Dita Von Teese

Burlesque Dancer, Model & Designer. Los Angeles

By: Stacie Brockman

“I think that as long as burlesque performers are creating new and interesting acts instead of just replicating what was done in the past, and as long as people understand the spirit of what burlesque is and create shows that are about that, it can live on,” burlesque beauty-turned-actress-turned-designer, Dita Von Teese told us. “The fact that we survived the Christina Aguilera movie says something already. Slowly but surely people are starting to understand what it is more and that it’s not about dancing girls singing 'Fever' and 'Big Spender.’"

Von Teese has a quiet confidence, and yet an effortless poise to her. She may be soft spoken, but she spoke candidly with us about everything, including her beauty horror story of getting sucked down the rabbit hole of fancy face creams and regimes. We caught up with her at the swanky Carlyle Hotel, which definitely has that retro Frank-Sinatra-was-here charm synonymous with Von Teese’s signature style. The picturesque view overlooking all of N.Y.C. played backdrop to many of Von Teese’s custom, embellished Louboutins, bejeweled cowgirl boots and all.

“There are a lot of pairs that [Christian] has made specially for me that I wear over and over and over, and they are usually basic black with a perfect shaped heel. I’m a big fan of the simple black pump.” And she doesn’t play favorites! “Because all the shoes that I wear on stage that he made me are very special to me. No one else in the world has a pair like them!”

And for all of us striving to channel our inner Von Teese, there’s good news. In addition to her hip-hugging, throwback-style dresses she designed and is currently selling exclusively through our friends Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos of Decades, she just released a sensual line of scandalous lingerie for HSN, as well as two perfumes. After collecting vintage lingerie since her teenage years (even working in a lingerie store!), Von Teese pulled together inspiration from books, pin-ups, lingerie catalogues from the 40s and 50s to build a vintage collection that she would want to wear.

And though we still can’t quite figure out how she dances around half naked in those sky-high heels and that waist-cinching corset, we do believe that the most important garments every woman wears are her undergarments. So we can only trust that Von Teese’s collection is made to bring all the boys (and girls!) to the yard.