January 19th, 2014| Interviews|
Raven-haired burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese (born a natural blonde 41 years ago as Heather Renee Sweet) knows a thing or 36D about lingerie. Known from Paris to Pasadena for tastefully taking off her dainties, Von Teese has led the full-blown revival of striptease that continues to gather audiences seeking seduction over sex.
“I’m very surprised at the growing popularity of burlesque,” purrs the polished Von Teese, sitting on a Victorian settee at Dark Garden, the Hayes Valley custom corsetiere where many of her costumes are made. “When I began performing in 1991, I definitely did not think it would become a worldwide phenomenon. And I would never have dreamed I’d still be doing it.”
Von Teese is in town to promote her new Von Follies line of lacy lingerie, which will be carried at Dark Garden. This is the first time the collection will be sold in America, a continuation of her successful line of vintage-inspired bras, garter belts and panties that launched in Australian department stores in 2012.
“I had a lot to prove,” she says. “It was very important to have creative control over every aspect of the design. I’ve been observing the worlds of fetish gear and retro styles for years. I’ve designed the pieces I’ve always wished I could find.”
Von Teese is an avid collector – and enthusiastic wearer – of undergarments and clothing from the ’20s to the ’60s; she also drew inspiration from the trove of vintage lingerie catalogs she seeks out in her travels. She is particularly proud of the “inclusive” price points and the wide range of sizes in the Von Follies line.
“We go up to a G cup, which takes quite a bit of engineering,” she says. Her experience draws upon her years as a lingerie store salesclerk from ages 15 to 22. “That’s what sparked my interest in pin-ups, which began my career. I see what women want to wear, and what makes them feel good about themselves.”
Although a relative newcomer to retail sales, Von Teese has had extensive involvement with fashion design. She studied historical fashion in college, and conceives the sets and costumes of her many performance tableaux, which have included an en pointe ballerina set inside a life-size music box, a Shanghai-inspired opium mistress, and a rootin’-tootin’ pink cowgirl on a bucking satin mechanical bull.
“Autumn Adamme of Dark Garden and Catherine D’lish made that amazing outfit covered in thousands of pink Swarovski crystals,” Von Teese says, which was most recently seen in San Francisco at a private party celebrating the opening of the de Young Museum’s Jean Paul Gaultier retrospective in 2012.
Over the years Gaultier has designed many one-of-a-kind ensembles for Von Teese to wear down the runway. “Jean-Paul and Mr. Pearl (his corset maker) have taught me so much about haute couture,” she sighs. “It’s a rarefied world for the lucky few. How many people can fly off for 12 fittings in Paris?”
Q: You recently were the muse and model for the world’s first 3-D printed dress, which was made of interlocking carbon fiber embedded with Swarovski crystals. Did it feel different than some of your fittings with Jean Paul Gaultier or Vivienne Westwood?
A: It’s totally different. I have respect for both kinds of creation, but they are not the same thing. Everything in haute couture is hand sewn. People provide the labor. Real haute couture is something that costs a fortune, but it is because it contains hundreds of hours of expert work. It is fashion as art.
Q: Do you have any favorite up-and-coming designers?
A: I admit I’m out of touch with what is trending now, or cool. I wear vintage and clothes created by people whom I know and like. I’ve had the same aesthetic for years. If I can’t find it, I have something made.
Q: You are known for your impeccable grooming. What advice would you give a woman who only has 10 minutes to get ready to leave the house?
A: I’m actually really fast at getting ready because I’ve figured out what works for me. I put my hair in a chignon, add a swipe of face powder and dark red lipstick. Then I put on sunglasses and I’m off. My advice is to choose one signature thing that makes you feel polished. Then get really good at doing that!
Q: Would you ever want to teach burlesque?
A: That’s hard. There are so many things that I want to do. I would like to help women discover their inner burlesque star. But that doesn’t mean their femininity has to translate to a striptease. It’s about having them embrace the spirit of burlesque into their life. It doesn’t have to be onstage. People don’t need to learn to undo a garter. They have to appreciate what makes them different and special. That’s what makes them sexy.
Q: What is your idea of a perfect day?
A: When I feel I’ve accomplished something. Or sometimes when I’ve done nothing, but I’m in love and not looking at the clock.
Source: SF Gate
January 19th, 2014| News|
Danielle Steele caused quite a kerfuffle when she criticized San Francisco in The Wall Street Journal, saying, “There’s no style, nobody dresses up—you can’t be chic there.” For anyone, like Ms. Steele, who has abandoned hope that San Franciscans know how to get dolled up, the crowd at Dark Garden on Sunday was a welcome sight: Throngs of women in corsets and heels and perfect coiffures queueing up for the chance to meet burlesque queen Dita Von Teese.
The raven-haired beauty was at Dark Garden to promote her lingerie line, Von Follies by Dita Von Teese. (The shop, best known for its custom corsets, is currently the only retail location in the city that carries the Von Follies line.) We stole a few minutes with Dita to find out what influenced her lingerie and fragrance lines, who makes the best red lipstick, and how we can up our glamour quotient in 2014.
You’re glamorous and perfect, and we hear that you do your own hair and makeup. What’s your beauty routine like? How long does it take?
“It depends. On a normal day, I would just wear mascara, a bit of powder, red lipstick, and put my hair in a chignon. I can do that in under 10 minutes. That’s my normal day. For an event, I like to turn up the glamour. I spend about an hour getting ready, sometimes an hour and a half.”
Are there any particular red lipsticks that you would recommend?
“I have my favorites. I’m a big fan of a matte red lip. I think that MAC makes some very fine, very very powdery reds, which I really love. NARS makes some nice lip color. I like this brand called Make Up Store, (which is not Makeup Forever). They make some wonderful, very highly pigmented lipsticks, which is something I look for.”
You stay fit with pilates, ballet, and dressage. We can only imagine the fabulous ensembles you must wear for dressage and ballet, but what do you wear for Pilates? Do you have custom sparkly Lululemon pants?
“No, I have a uniform. It’s usually black capri pants. Simple, black matte, cotton form-fitting black t-shirt. I throw a coat on over that, usually or a full skirt. There are a million pictures of me coming out of my Pilates studio. [Photographers] keep waiting for me to come out in sweatpants, but I never do.”
You’re here at Dark Garden to promote your Von Follies lingerie line. What inspired your lingerie lines?
“My whole goal was to show women that you can wear beautiful lingerie in every day life—lingerie that begs to be seen—at an accessible price. I’m very inspired by my vintage lingerie collection, which I’ve been collecting for about 25 years. I take a lot of inspiration from my archives and try to figure out how to translate that to modern, wearable lingerie.”
The collection is beautiful and a bit racy. Are these pieces that a woman would wear under her clothes at work on a Wednesday?
“In the collection, I did lots of different things. I did some simple, basic bras, but no one has any interest in buying things that are simple and basic from me. They want the more racy, obscure, vintage-style, sexy, risqué looks. I’m trying to take cues from that and make fancy lingerie that fits well and is still wearable. I’m just trying to change people’s minds about what should be in their lingerie drawer and give people a piece of what I do and what I believe in for lingerie, which is about beauty and fantasy and glamour.”
Because you’re a famous burlesque performer, most people assume that you’re in corsets all the time. Is that the reality, or are the corsets just part of your stage costumes?
“I mostly just wear corsets on stage, much to the dismay of my corset makers. I wear them occasionally in everyday life, especially if I’m preparing for a show. Your body does mold to it and get accustomed to it, which is something I like to do before I start a tour. I lead a very comfortable life. I wear ballet flats. It’s not like I wear sweats and dress down, but I do know how to do comfortable glamour.”
Can you give us an example of your version of comfortable glamour?
“Ballet flats, trousers Marlene Dietrich would wear, 50′s full-skirted dresses. Things like that.”
We can’t picture you wearing a pair of jeans.
“No, I don’t. I actually wore jeans for Halloween and I didn’t find it comfortable at all. I felt like I was pulling them out of my crotch all night.”
You recently released a new fragrance, Erotique. How would you characterize the scent?
“Erotique is my fourth fragrance, and I really wanted to do something that was a tribute to a time in the past. A lot of people don’t realize that perfume from the past was very animalistic. It was not flowery. You had quite carnal, very sexual, erotic perfumes. A lot of really interesting spices and leather and animalistic notes. I love vintage erotica, and when I’m reading stories by Anaïs Nin and Georges Bataille, I think to myself, ‘What kind of fragrance goes with these really sexual scenes?’ I researched a lot of vintage perfumes and purchased lots of vintage decants of rare perfumes that don’t exist anymore and thought about what kind of perfume I could create that creates that mystique. [Erotique] is quite polarizing for some people, but it’s the one that I wear the most of all my fragrances and it’s getting a really great response. I find that there’s a theme in everything I do, from the lingerie, perfume, the striptease shows: When I do things from my heart, things I really believe in—the obscure and possibly even polarizing—it’s a success because it’s authentic.”
So many women approach glamour as a chore rather than something fun, but—between your stage costumes and your 40s-inspired day looks—you seem to embrace making everyday beautiful. Has that been a lifelong passion?
“It’s a lifelong passion. I remember when I was a little girl, all I could think about was being a grown woman and able to wear lipstick and high heels and pick out my own dresses. I fantasized about lingerie. It’s something I always wanted. So when I was old enough, for me, that’s what was happening. I’ve never let it go. I don’t find it a chore. I see putting on my red lipstick the same as brushing my teeth. That’s just what I do. I have a better day when I feel good about myself.”
You’ve inspired us to make a New Year’s resolution to be more glamorous. How should we start?
“First, you have to decide what that is for you. When you look in the mirror and you feel hot, what made you feel that way? Besides your self-confidence. What is that one thing? You like to wear your makeup a certain way, you feel good when you wear a certain … pair of jeans. I don’t care. You have to decide what it is for you. It’s not necessarily what it is for me. You just have to notice what makes you feel that way and don’t let other people persuade to do something differently. For me, I like beautiful lingerie. It makes me feel really good. It’s not something I do for someone else, it’s something I do for me. I think it’s just about noticing what that thing is for you. And doing it really well.”
Slightly weird question: Several male readers want to know how you feel about beards.
“I just got asked that! I’m dating a guy with a beard now. I like guys with beards who aren’t afraid to shave off the beard once in a while. It’s like doing a striptease. You gotta realize that variety is the spice of life. And I don’t want to hear from a guy with a big ol’ beard who won’t shave his beard, but wants a woman to wax every single hair off of her body. That’s not okay.”
That seems fair. Now on to our Racked lightning round!
Beach or mountains?
Champagne or martini?
Leather or lace?
The last great book you read was:
“I’m reading Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.”
Can we be best friends? (It’s okay if you say no.)
June 18th, 2013| News|
Dita Von Teese has paid tribute to fellow burlesque performer Sparkly Devil after she was killed in a car crash in California on Sunday (26May13).
The 36 year old, real name Sarah Klein, died in Burlingame after the vehicle she was driving in collided with a party bus, leaving 10 people injured, including her husband, Raul Padilla, who remains hospitalised in critical condition.
Jim Sweeney, owner of Hubba Hubba Revue, where Klein was set to perform on Thursday (30May13), tells the San Francisco Chronicle, “She was probably one of the greatest comedic burlesque performers I’ve ever seen, but she could also transition into classic burlesque (and) become this other glamorous person. She was by far one of the most respected and beloved people in our community.”
And now Von Teese has taken to Twitter.com to pay her respects to the tragic star, writing, “Condolences to the family & many friends of much loved burlesque performer @sparklydevil.”
Source: Contact Music
June 18th, 2013| News|
The pinup starlet has teamed up with luxury eyewear label Dita for a new campaign which also features tattoo artist Mark Mahoney.
Shot by Dita Eyewear co-founder and creative director John Juniper and French snapper Lionel Deluy, the new ‘Legends’ campaign dropped this week.
“We’ve always been fortunate enough to tap into our network of friends who happen to have a unique look,” Dita’s other cofounder Jeff Solorio told WWD. “Mark Mahoney, proprietor of Shamrock Social Club in Hollywood, and Dita Von Teese both epitomize sartorial elegance and evoke a time lost when people paid attention to every detail, especially their eyewear,” he explained.
The brand has recently unveiled the Lancier luxury-sport range (set to retail from $800 to $2,000), which feature interchangable sea, land and air lenses for different sporting activities.
Founded in Los Angeles in 1995, Dita Eyewear also design and produce glasses for the Thom Browne fashion label.
Source: The New Age
June 18th, 2013| News|
Dita Von Teese describes her signature fragrance as voluptuously floral.
The burlesque star has created three perfumes, the Dita Von Teese Signature and Rouge which both launched in April, with her third, Fleur Teese, out in the US this summer.
Making fragrances has been an activity she’s thoroughly enjoyed.
“It was a dream come true for me to be able to create my own perfume,” she gushed to lifestylemirror.com. “My signature scent is just my namesake. It’s a very elegant and sophisticated, voluptuous floral. That’s something I was really adamant about – making a really grown up, womanly fragrance.”
Dita has also made a success of her clothing and lingerie lines. The businesswoman hopes to expand these in the future to be more accessible to every woman, no matter what their budget is.
“Glamour is something you can do yourself,” she explained. “I’ve always enjoyed the art of self-creation and that’s what I’m selling with my perfumes and my lingerie. You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be a celebrity to get glamour. That’s what my entire career is based on.”
The 40-year-old is known for her individual look and love of vintage styling. She believes the classic old Hollywood glamour look she sports is a true reflection of herself.
“I don’t have a persona I put on. People responded to me well and enjoyed watching me perform when I was being myself, and not trying to be sexy or trying to be somebody that I wasn’t,” she continued.
“When I’m 90 years old, I will be wearing this red lipstick. I’m not trying to please anyone else.”
The brunette beauty has been tapped by Dita Eyewear to star in their Fall 2013 Legends campaign with Mark Mahoney, the proprietor of the Shamrock Social Club in Hollywood. The pair pose in a variety of classic styles from the latest collection of shades. Dita Eyewear founder Jeff Solorio explained more about the casting choice to fashiongonerogue.com.
“Mark and Dita individually epitomise sartorial elegance and evoke a time lost when people were more stylised and paid attention to every detail – especially their eyewear,” he gushed.
Source: Belfast Telegraph
June 18th, 2013| News|
As a burlesque showgirl it’s not a surprise that Dita Von Teese isn’t a fan of the all natural look, but the high maintenance star recently admitted that the number of beauty products that she uses regularly goes in to the hundreds.
The dancer, born Heather Renée Sweet in Rochester, Michigan, has admitted she is such a beauty junkie that she couldn’t live without any of the multiple cosmetics and haircare products which she uses to achieve her glamorous retro look.
Asked what her three must-have items are, she giggled: ‘Three? Oh my god, it’s more like 300! If you only knew, I have a lot of things that I absolutely can’t do without.
‘Even for my shows, I do everything by myself, from make-up to choosing my own outfits.
However, the sultry star believes make-up can only go so far and the only way to exude sex appeal is to have confidence in yourself.
Dita explained: ‘For me, sex appeal is a very individual thing, it’s about finding yourself above all and mostly about having self-confidence. We have to find what suits us and makes us feel good.
‘It’s all about being sexy, it’s nothing to do with what people think – on the contrary. It’s completely psychological.
‘I love the process of getting ready, both in terms of hair as well as make-up. With only three things, I’d have a lot of trouble getting ready!’
Two years ago she told the New York Times Style magazine that she uses Just For Men hair dye to achieve raven eyebrows, and also that perfect skin hasn’t come easy.
She spoke about how she visited several doctors in a bit to cure her rosacea, revealing: ‘I was told by a big name dermatologist, ‘this is your life now’, because he couldn’t figure out how to get rid of it.
‘A million creams later, I went to a real skin doctor in Orange County. He prescribed a pill and one lotion, and boom, it was gone.’
Creme de la Mer is her choice of face cream – ‘it’s pricey, but so worth it’.
Her favourite beauty products include Dior Capture Totale foundation, MAC Mineralize face powder, Dior Dolce Vita lipstick, Guerlain Divinora liquid eyeliner and Dior Show mascara.
The raven-haired beauty’s top tip for feeling good is adorning herself in a tasteful amount of jewels, and she especially loves rubies because they are so ‘sensual’.
Dita explained in an interview with French fashion website Pure Trend: ‘It’s true that I like jewellery, but I wear just the right amount to emphasise the statement piece I choose. I like diamonds but my real favourite has always been rubies.
‘At the moment for instance, I’m wearing ruby earrings. I love touching them, playing with them, it’s a very sensual stone.’
The burlesque dancer has also said she relies on pink lights and a dimmer switch to banish cellulite, citing ‘it’s the only thing that works’.
Dita’s top five tips for vintage make-up
1. Alabaster skin is the perfect base for a vintage look. I’d never dream of getting a tan – I always wear sunscreen and put on a hat when I’m out in the sun.
2. Classic red lipstick is the most chic beauty statement a women can make. Matte lips are like luscious rose petals. Add just a touch of gloss to the centre.
3. In the Thirties and Forties, leaving the half-moon at the bottom of your nail was the epitome of elegance. It has now become modern and chic again.
4. For a dramatic look, I start with a neutral lid, define a line of black shadow in the crease. Finish with a sparkling white on your brow bone and eyelid.
5. I always powder my nose using pressed powder in an exquisite, jewelled compact. They are hard to find, but try eBay.
Source: Daily Mail
June 18th, 2013| Photos|
Dita recently attended the Fragrance Foundation Awards. I’ve added some photos in the gallery! Click on the thumbnails above to view full size images.
May 11th, 2013| Photos|
Hey guys, I’ve added new images of Dita from the LA Britweek Christopher Guy Showcase Party. She was looking gorgeous wearing a black dress. She was also seen leaving a McCadden Space Studio and Axe Restaurant. Enjoy the images!
May 11th, 2013| Videos|
Thirty Seconds to Mars are teasing their new video and short film for their single “Up in the Air” with a set of previews throughout this week. In this exclusive clip, Dita Von Teese strikes a pose in an empty warehouse while riding a pink mechanical bull. “Mars Is Coming” reads the clip before spurting a frantic mishmash of animal and symbolic imagery.
“This short film is quite unlike anything we have ever done before,” frontman Jared Leto tells Rolling Stone. “With contributions from Damien Hirst, Dita Von Teese, US Olympic gymnasts McKayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber, Maxwell Snow, Neil Strauss, a lion, wolf, a snake and, yes, some zebras, we take an epic, bizarre and hallucinogenic journey through a incredibly surreal landscape. It was exciting to explore new territory and once again work with the maniacal Bartholomew Cubbins [Leto's Dr. Seuss-inspired pseudonym] at the helm.”
Thirty Seconds to Mars’ album Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams will be out May 21st on Virgin.
Source: Rolling Stone
May 11th, 2013| News|
Many would kill to take a spin with her in one of her retro rides.
On Friday, the next best thing was made available to the highest bidder, as Dita Von Teese’s 1939 Packard 120 sedan was put up for auction on Ebay.
Unfortunately for her fans, the 40-year-old burlesque bombshell, who is known for her adoration of the 1940′s era, is not part of the package – the car, currently located in Costa Mesa, comes standalone.
The enigmatic stunner has used the car in various photoshoots, and these photos have certainly come in handy in the selling process.
Dita poses seductively in and around the Packard, in various alluring outfits true to her famous style.
The statuesque dancer and model wears vintage thigh-high stockings, black heels and long leather gloves.
A black high-waisted skirt with a frighteningly high slit is paired with a beige flowing shirt, whilst an embellished top-hat and veil complete the ensemble.
In another shot, Dita poses with her signature retro curls and deep red lipstick in an alluring bustier.
In case these fail to fuel the bidding war, the seller has also included a video of Dita cruising around in the Packard during a Forbes interview.
The seller claims that ‘Dita personally enjoyed driving this dreamboat of a car the car’ and that it ‘has been one of Dita’s favorite cars to own’, which should up the value – for her fans, at least.
The stunning vehicle is described as French-Blue, was apparently restored about 10 years ago, and drives ‘absolutely perfectly’.
The reserve price, which is hidden, has not yet been met but the current top bid as of Friday is $7,150.
‘The only reason she’s letting this one go is that she recently purchased a 1940 Cadillac convertible sedan’, the seller adds.
Fans of the raven haired dancer may be thrilled at first to know that the vehicle is available for inspection.
Those same fans would be disappointed to know that Dita would not personally be there; she is selling her beloved Packard via a third party.
The porcelain-skinned beauty, who was briefly married to Marilyn Manson, has been focusing on her business ventures of late.
In 2012, all-natural dancer and model developed her own lingerie range for Wonderbra and a make-up collection called Classics, in a partnership with the German cosmetics brand Art Deco.
She also recently launched her own clothing and underwear line under her own brand known as Von Follies.
Source: Daily mail