Dita Von Teese, or the Queen of Burlesque as she is frequently referred to by the press, is known for one thing first and foremost: she is the woman who, in her own words, “put the tease back into striptease”. With that image in mind, it may come as a surprise (to the ill-informed) to realise that von Teese actually has more than a few strings to her bow. In addition to her benchmark dancing routines, the natural blonde – who was famously married to Marilyn Manson -is also known for her skills as a costume designer and is an accomplished actress. No, we’re not taking about her plethora of sultry soft-core movies – Von Teese has deservedly won a best actress award at the Beverly Hills Film Festival after featuring in the multi award-winning short film The Death of Salvador Dali.
Her sense for style has also not gone unnoticed – Von Teese is a darling of the fashion press and has appeared on many of the best dressed lists, wearing some stunning pieces by the likes of Christian Dior and Marc Jacobs. She has walked the runway for the Los Angeles Fashion Week in 2004, the 2006 Milan Fashion week and – memorably – Paris fashion week in 2007, in which she modelled haute couture for Jean Paul Gaultier.
With her wide range of talents and her natural flair for fashion, it should come as little surprise that she should make the step into ready-to-wear designing. She has recently released five of her own signature pieces – the VIP Coat, the Bon Bon Dress, the Follow Me Dress, the Second Look Dress and the Showcase Dress. Without a doubt, the range reflects the burlesque dancer’s own retro-glam look. Each piece is an homage to her own sleek and stylish 50s-esque silhouettes. The designs also show Von Teese’s personal penchant for vintage couture coming through, with grosgrain ribbon, nipped in waists and full skirts. The pieces are figure hugging, which certainly works in favour of the designer as they show off her beautiful curves and perfect figure.
Running alongside this impressive mini-collection, Von Teese has also recently launched her lingerie range, Von Follies by Dita Von Teese, now widely available through various online retailers.
The idea to release her own collection apparently came from a simple trip to her favourite vintage store: “I saw a very famous designer, who shall remain unnamed, he was there with his whole team and they were taking pictures for pieces to inspire his next collection. I just thought to myself: ‘There’s no reason why I couldn’t do that.’ Vintage stores are where I buy all my clothes – I love the thrill of the hunt.”
It should be stressed that Dita’s foray into fashion design is hardly likely to be a flash in the pan by yet another celeb-turned-designer – Von Teese studied historic costume at college with the ambition of becoming a film stylist, and she worked as a lingerie buyer before bringing her burlesque skills to the world. Obviously she has put her studies to good use – her elegant designs are simple but timelessly stylish. Dita does not disappoint.