“Oh, I’m his type. I’m every guy’s type.” – Claudia – Kingpin.
The illustrious Dita Von Teese, a name ubiquitous amongst burlesque fans and performers. She is the pinnacle of pin ups, the lustrous gem of femme fatales and the entrepreneurial consort to haute-couture. Her status as a burlesque star and modern-day feminist has seen her become one of the most influential women of our modern era. In the first of this series of Powerful Women, Dita Von Teese spoke exclusively to us about fashion, cars, nutrition and of course, Bond!
What styling pet peeves do you have?
Not a big fan of people spending the whole day in their sweaty workout wear…the athleisure trend is rampant in Los Angeles.
What do you like to wear in your downtime?
I usually wear either a vintage cotton day dress with flats or simple black high waisted cigarette pants paired with ballet flats and a cardigan sweater or slim fit tee shirt.
We have heard you don’t own denim jeans. Why is that?
I don’t know, it just seems far more complicated to pull together a jeans look that looks chic rather than just pull the zipper up on a vintage dress. I just never had any aspirations to wear jeans. I wore them when I was a little girl because I wasn’t allowed to wear my nice dresses except on holidays, so I guess I figure that as an adult I can wear whatever I want, and jeans aren’t one of those things. Everyone has jeans; it feels good not to have them! Plus it’s a funny Halloween costume for me to wear jeans.
In terms of fitness are there any methods of fitness that you hate but have to do?
Cardio. I hate it. Fortunately my trainer is good at making it fun and quick.
Has your attitude towards nutrition changed at all as you’ve got older?
Yes, for sure. I haven’t had a soda in almost 20 years, and every time I try to drink some now, I just can’t, it tastes disgusting, overly sweet and artificial. And as I got older, I realized that fast food is merely recreational eating…it’s not actually food. It’s just for fun, occasionally, like at 4am after a party a couple times a year. I try to have discipline on a daily basis so I can eat what I want for the most part. When you eat cleaner, you can really notice the effects that sugar, carbs and heavy foods have on how you feel. If you eat that stuff all the time you just get used to feeling crappy!
What are the most common misconceptions of Burlesque?
I’m not sure…I guess people ask me a lot what it’s like having all those men staring at me, and the thing is the audience is about 80% women. I can’t speak for all burlesque, but my fans are mostly women. It’s easy to see the truth in that at my shows when you see the glammed-up audience, and all my social media stats are very telling; 75% women, 25% men, and I suspect that most of the men are gay men because I also have a large LGBTQ following.
Have you got any plans to release a third book?
Well, my most recent book Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour is actually my third book, but yes, I will write more books. I have an offer to do a follow up to that one now.
When can we next see you in the UK?
I’m looking for the right promoter to host Burlesque: Strip Strip Hooray! in the UK. We just did a solid month of sold out shows in Australia that broke sales records. The other thing I know about my social media stats is that my biggest audience is in the UK, so I think it’s high-time I finally bring my show there.
What car do you drive to the shops in? And also what car would you like to own that you don’t already?
I have a 1940 La Salle convertible and a 1953 Cadillac, but I also have a modern daily driver. I love classic cars, I’ve had at least one in my life since I was 25. I’m pretty happy with the cars I have now, but I guess I’d love to have more. I’d love a lead sled, a real slick, evil black 50s Merc….
What is your favourite platform for social media, if any?
I mostly use instagram and Facebook, and using snapchat a bit. I’m @ditavonteese across all channels.
Who is your favourite Bond and Bond girl?
I can’t say I’ve ever watched any except Casino Royale…