls in Bomb Girls.

My amazing evening gown was created by the very talented Curvy Couture by Judy Dee.  I gave her my idea based on two images; one being the black gown worn by Rosemary Clooney during her “Love, you didn’t do right by me” in White Christmas and the other of Dita Von Teese at the Met Gala this year. I basically wanted the finished product to be the love child of the two gowns and that is exactly how it turned out!  Perfect.

Beach wear … oh the playsuit!  Another Judy Dee creation from photos only.  I wanted a playsuit with a removable peek-a-boo skirt.  The idea stemmed from the gorgeous piece worn by Joan Blackman in Blue Hawaii.  Judy had the most amazing tropical fabric and as soon as I saw it I knew it was the perfect pattern for the playsuit and skirt!

Bettie Rage Beachwear
Bettie Rage in her beachwear ensemble – custom-made by Judy Dee – image by Glory Days Magazine

What accessories did you wear and how/why did you choose them?
Beachwear: I topped the ensemble off with the green triple orchid hair slide and my custom hand-painted hibiscus flower by Pop That Cassette.
Evening gown: I accessorised the gown with my Nana’s jewelled necklace, given to her by my Poppa many years ago, and handmade diamante hair slide to add that extra lil’ bit of sparkle.
Talent: I wanted a very “Rosie the Riveter” look, so I teamed the coveralls with a gingham bandana.
Day wear: I accessorised it with my Nana’s vintage pearls, my Great Aunts ladies gold watch from the 30s (my Great Uncle gave it to her), a vintage cane handbag I purchased from the lovely Melanie Freeman.  The ensemble was topped off with the double pink lily hair flowers by Sophisticated Hair Flowers.

How did the process work for you – did you find the dress, and then accessorise it, or did you find an accessory you love and build it from there …
I definitely accessorised after the fact. I found the base item and then built it up from there and wanted to incorporate as many of my heirlooms as possible. My little good luck charms as it were.

What was already in your wardrobe and what items did you buy expressly for Miss Pinup NZ?
I purchased them all specifically with MPUNZ in mind and the idea that I could wear them after the pageant.

Did your outfits require shape wear?
I wore my Rago girdle under my day dress to cinch in my waist a little.

Who made your custom outfits?
As mentioned earlier, Curvy Couture by Judy Dee and Devel Branded.

Bettie Rage - evening wear
Bettie Rage in her custom-designed evening gown by Judy Dee – image by Glory Days Magazine.

Is there anything you’d change about your outfits?
Nothing! They were absolutely perfect for what I wanted. I loved every second of wearing them and still do. I loved wearing original vintage and custom-made outfits by some very talented New Zealand women.

Can you tell me about your hair and makeup? (Ed note: Miss Pinup contestants must do their own hair and makeup)
I made sure the initial style of my hair was easy to adjust throughout the competition for each section.  I wanted my hair to be a little different for each part of the competition.

Are there any “back stories” you have about your outfits/ special meanings/came from your grandmother/begged, borrowed or stolen?!
Almost all of my accessories were from my heirloom collection. They are items my Nana has given me over the years that I am so proud to have.  I really feel that these pieces of jewellery should be seen and worn and not just hidden away in a box, never to see the light of day again.

How did you pick your talent? How much research went into it? Did you make your own props?
Oh my, the talent!

I have to say a huge thank you to one of my darling friends for planting the seed (you know who you are) and my amazing better half and man-thing, Zane, for helping me find the best way to complete the talent in two minutes!  With him being a very talented mechanic I was able to gain new skills, all the while spending time with him.  Win-win!  Another special thank you goes to my boss, Tom Andrews for helping me find, trusting me with and lending me the perfect motorbike for my talent.

Bettie Rage performing her Rosie the Riveter-inspired talent. Image by Glory Days Magazine.

Would you do it all again?
It was a lot of effort, time, stress and my everything put into one long day!  I would love to do it again but because of the surreal ending to this year’s pageant I am on top of the world and want to stay here on this high for as long as possible!  I hope that I can pave the way for more of our stunning pinup dolls to join me up here!

What was your favourite part about the competition?
Hanging out with all the babes backstage!  I loved the camaraderie we shared and that we helped each other when we could.

What did you learn from participating in Miss Pinup NZ 2015?
Set a goal and go for it – never doubt yourself for a second and surround yourself with people who are truly beautiful inside; those who support each other no matter what.

Thank you Bettie Rage – I’ve loved hearing your inspiration behind the beautiful ensembles you wore, and it’s really special that you got to wear your Nana’s jewellery too.  Congratulations again on being our Miss Pinup NZ for 2015 – I can’t wait to see what you do during  your reign.  

(To read other contestant’s Sartorial Secrets, click here.)

Love, sashes and sparkly crowns …



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