It's because Heather Sweet, from Michigan, once realized that she would never look like a swimsuit model that Dita Von Teese, an implacable mass of carefully applied makeup, weaponized sex appeal, retro glamour and immaculate everything, even exists. Sweet, whose burlesque revue "Strip Strip Hooray" arrives at the House of Blues for four shows starting Thursday, began as a lingerie saleswoman, fetish model and stripper, transforming herself along the way into the more exotic Von Teese. She slowly, inexorably built herself into a brand and her brand into a mini-empire, complete with endorsement deals and her own perfume and lingerie lines. In a recent phone interview, Von Teese, 40, was polite and practical, an evangelist for self-made beauty: She seemed less like a figure of mystique and more like a disconcertingly regular girl who just happens to be both the ex-wife of Marilyn Manson they're still friendly and a self-described "aesthetic control freak" who takes serious, almost existential issue with casual footwear like Crocs "I just feel like there are things that are for home". Here are some highlights from the edited transcript.
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Dress by Elenareva. Shoes by Christian Louboutin. Fantasy, mystery and sensuality are so deeply ingrained into the mythos of Dita Von Teese that it's hard to imagine a young woman — one who revered the alabaster-skinned leading ladies of old Hollywood from her small Michigan town — named Heather Sweet, once existed in her place. As far back as the age of 15, when she began working in a lingerie store, Von Teese was fascinated by the studied, off-kilter beauty and hyper-femininity of s and '40s cinema idols like Betty Grable and Dita Parlo from whom she takes her name. Over the years, these early interests, coupled with her background in ballet, and forays into historical costuming and costume design, conflated to become Dita Von Teese, a persona so organically constructed that it is almost impossible to tell where and if the fantasy ever ends. The burlesque star's eponymous debut studio album stretches the carefully developed illusion even further, framing the raven-haired provacateuress as a clear-eyed master of the seductive arts; a woman who revels in her unbridled sensuality, and recognizes the power of her passion. Beyond that, it also marks Von Teese's first true and proper foray into the world of music. Perhaps it would be an odd revelation particularly in an interview about an album release were it not for the fact the year-old entrepreneur is indeed much better known for her illustrious burlesque career and impeccable fashion sense than she is for having a singer career. In truth, the latter just so happened to fall directly into her lap. Still, I've always had this fantasy about recording some songs.
The Burlesque Star Opens Up About Looks, Love and Loneliness
The burlesque star sat down with the Daily Record to chat about metoo, marrying Marilyn Manson and her upcoming show at Edinburgh's Playhouse. Queen of Burlesque Dita Von Teese has witnessed levels of Hollywood sleaze that would pack the pages of a pulp fiction novel. The year-old dancer, entrepreneur and designer has had to rebuff advances from Los Angeles power brokers and fight off attempted sexual assaults. Dita also got invites to parties by Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie producer who is now facing multiple charges of sexually abusing women. The casting couch has been around for a long time. Dita explained her own experiences. When I worked in a store, a guy came in and tried to wrestle me down behind the counter. She hopes Scots will be dazzled by a pole-dancing craze that has swept America. Women in Scotland might be next. Put that pole in the front room.
Burlesque has become a place for an alternative feminist movement. I just started doing it because it was fun and something cool that nobody else was doing. We get to decide if we want to be objectified. The pair I have in my living room at home in Los Angeles are my best taxidermy score for sure. I got them on eBay. A good car is a good investment. I just bought a Woodill convertible, a very rare kit car. Losing George Michael was a body blow. Working with him [on his stage show] was a high point in my life.