This week we’re kicking off a brand new series, celebrating the biggest stars in burlesque. We’ll be looking at the biggest names in the world of burlesque both past and present and each week we’ll profile one of the queens (or kings!) of the art of the tease.
So, to start off our new series, it seemed most fitting to begin with the most famous burlesquer of modern times, the one and only Dita Von Teese.
Who is Dita Von Teese?
Miss Von Teese is, without a doubt, the most well-known burlesque artiste of the modern day. She has successfully made the crossover from the underground world of the ecdysiast to mainstream celebrity. In addition to being a performer and model, she was once married to metal rocker Marilyn Manson, has appeared in Playboy magazine, has her own line of lingerie and is a published author too.
How did she get into burlesque?
Dita began her striptease career in the early 1990s, working as a club stripper. However, even at this stage, her performances and style made her stand out from the crowd; with her ivory skin, vintage hairstyles and lengthy, elaborate acts she quickly made a name for herself and, many people argue, set the groundwork for the new burlesque revival in the USA.
What style of burlesque does she perform?
Dita’s acts are heavily inspired by the Golden Era of burlesque. Her acts focus upon a carefully poised glamour and beauty, utilising stunning Swarovski-encrusted costumes and props. She is known for having a whole catalogue of incredible giant props, including a carousel horse, giant glitter compact mirror, giant lipstick, birdcage and more!
Interesting Facts about Dita
*She is a classically trained ballet dancer, beginning when she was a young child. She once aspired to be a professional ballerina, but has instead incorporated her dance skills into her burlesque routines.
*Her birth name is Heather Renee Sweet. She chose the name Dita Von Treese to perform under, but when she appeared in Playboy, they misspelled her name ‘Von Teese’ and she decided that was more fitting and so adopted the moniker henceforth.
*Dita’s love of vintage is very apparent in her style, costume choices and performances. She developed a fascination with the retro style when she was quite young, inspired by her mother’s love of Hollywood’s golden era movies. Famous movie stars of the 1940s and 50s made their mark on the young girl and as she grew older, her penchant for fancy dress in these vintage-inspired styles manifested itself in her stage performances as an adult.
*Dita also gained fame in the world of fetish, as a model and tight lacer. Her waist is just 22″ and when corseted, can be reduced to a tiny 16.5″!
*In October 2006 she made history by being the first guest star ever at the famous Crazy Horse cabaret show in Paris.