The Pinup’s Ultimate Guide to Las Vegas

Tried and tested, this is my ultimate pinup Las Vegas hit-list for your next trip to Sin City! Check out these ten Vegas experiences, in no particular order:

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  • Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend: If you are just deciding to head to Vegas and you’re a hot rod lovin’ rockabilly, make sure you get there in April to be a part of the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend! Full of cars, great music and a bunch of pinup events, this is the Kustom Kulture mecca of the world! www.vivalasvegas.com.au

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  • The ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ Sign: An obvious pick, no trip to Sin City is complete without a photo taken in front of the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign! Avoid peak times and head down in an Uber. Be sure to take a few dollar notes with you to tip the photographer who will be there waiting to snap your picture!

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  • Neo Museum: If you’re a mid-century history buff, or just love the idea of old school Las Vegas, the Neon Museum is a must-see. Featuring the restored relics of past-time casinos and hotels, the museum guide takes you on a tour of the ‘neon graveyard’ and gives you the glamourous and infamous stories behind them. Check out my adventure’s at the Neon Museum from April 2018 here!

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  • Rick’s Restorations: Love old things? You can see an awesome collection of classic-American artefacts at Rick’s Restorations! The location of the international-aired television show, you’ll see projects in motion and might even recognise something from one of their past episodes. It is a simple Uber-trip out from the Old Strip, and well worth the look around!

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  • In-N-Out Burger: The burgers. That’s all I need to say, really. But also the cute diner restaurants and ever-friendly service is an experience you have to have at least once.

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  • Atomic Style Lounge: A stunning mid-century style location in Vegas, I experienced this amazing place for a book signing and felt right at home! The interiors will take you back in time,

  • Buffalo Exchange Vintage: A massive collection of vintage clothing and accessories, make sure you head to Buffalo Exchange to score your next vintage find!

  • Fremont Experience: One of the few experiences where it is possible to (almost) step back in time, strolling down Fremont Street is the best way to experience Las Vegas the way they would have in the 1950’s. The enclosed walkway street brings old school neon, original casinos (oh hey Golden Nugget!) and is home to the famous Vegas flying fox. Fremont Street will often showcase special events so check out what’s on while you’re there.

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  • Pin Up Pizza, Las Vegas: A right-of-passage for anyone visiting Vegas in my mind, Pin Up Pizza is a staple destination, smack-bang in the middle of the strip. The cute logo and diner-style is worth a visit, and although it might not be the best pizza you’ve ever tasted, it is great on a night out and about!

  • Frankie’s Tiki Room: Bust out your Hawaiian-print shirt and head to Frankie’s, a 24-hour tiki bar that packs a real tiki-punch! An amazing experience for any pinup enthusiast, make sure you pick up a tiki mug souvenir to take home!

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  • BONUS Helicopter Tour of Las Vegas & Grand Canyon: If you ever get the chance, make sure you take the helicopter tour of Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Seeing both amazing locations from the sky will absolutely take your breath away! I went with two girlfriends in 2014 and we even landed for a lovely afternoon picnic in the Grand Canyon!

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Tips and Tricks: Miss Viva Las Vegas Pinup Competition Application

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Being involved in the Miss Viva Las Vegas Pinup competition has always been at the top of my list of pinup goals. I remember each year checking in on who had entered, and what fabulous dresses each contestant wore.

Over the years I would read the application forms on the Viva Las Vegas website and learn about each pinup. Every answer in the application gave huge insight into who that pinup was, why she was entering and what she would bring to the VLV stage.

When it was my turn to apply at the end of 2017, I have to admit I was beyond ready. I decided to enter in June, when applications only opened in September, so I was over-prepared. I remember finding the previous year’s application on the website and over the course of those 3 months I wrote out my answers.

Fast forward to January 2018 and I found out I was successful in securing a Judges Top 6 pick on my first year of applying – something that quite literally had me in shock for a good couple of weeks.

After being asked quite a lot about how I did it, check out my tips on how to rock your Miss VLV application form (or any pinup comp application for that matter!).

You can also check out my exact Miss VLV 21 Application here.

♦ Know what makes you stand out
Identifying why you are different to the other 200-odd pinups who are applying is absolutely key. Perhaps you have a fantastic skill, an unbelievable story or an unusual hobby?

♦ Show your dedication
Illustrate in your answers how much you love the pinup/kustom culture/rockabilly lifestyle. Tell the judges how pinup is a part of your life

♦ Tell the judges why you are worthy of the Miss VLV experience
VLV is the big-time! Thousands of women wear vintage reproduction clothes and style their hair in victory rolls every day, and VLV really is the crème of the crop. Try to think about why you, of all applicants, deserve the experience of rocking the VLV stage. Try to express what you will bring to the stage beyond hair and makeup.

♦ Don’t just wing it
Your unique and inspiring points might start to be overlooked if your application answers are riddled with spelling mistakes. Allow yourself plenty of time to write out your answers, save it, and then come back at the later date to edit it. Revisiting your answers before submitting them gives you the time to revise, add more and ensure you are putting your best answers forward.

♦ Picture Perfect
Be sure to select great photos that not only put your best foot forward, but also represent who you are. Include your hobby, or your pinup ‘persona theme’. Think colours that are going to capture the judges attention, and poses/settings/styles that will be different to what they have seen over and over again.

Never be discouraged
New to the scene? Didn’t get in on your first try? Not feeling 100% confident? Just do it anyway! You have nothing to lose in applying for the contest. In fact, all applicants are invited to join a Facebook group for everyone who entered and it is truly rewarding to simply be included in such an amazing group of women.

Miss Viva Las Vegas Pinup Contest is hosted by Rockwell De'Vil at the annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. Check out the VLV website for more information.

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The Flying Pinup's Miss Viva Las Vegas Application

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Stage Name: Miss Kelly ‘The Flying Pinup’

Email: theflyingpinup@outlook.com

Website(s): www.theflyingpinup.com, Instagram: theflyingpinup, Facebook: facebook.com/theflyingpinup, www.theaustralianpinup.com, Instagram: theaustralianpinup

City/State/Country you want listed for promo: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Bio (1000 words or less):

After finding the Pinup community at the age of 14, Kelly made it her mission to learn everything she could about pinup. With no resources from family or friends, she set to the wide-web to research as much as possible on what a ‘pinup’ really was.

In her university years, Kelly had her first true taste of the pinup community, having landed a pinup’s dream job at reproduction-vintage clothing store ‘That Shop’. With daily access to the clothes, the music, the dancing and the people, her time at ‘That Shop’ was where she blossomed into the pinup she is today. She also set her sights on a 1957 Chevrolet (in Seafoam!) and works hard to save for her ‘future baby’ that she will restore to its original beauty!

Kelly graduated with a Bachelor’s degree; majoring in Journalism, Media & Communications and Fashion. In the process, she focused every assignment on the fashion and lifestyle of the mid-century era. One of her assignments was to create a blog, which saw the creation of ‘The Australian Pin-Up’ (theaustralianpinup.com). She still enjoys regularly updating and creating content for this blog.

In recent years, after meeting her partner who is a Warbird Engineer and Pilot, Kelly quickly fell in love with warbirds. She suddenly started to spend a lot of time in the warbird hangers, helping to fix vintage planes and restore them to head back to the skies. She began to research the golden age of flying, learnt how to rivet (just like Rosie!) and discovered past female pilots who became poster girls for equality.

With a growing passion and increasing amount of warbird photoshoots, Kelly decided to build a separate hub for her aviation adventures called ‘The Flying Pinup’ (@theflyingpinup, theflyingpinup.com). Now as Miss Kelly ‘The Flying Pinup’, she continues to learn every day and has set herself a goal to eventually gain her pilot's licence. In August 2017 she was elected to be a member of the Australian Women Pilots Association and looks forward to contributing to the rise in women in aviation. She is also an ambassador for non-for-profit charity ‘Angel Flight Australia’ and holds charity events in order to raise much-needed funds.

Kelly has had many Hollywood starlets inspire her pinup journey. Icons including Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe showed her the classic style, and modern muses including Dita Von Teese, Cherry Dollface and Victory Violet have showed her how to achieve it.

Her biggest influences, however, are figures of history who all became the ‘poster-girl’ for what they truly loved. Amelia Earhart is a huge influence, who became the ultimate pinup girl for aviation. Few know that she was such a celebrity for her time that she launched her own fashion label! Stars including Esther Williams and Betty Page inspire Kelly to take what she loves and promote it to the greater community to watch it grow.

Beyond the makeup, hair and styling, ‘pinup’ to Kelly means positive promotion and encouragement, set to inspire the community. This is much like the most well-known form of pinup girl, the WWII poster girls who encourage both men and woman in their war efforts.

Kelly is an active member of the pinup community, constantly busy indulging in industry events, air shows, car parades and Pinup photo shoots. She works hard to continue learning and sharing the legacy of pinup women and female aviators. Kelly feels that both the Pinup and Aviation community are like family and loves to encourage others to join her!

In October Miss Kelly ‘The Flying Pinup’ was crowned Pinup Doll Australia 2017. She jets off to London in late 2018 to compete in the Miss Pinup International competition.

 

CHARITIES WORKED WITH: Angel Flight Australia, Organiser of ‘The Bowled & The Beautiful’ charity fundraiser, Pinups with a Cause, Australian Woman Pilot’s Association

HOBBIES: Building and crafting projects including pinup props, sewing, getting hands-on in the shed, working on warbirds in the hanger, researching and learning about absolutely anything and everything!

COMPANIES MODELED FOR: Retrobomb Magazine, Fighter Pilot, Cherry Bomb Vintage Couture, Miss Victory Violet 2017 Australian Tour Workshop, That Shop Australia, Cam Attree’s Nylon Riot, Cooly Rocks On promotions, Greazefest Promotions, Dr Sketchy’s 2015, Cruzin Magazine #206

PREVIOUS PIN UP CONTEST WINS: Miss Pinup International Finalist 2018 Golden Ticket Winner, Pinup Doll Australia 2017 Winner, Pinup Doll Australia 2017 Best Hair, Pinup Doll Australia 2017 Best Makeup, Pinup Doll Australia 2017 Best Wardrobe, RetroBetty Pinup of the Month September 2017, Miss Wings and Wheels 2016, Miss Cooly Rocks On Runner Up 2017, Winner of Greazefest Pinup Parade 2015, Miss Glambour Finalist 2017, Garterbelts & Gasoline Finalist 2015
 

WHY SHOULD YOU WIN (1000 words or less): I represent the pinup community with a further intention beyond beauty, and focus on encouraging young woman in and beyond the pinup community to aim high! Equality is so close and yet so far, and we have a responsibility to push it forward. I can help to inspire woman to be strong, to embrace their individuality, to focus on their passions and conquer the world. I’d love to be a part of a world where woman are fearless and embrace pinup to promote their passion.

PINUP DOLL AUSTRALIA: THE PINUP OLYMPICS

Reflecting on my months so-far as Pinup Doll Australia 2017, it’s amazing to think of everything that has happened since first accepting my entry into the competition. It’s been five months since taking the title, and I can honestly say my pinup journey has reached its peak. Thanks to the PDA journey, I’m continuing to kick all of my pinup goals and it feels amazing!

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As a bit of background, I found pinup when I was 14 and ever since I have seeked every pinup opportunity I could. Through my university years I worked at vintage reproduction store ‘That Shop’ and this is where I was first exposed to the world of pinup competitions.

I would prepare ladies for their comps; consulting on their outfits and the perfect matching hair ‘do. I heard about every comp on the scene and who organised what – and all of the gossip in between.

Early on I completely ruled out pinup competitions because, honestly, I love pinup. Not just for the clothes and not just for the hair. Not even for the stunning red lipstick. I fell in love with pinup for the history and for the lifestyle, and I never wanted the drama of social status or subculture trends to change my love for it.

Eventually though, curiosity got the best of me. I don’t know why or how, but in 2015 I entered my first competition. I qualified for PDA in 2016 after winning my first title and – to be completely honest – I hesitated to accept. Unfortunately the only things I had heard of national competitions were negative (notably of the only other national competition we have in Australia) and I was completely uninterested in entering a scene like that.

I am so beyond happy to have made the decision to reach out to previous contestants of PDA 2016. The girls I spoke to were encouraging and spoke extremely highly of their experience. Fairly quickly it was obvious to me that I should be doing this, and I accepted straight away! I think I was the 8th person to accept that year and it felt fantastic to secure myself a spot.

As soon as Belles B Ringing confirmed my entry, I got to planning. I honestly had my first outfit planned and purchased in the first week. Although I didn’t know it, I was really ready for PDA and it turned out to be exactly what I needed to push, what I now call, my ‘craft’ of pinup.

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To describe PDA to those who aren’t in the scene, I say that PDA is ‘Pinup Olympics’. The process, the number of categories and the amount of outfits you have to prepare really gets you thinking about who you are as a pinup. The fantastic preparation schedule that is in place gives you a chance to truly identify what kind of ‘pinup’ you are; what your favourite era is, any kind of theme you might have and what style represents you best.

My competition prep confirmed my fairly new pinup identity of ‘The Flying Pinup’ and helped me to build my own personal brand. It pushed me creatively and mentally. It gave me clarity on why I love what we do and what my next pinup goals were.

Trust me when I say there is no secret formula to winning PDA, but here are my top tips to getting the most out of your own PDA journey;

♦ Say yes! It’s that easy. In the words of Tina Fey, “Say yes. You’ll figure it out afterward”

♦ Use the long preparation time to do exactly that – to prepare. Plan out your 5 months and use it as effectively as possible. Fortunately Belles B Ringing is a massive help in keeping you on track for this!

♦ Understand why you are doing it. Are you looking to further your pinup career? Are you using it as a creative outlet? Will it help you to clarify your personal pinup brand? Having a goal for your journey will make it so much more than just a competition.

♦ Take the opportunity to express your true self! PDA is one of the few pinup competitions that gives you full creative licence. Think about what you want to bring to the stage and how you will stand out.

♦ Give it everything you’ve got! You have the chance to be launched onto the international scene after this journey. Take the opportunity, make yourself worthy, and give it 100% of your energy.

It’s fair to say that PDA has set me up to kick every pinup goal I’ve ever dreamt of since I was 14. I am beyond excited to see how high the next PDA winner will soar!

Good luck lovelies!
Kelly ‘The Flying Pinup’ Xx

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Viva Las Vegas 21: Music!

With Viva Las Vegas 21 well and truly on it's way, I am well in to the preparations for the big rockabilly weekend! After booking my tickets way back when, I thought about all the events and realised just how many bands I didn't recognise on the Viva list!

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To make the most of the music that will be playing across all four days of the event, I started to listen to the Viva Las Vegas 2017 Spotify playlist!

Artists include Jerry Lee Lewis, Stray Cats, Delta Bombers, The Hi-Q's, Phil Haley & His Comments and Hot Rod Lincoln.

It certainly has made my daily morning exercise routine a lot more fun!

Check out the playlist HERE!

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Meet & Greet with Dita Von Teese: Her Secret To Travelling In Style!

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It’s not every day you come face-to-face with someone who has influenced so much of your own passions, style and hobbies; but last night I got to meet the Queen of Burlesque, Dita Von Teese!

Having first spotted a picture of Dita in my early teens, she soon became a huge style icon and influencer in all things Pinup! I had seen Dita’s show in Australia back in 2016, but was unable to afford a Meet & Greet session at the time. When The Art Of The Teese Australian Tour was announced, I immediately decided that this was the time I would meet Dita! 

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I rushed home from a regular Tuesday at work to do my hair and makeup - my go-to waves and pinup pout. After considering a few options for my outfit, I opted for the Hellbunny Emerald Green dress that I’ve had for years. This dress has always been my go-to for burlesque shows, so it only seemed fitting to wear it to the ULTIMATE burlesque evening. I was flattered to get many compliments on it, from both friends and strangers.

The show was truly a spectacle! The supporting act of Australian burlesque star Zelia Rose took my breath away, and seeing legend Dirty Martini perform again was a real treat. Ginger Valentine is now high on my favourites list! That body!!

Dita herself was flawless and captivating. Seeing iconic acts like 'Lazy' and the Western act was so inspiring! I kept thinking, ‘How can I incorporate this amount of glamour into my life?!’

Host Jonny McGovern was a blast and kept the whole show running seamlessly!

After the show I lined up for the Meet & Greet, and chatted to her lovely assistant before being ushered into the room to meet Dita.

... and all of a sudden, boom! There Dita was, in the flesh, looking straight at me! With a friendly smile she invited me to sit next to her for a photo, and then headed to a table nearby for signing. 

They allowed guests to take in items to be signed, so I took my beloved ‘Your Beauty Mark’ book. We all also received a poster that would be signed too.

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I asked for my poster to be made out to ‘Kelly The Flying Pinup’, and when Dita saw it she asked if I flew! I explained that I was in the early stages of learning, and my involvement with warbirds. 

I asked her, ‘With all of your travelling, how do you do it in such style? How do you stay glamorous on a plane?’

She replied, "I’m so used to travelling now! I fly all the time these days... but I have my secrets! I wear a big coat to the airport and keep something comfy underneath for the plane. I make sure I pack all my comforts to have with me for the flight"

I expressed my gratitude for the signed book and poster, and I was out of there!

My brief moment with Dita will be something I remember forever. 
Thanks for bringing The Art of the Teese to Australia, Dita Von Teese! 

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Photoshoot Behind The Scenes | YouTube Video

On a cloudy day Nick and I headed to Archerfield Airport to meet Mark Greenmantle and the Fighter Pilot team for Brisbane's Open House. This event allows all-those-who-are-curious to see the amazing 1930's art deco building at Archerfield Airport, as well as some of the aircraft that call the airport home.

Fighter Pilot and Performance Aero had their aircraft out o display which made it the perfect excuse for a photoshoot! 

Check out the behind the scenes video we shot!

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My First YouTube Video is LIVE!

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After years of toying with the idea of joining the YouTube community, I have finally uploaded my very first video! 

I wanted to make my sponsor thank you extra special, so I thought a Prize Haul & Sponsor Shoutout was very appropriate.

Check out my video HERE, as well as some shot of the very generous prizes below.

My Pinup Doll Australia experience was absolutely amazing! A huge thank you goes out to the Pinup Doll Australia Crew as well as all of the girls who took to the stage - you all rocked it!

Top Tinder Tips for the Traditional Dater

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It's no secret that Nick and I met on Tinder, and every time we tell someone the response is always "What?! Seriously?!"

For two very traditional kids - both with a love of all things a little old fashioned - it's honestly the last place we both thought we'd find someone a bit special.

The real shock is that Tinder sometimes does work - really, really well.

To celebrate my lucky catch of the century, here are my Top Tinder Tips for the traditional dater.

Be honest about your intentions
Clickbait doesn't work on Tinder because eventually, you have to meet them. Whether you're after a hook up, a companion or a wedding in a week, let them know at the start.

Give it time to develop
Let the conversation roll a little. Once the Q&A game is over, you'll soon find out if you'll have a conversation potential. (Don't do what I did though and wait 2 months to reply. I logged out and forgot about the app... My bad babe!)

Share your lifestyle and hobbies
You're probably going to want to find someone who will hang out with you on the weekends and join in on the things you love. Being enthusiastic about each other's interests helps a lot.

Stand out from the rest
Try something different than the usual 3-day 'Hi' stand-off. Lure your matches in by ONLY using emoticons to make conversation. You'd be surprised how far you get with only the 'rose' and 'blushing smile' emoji.

Don't take it so seriously
Whether you're after a snuggle buddy or 'the one', if you take Tinder too seriously it won't work. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn about all kinds of people and the way they live life. It'll keep you open-minded!

Normal dating rules apply
Don't discount a date just because it came from Tinder. Dress nicely, turn up early and be excited! And don't just assume that the other person is only there for a hook-up.

Most importantly kiddies, be safe. And boys, no more fishing trip pictures FFS!

Xx

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Movie Inspiration ✦ Blast From The Past

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This movie has been a favourite for as long as I can remember, all because of the quaint 1960’s design influence.

I may have also wanted to live underground with my own grocery store - just sayin'.

The best thing about this movie for me is the 1960’s interiors; homewares, furniture and styling. It represents the 60’s lifestyle, where family came first and the American dream was in full swing.

Inspiration comes to me in the detail in this movie; from wall décor to glassware, it does a fantastic job of showing the intricate details of home life in a 1960’s family home.

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With such a cute story and the range of cute cardigans worn the Webber family, pop it on your weekend movie list.

Inspiration scale: 7 ‘Vintage Baseball cards’ out of 10
IMDB: 6.5 stars out of 10

Movie Inspiration ✦ Pearl Harbour

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Pearl Harbor has always remained high on my Sunday afternoon movie binge list. Starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale, the film is a dramatic retelling of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, during World War ll.

This action-packed love story was one of my main sources of inspiration for adopting the Pin-Up style as it beautifully depicts the fashion of everyday citizens of the time. 

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The movie lends a wide variety of wardrobe inspiration, from winter coats and evening dresses, to summery shorts and Tiki attire. The styling shows us a subdued but classic take on pencil skirts, structured jackets and cute holiday wear that easily transitions into the modern world. 

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The key factor of this inspiration in this movie is the hair. Thank you Christine Beveridge for producing styled yet realistic ‘dos that add a more everyday approach to 1940’s styling.

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I encourage every Pin Up to book this in for a viewing - corny love story and all.

Inspiration Scale: 8 ‘Unnecessary love triangles’ out of 10.
IMDB: 6 out of 10 stars

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