Dita Von Teese bound to provoke

Dita Von Teese

Von Teese bound to provoke

The queen of the slow, sequinned striptease is on the phone, talking sex, seamed stockings and more sex.

What are you wearing right now, Dita?

Actually, I didn't even have to ask. The woman who was born Heather Sweet, who claims that without make-up she's an ordinary looking natural blonde from Michigan state, has come straight from work-out to interview.

"I wear, like, black simple Capri pants and a shapely T-shirt."

No baggy trackpants?

"I don't like looking in the mirror and feeling sloppy. It's not good for me and it's not good for how I feel about myself, so why do it?"

Dita Von Teese is a self-made sexpot who makes no excuses for her particular brand of manufactured feminity.

"A lot of women are looking for an alternative role model for 'sexy' than just that natural beauty who looks great in a bikini running on the beach with blonde hair flowing and no makeup.

"That's like our beauty icon of modern times. I never felt like I could fit into that, because I am not that. Maybe I stand for someone who is an alternative, who is telling people that you can make yourself into something sexy instead of being born with it."

The Art of the Teese, re-released this month, is the step-by-step bible to being Dita.

"Glamour above all things is what I say," she writes in the introduction.

"There was a time when a lady dressed to the nines no matter what her destination. This great girl wore seamed stockings and garter belts every single day. She curled her eyelashes and she set her hair in luscious waves.

"She painted her lips a flushed, rich scarlet. Wherever the day took her, she wore high heels and satin gloves to her elbows, soaring cocque feathers and veils of the finest netting over her eyes. And so do I."

Take-home message: Anyone can be Dita if they can afford a $10,000 corset that sucks 16cm off their waist; if they have time to paint their nails perfectly; if crucially they don't mind getting their gear off.

Von Teese, 36, has led a worldwide revival of burlesque, the art of getting all-but-naked to music, that had its heyday when dancers such as Sally Rand and Gypsy Rose Lee dominated the American stage.

Von Teese bound to provoke | Stuff.co.nz


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