Public Appearances > 2015 > 23rd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Oscar Viewing Party
thanks to http://marymcdonnell.org/
The dawn of the Chinese New Year brought a few very special things to New York: the close of fashion week and the one and only Dita von Teese. In town to celebrate the opening of the brand new W Hotel in Beijing, she performed her signature striptease in a golden birdcage, but first, she chatted with us about waist-training, the Kardashians, and her secret appearance in Fifty Shades of Grey.
So did you see Fifty Shades of Grey for Valentine’s Day?
No, I have not. At some point I will, I’m very curious to know. As someone who comes from the fetish scene, that’s how I got my start in the early ’90s, posing for all those bondage photos. In fact, they did contact me to put one of my images in the film. I’m not sure if it’s there or not, but if it is, you don’t see my face, you won’t know it’s me.
The Kardashian sisters have gotten really into waist training—as someone with a legendary figure, what do you think about that?
I think I heard something about it. I’ve never personally, even though I love corsetry and lingerie, and corsets are something I use in all my shows. I love the way they really emphasize curves and create an hourglass shape, and I like the discipline of wearing it, but I’ve never been a waist-trainer. I’ve never slept in corsets and worn them seven hours a day. For me it’s something that is a little bit fetishistic and interesting and historic; it’s the ultimate lingerie piece, really.
Do you remember your first one?
Yes, I bought it when I was 18, at that time I was in Orange County, California, working in a lingerie store. I kept looking for one, that was before the internet and you couldn’t buy them readily, but someone gave me a piece of paper with an address on it. I walked into a weird, dark store, like a fetish store, I’d never seen anything like it before. It was incredible. That’s where I discovered fully fashioned seamed stockings; leather and latex opera gloves; Bettie Page, I discovered Bettie Page there; and then I ordered my first corset there, and the rest is history. I decided I was going to set out to be the modern Bettie Page.
You travel all over the world for events like this, and you have such an incredible wardrobe—do you pack light or do you just not bother?
I mean, I’m going to do a show, so I brought three suitcases—one for my costume and my feather fans, one for all my beauty things, and one for all my clothes. And I did bring two red carpet looks; I did have a backup plan. I could go change right now! The times when I’ve really panicked and I overpack is when I’m going on a long trip or on a date trip, where like, oh, all the lingerie has to match, and the jewelry—I get really specific about things like that.
Public Appearances > 2015 > W Hotels Kicks Off Of Global ‘Rock The Empire’ Tour
Performances > 2015 > W Hotels Kicks Off Of Global ‘Rock The Empire’ Tour
Dita Von Teese (née Heather Sweet) is a beautiful contradiction. She’s a modern businesswoman and brand (with perfume and lingerie lines) who looks and dresses like she stepped out of a 1940s movie, and she was once married to shock-rocker Marilyn Manson. With 1.78 million followers on Twitter — her Devonshire Rex cat Aleister Von Teese has 37,900 followers on Instagram — Von Teese is completely self-made, and her dedication to vintage style has been copied by none other than pop star Katy Perry.
She’s been described as the “queen of burlesque” for single-handedly reviving that retro art form, but she combines its retro aesthetic (and what could be retro ideas about femininity) with progressive ideas about sexuality and gender. Her “Strip, Strip Hooray!” touring burlesque show features drag king MC Murray Hill along with burlesque stars of all shapes and sizes. She has as many (if not more) female fans as she does male fans, because women love the pro-woman (and yes, feminist) message she sends regarding women and power.
Von Teese brings this postmodern pastiche of old and new to relationships and sex as well, and she talked to International Business Times about what makes women (and men) appealing and seductive.
International Business Times: How would you describe your brand, Dita Von Teese?
Dita Von Teese: I like to call myself a “glambassador.” I believe in glamour and sensuality and using these tools in everyday life, not just to put on a show for men. Sensuality, glamour, eroticism are things we should partake in because we enjoy them. Putting on lingerie, perfume, makeup — if someone else reaps the benefits, that’s great.
I know the power in the art of seduction. It’s something you do because you believe in it. Sexiness is being confident and comfortable in your skin. An epic failure is trying too hard.
Editorial Shoots > Magazines and Scans > 2014 > BeSpoke Magazine – April 2014