OH LA LA! We chat to Dita!

08 October 2009



Between gracing the Dior FROW in Paris and promoting her new Party Edition line for Wonderbra, Dita Von Teese is a pretty busy lady at the moment. GraziaDaily manages to grab some time with the iconic burlesque star to chat about lingerie mishaps, John Galliano and why she could never be a pop star…

GD: First off, how’s Paris? It must have been amazing being on the front row for Dior!

Dita: The shows have been great and Dior was great. I’ve only been to three shows though, I’m mainly out here promoting my new Wonderbra range.

GD: The show had an incredible Film Noir feel about it with the gangster silhouettes, lingerie and sharp tailoring – do you feel you were a sort of muse for the line and the idea of the 'Dior heroine'?

Dita: I don’t know about that, but John Galliano and I have the same sort of influences – he has an obsession with the same things I do.

GD: Have you bought anything out there?

Dita: Well I have my eye on something. A suit from Lanvin, but I’m trying to decide whether I deserve it or not!

GD: How would you describe your relationship with Galliano?

Dita: I don’t know him that well but I see him backstage after the shows.

dita von teese

GD: You’ve worked with Wonderbra since 2008 – why do you think the collaboration works so well?

Dita: I think it is mostly because we have the same theory about lingerie. Lingerie is actually what got me started as a pin up and in burlesque. I’ve always loved the idea of beautiful lingerie underneath clothing… pieces that are functional as well as pretty which is what Wonderbra does so well. This collaboration is what I was always looking for in my own lingerie collection.

GD: You’ve just launched a Party Edition line for them – what are the most important things to think about when designing lingerie?

Dita: I love the details of nostalgic lingerie. There was a lot of care put into making them so they’re aesthetically beautiful as well as comfortable. It was a time when things, from furniture to cars, were made for the design factor. I also love retro lingerie so that has also influenced me.

GD: Do you have a favourite item in the collection?

Dita: The colours of the Satine Tease collection are very sexy and elegant, and you can choose from amethyst and black, or red and black.

GD: As someone who started off working in a lingerie store, you obviously know a lot about the subject – what are the key things to think about when choosing lingerie?

Dita: The most important thing is quality and fit. I also always buy two pairs of panties for each bra as bras have more longevity and you’ll change your panties more often. I always buy the thong and briefs for options. A lot of people also wear the wrong bra size, you shouldn’t just guess it. Also, get a special set of lingerie in black or a festive fabric for when you’re in a romantic mood, like my Wonderbra Party Edition.

GD: Have you ever had any lingerie mishaps while performing?

Dita: Oh all the time, but it’s part of a live performance. Part of being a good performer is reacting and thinking and covering it up. You have to endear the audience to you. It’s the same in real life. I get lipstick on my teeth or trip in my shoes – it’s about how you deal with it. Any situation can be made elegant.

GD: Does any really cringe-worthy moment stick in your mind though?

Dita: I have lots of memories of my stockings and seams going crooked, but there’s nothing wrong with fixing a garter, especially if you’re on a really great date!

GD: What has been your biggest style mistake over the years?

Dita: I don’t really feel that way. I’ve always been really true to what I want to wear. I don’t use a stylist and have always been faithful and consistent with my personal style. The only thing I sometimes think is I should have posed differently, or when I’m on a photo shoot and I’m talked in to something like not wearing my red lipstick or having waved hair. But I stand by my choices.

dita von teese

GD: What do you think has been the key to your success in the burlesque industry? Why have you stood out so much?

Dita: I started performing in 1991 before it was cool. I’ve loved it and worked hard, I’m creative and self-made. It could be that or it could be luck and being in the right place at the right time. But I like to think it’s because I’ve worked hard and not just cashed in on what’s cool at the time.

GD: Would you ever consider turning your burlesque career into a singing one?

Dita: I know myself and what makes me different. No one could sell me an idea of a formula for success for a pop star, do this and this and you’ll be successful like all these other pop stars. No one could talk me into that.

GD: Can you sing?

Dita: (laughs) I’m not a good singer. I have recorded some Hollywoodesque songs in that Marilyn Monroe style but I lip synched them when I performed them at The Crazy Horse Paris. It would be much too difficult to sing and dance burlesque at the same time!

GD: Is there a particular item you just can’t live without at the moment?

Dita: My opera-length leather gloves by Moschino.


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