Dita Von Teese in Burlesque High Heels
Dita Von Teese was born Heather Renée Sweet on September 28, 1972 in the USA.
Von Teese is well known for her fascination with 1940s cinema and classic retro style and consequently is one of today's most well known exponents of Burlesque.
Her interest in burlesque began at an early age and was encouraged by her mother, who would buy clothes for her daughter to dress up in. Her mother was a fan of the golden era of Hollywood and it was from her that Von Teese developed a fascination with the actresses of that day, such as Betty Grable.
Von Teese began her career in a local strip club when she was just eighteen. Surprised by the lack of originality in all the other strippers' acts, she created a burlesque-inspired outfit, with beehive hairstyle and elbow-length gloves coupled with a basque and black seamed stockings and stiletto high heels, and she became an immediate success.
It was during this time at the strip club that she began some glamour modeling, before she moved on to become a fetish model. Her retro burlesque look, clearly set her apart from most other fetish models.
Von Teese is best known for her burlesque routines and is frequently dubbed "the Queen of Burlesque" by the media. She began performing burlesque in 1993 and, as a proponent of New Burlesque has helped to popularize its revival. In her own words, she "puts the tease back into striptease" with long, elaborate dance shows with retro lingerie and sexy high heels plus a host of characters, often inspired by 1930's and 1940's musicals and films.
Some of her more famous dances have involved a carousel horse, a giant powder compact, a filigree heart and a clawfoot bathtub with a working shower head. Not easy to do when you are wearing a pair of stilettos!
Her feather fan dance, inspired by burlesque dancer Sally Rand, featured the world's largest feather fans, now on display in Hollywood's Museum Of Sex. Her most celebrated performance features a giant Martini Glass.
Her burlesque career has included some unforgettable shows. She once appeared at a benefit show in New York wearing only $5 million worth of diamonds. Additionally, Von Teese became the first guest star to perform at the Crazy Horse cabaret club in Paris in October 2006. Also in 2006, she appeared in an episode of America's Next Top Model doing a workshop to teach the contestants about sexiness by means of burlesque dancing and posing.
In 2007 Von Teese performed at the adult entertainment event Erotica 07 in England along with Italian Rock Band Belladonna.
What is Burlesque?