Dita Von Teese
Born: Rochester, U.S., 1972
Known for her old Hollywood glamour, Dita looks like her stepped out of the silver screen with an impeccable guise that’s both gracious and sultry. Rising to fame through the art of Burlesque, she has equally enticed the fashion industry, turning herself into a modern day, Bettie Page.
Born Heather Renee Sweet on the 28th September 1972 in Rochester, Michigan – Dita began her obsession with the Golden-Era of Hollywood through her mother – with stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Betty Grable proving a source of inspiration for her later looks.
Wanting to lead her life as a ballet dancer, Dita found that she was unable to progress past the age of 15, citing that at that age she was: “as good as I’d ever be”. Working in a lingerie shop during high school, this no doubt acted like kindling for her later performances and eventual entrance into Burlesque.
From 1992 onwards, Dita has been credited as a key player in the revival of Burlesque as an art form; taking the old, playful approach and reinvigorating it with a sensual yet mischievous sensuality. This was even admitted by Dita, when she famously said she: “puts the tease back into Striptease.” Her performance at a benefit for the New York Academy of Art drew headlines when she was covered in $5 million worth of diamonds and only shows her decadent and luxurious appeal that her performances bring to audiences.
Whilst her art brought her attention, her relationships with Peter Sarsgaard and Marilyn Manson sent Dita straight into the pages of the tabloids. Dita became a household name when she and Manson married in 2005 after meeting in 2001 during Marilyn’s 31st Birthday. They ended their marriage in 2007 after irreconcilable differences after disputes over partying and another woman proved too much. Since the divorce, Dita has since been attached to Louis-Marie De Castelbajac, a French aristocrat meaning she now owns homes in Paris and LA.
You can often find Dita perched on the front row of many fashion shows which isn’t a problem seeing as she close with many of the fashion world’s top dogs such as Marc Jacobs, Elie Sabb and Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Officer and Chief Executive Officer for Burberry. Appearing at the Burberry SS 13 show in London, Dita arrived in a tailored floral knee length dress with an umbrella, which, whilst posing dropped and patiently waited for someone to pick it up for her. This graciousness is reflected in her personal style which is a mirage of retro on the fringe of Hollywood Noir, both heroine and damsel combined. This is created through tailored garments that fit her hour glass figure which extenuates the hips and tightens around the chest with low hemlines and necklines that are in keeping with her overall look. Her hair, glossy and tar black is usually softly curled with interweaving locks that recreate the looks of 50’s starlets.
Her ventures outside of the Burlesque world have landed her with a clothing collection titled, Dita Von Teese Muse and a lingerie line called, Von Follie, both launched in spring 2012. Her clothing collection is an extension of her ‘40s look, twisted with vintage and regal sexuality. Those legs that often peep out of a luminous cocktail glass have also walked on the runway when Dita opened for Moschino: Cheap & Chic AW 06/07 and twice for Jean Paul Gaultier in 2010 where she performed a striptease for the audience.
Off the runway, Dita has landed campaigns with Vivienne Westwood in 2005 and became the face of Australian brand, ‘Wheels and Dollbaby’ whilst taking part of the HIV charity fundraiser campaign by Mac: Viva Glam along with fellow CWYS icon, Debbie Harry. Her film work has seen her do guest spots on TV shows such as America’s Next Top Model and CSI; playing a version of herself in 2011. From the screen to paper she has released a book on her style of Burlesque called Burlesque and the Art of the Teese: Fetish and the Art of the Teese.
Dita Von Teese has left an indelible mark on the world of burlesque with her spectacular revues that have redefined the art form. She has presented four full-length revues, including “Strip, Strip, Hooray!”, “The Art of the Teese”, “Dita Von Teese and the Copper Coupe”, and the latest sensation, “Glamonatrix”. These shows have not only become the biggest burlesque productions in history but have also showcased a diverse cast of neo burlesque performers from all corners of the world. In 2018, Dita and her extraordinary cast embarked on a historic European tour, gracing renowned theatres such as the London Palladium, where they mesmerised audiences for five consecutive sold-out nights. They even made burlesque history by bringing their enchanting performance to the prestigious Opera Garnier in Monte Carlo, with His Serene Highness Prince Albert II in attendance, elevating the art form to new heights of grandeur and sophistication.
Adding to her illustrious repertoire, Dita Von Teese annually produces a magnificent New Year’s Eve gala show at the resplendent Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. The opulent event transports attendees back to the Golden Age of vaudeville, as they dress to the nines in vintage style, creating an atmosphere of glamour and decadence that is truly unforgettable.
In 2019, Dita unveiled her newest revue, “GLAMONATRIX,” captivating audiences across Australia and New Zealand. The tour continued its triumphant journey throughout Europe and the UK, beginning in February 2022, and gracing iconic venues such as the historic Folies Bergère for four nights and the legendary London Palladium for an entire week. The tour’s grand finale took place at the illustrious Opera Garnier in Monte Carlo, ensuring a truly dazzling and unforgettable experience for all who attended.
Dita Von Teese’s revues are more than mere performances—they are immersive and transformative experiences that transport audiences into a world of glamour, allure, and the timeless art of burlesque. From sold-out shows at historic theatres to creating magical moments at prestigious venues, Dita continues to push the boundaries of burlesque and inspire audiences around the globe. She has become a maven of sorts to women everywhere showing that, despite fitting into the rest of Hollywood’s elite, remaining true to herself and her influences. She continues to prove this with a band of avid fans and followers and like the icons that she idolised; the same idolisation is being done unto her, vintage style.
Dita Von Teese Biography