Sydney Morning Herald: Dita Von Fabulous
by Paula Joye
Saturday, March 10, 2012
|Red lips, lingerie and getting what you want
Dita tells how her enduring love of old Hollywood glamour continues to inspire and push boundaries.
Dita Von Teese does not disappoint.
Immaculate film star make-up, raven set hair and a body that is teeny, tiny curvy perfection. Not a strand out of place, not a line on the face and she walks with the grace of panther. She is utterly impossible to look away from but if you force yourself past the visual you’ll begin to notice more. Humour in the smile, wryness in her eyes and an eagerness to engage that sits just behind a carefully, thoughtfully honed image.
Dressed in an extraordinary electric purple Sonia Rykiel dress and black lace Louboutin pumps I ask how a girl from country Michigan stumbled into the world of Burlesque. “My mother loved antiques and old films so I was surrounded by that look – red lips, strong eyes – and I became addicted to that ideal. I started painting on my cat eyes at a really young age,” Von Teese muses. “That developed into an interest in pin-up art and I discovered through research that most of the women in the pictures were Burlesque dancers – so I set out to discover exactly what it was all about.”
|Vintage flair … Dita Von Teese demonstrates the overwire bra.|
It was a journey that would start in a strip club, take her across continents and end 15 years later where she reigns as undisputed Queen of the vaudeville art. Von Teese who tours her famous stage show is about to embark on her most ambitious project to date. She’ll be performing four numbers in elaborate, heavy costumes that will see her on stage for over an hour and half. Does she exercise?: “So much. All the time. I’m not one of those women who say they do nothing. I eat healthily and I work out constantly – pilates, ballet class and yoga. I do it to keep my figure but also because I need to be fit – my costumes are 60 pounds.”
In Australia for L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival to launch Von Follies, a lingerie line for Target, Von Teese found inspiration for the range in her art and underwear archive from the 1940’s. “I’ve brought back the Over Wire Bra (a technique prevalent in the early 1950’s where the wire sat at the top not the base of the bust). It was hard to convince the team that woman would want this style again but watching the reaction on faces – I know it’s time and that it will work”.
The collection is full of blacks, pale pink, tulle, ruffles and polka dots and represents great value with prices starting at just $17. It’s also refreshingly inclusive size-wise ranging from 8-20 in an AA cup through to E. “I don’t want everyone to look like me – far from it – I want women to embrace eclectic, unique beauty and be proud when they break the traditional mould.”
Von Follies by Dita Von Teese is available now at Target.