Black Swan Dita

Your Best Source Dedicated to Performer Dita Von Teese
February 14th, 2014

DITA VON TEESE says that the key to a truly happy Valentine’s Day is great lingerie – and that goes for single girls as well as those in relationships. As she launches her latest underwear collection, entitled Her Sexellency, she explains how to find the perfect set and demonstrates exactly how to wear it in an exclusive film.

“I’ve spent many many Valentine’s Days as a single girl, and I still love my beautiful lingerie,” she says. “It makes me feel good about myself; it makes me feel like I’m embracing glamour in my everyday life, that I’m ready for moments of seduction whenever they come.”


February 1st, 2014

As a member of the style-conscious Gilt MANual readership, you probably know better than to follow the typical Valentine’s Day playbook. You know, the one that involves picking up some chocolates and flowers at the local drug store, fighting for a dinner reservation, and nodding solemnly at the men at neighboring tables who are also out doing their yearly romantic duty. What you may not know is how to make the holiday feel actually, well, fun. For a little advice on how to cook up an evening that’s romantic, sexy, and enjoyable, we hit up the world’s favorite burlesque goddess, Dita Von Teese, for her take.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, should we guys be striving for originality, or is it best to stick to the classics?
Stick to the classics… A well-penned love or lust letter, a classic erotic book (hardcover only!) with a dedication, flowers, perfume or lingerie that you know she will love. Take notice of the pretty things she buys for herself and try to emulate what works and makes her feel confident. Take a peek in her lingerie drawer and snap pics of her sizes and favorite styles and use that information to choose.

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January 21st, 2014

Danielle Steele caused quite a kerfuffle when she criticized San Francisco in The Wall Street Journal, saying, “There’s no style, nobody dresses up—you can’t be chic there.” For anyone, like Ms. Steele, who has abandoned hope that San Franciscans know how to get dolled up, the crowd at Dark Garden on Sunday was a welcome sight: Throngs of women in corsets and heels and perfect coiffures queueing up for the chance to meet burlesque queen Dita Von Teese.

The raven-haired beauty was at Dark Garden to promote her lingerie line, Von Follies by Dita Von Teese. (The shop, best known for its custom corsets, is currently the only retail location in the city that carries the Von Follies line.) We stole a few minutes with Dita to find out what influenced her lingerie and fragrance lines, who makes the best red lipstick, and how we can up our glamour quotient in 2014.

You’re glamorous and perfect, and we hear that you do your own hair and makeup. What’s your beauty routine like? How long does it take?
“It depends. On a normal day, I would just wear mascara, a bit of powder, red lipstick, and put my hair in a chignon. I can do that in under 10 minutes. That’s my normal day. For an event, I like to turn up the glamour. I spend about an hour getting ready, sometimes an hour and a half.”

Are there any particular red lipsticks that you would recommend?
“I have my favorites. I’m a big fan of a matte red lip. I think that MAC makes some very fine, very very powdery reds, which I really love. NARS makes some nice lip color. I like this brand called Make Up Store, (which is not Makeup Forever). They make some wonderful, very highly pigmented lipsticks, which is something I look for.”

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January 21st, 2014

Raven-haired burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese (born a natural blonde 41 years ago as Heather Renee Sweet) knows a thing or 36D about lingerie. Known from Paris to Pasadena for tastefully taking off her dainties, Von Teese has led the full-blown revival of striptease that continues to gather audiences seeking seduction over sex.

“I’m very surprised at the growing popularity of burlesque,” purrs the polished Von Teese, sitting on a Victorian settee at Dark Garden, the Hayes Valley custom corsetiere where many of her costumes are made. “When I began performing in 1991, I definitely did not think it would become a worldwide phenomenon. And I would never have dreamed I’d still be doing it.”

Von Teese is in town to promote her new Von Follies line of lacy lingerie, which will be carried at Dark Garden. This is the first time the collection will be sold in America, a continuation of her successful line of vintage-inspired bras, garter belts and panties that launched in Australian department stores in 2012.

“I had a lot to prove,” she says. “It was very important to have creative control over every aspect of the design. I’ve been observing the worlds of fetish gear and retro styles for years. I’ve designed the pieces I’ve always wished I could find.”

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November 17th, 2013

She’s the modern-day “Pied Piper of glamour”; renowned for dazzling, Swarovski-encrusted performance costumes, sophisticated burlesque routines and performances in front of fashion’s elite (Marc Jacobs and Christian Louboutin to name a few), with an on-stage presence that’s larger than life. Dita Von Teese takes time out to chat about her new lingerie collection, modern day beauty and everyday glamour.

Glamour Girl, Femme Fatale, whatever you call her, it’s Teese’s flair for reinvention and a self-proclaimed obsession with Golden Age Hollywood that led to a change of identity and career filled with glitz, glamour and femininity.
We sat down with Dita to talk about her new lingerie collection, her love of Technicolour beauty and everything in between…

Congratulations on your new line for Myer, it looks beautiful. What’s the inspiration behind it?
I wanted to do something that has all the little details of retro glamour, but with modernized shapes and styles. I took a lot of influence from my archive of vintage lingerie, but also I have a big library of catalogues and pin up magazines and things like that from the 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s. So I drew a lot of inspiration from that, and then I thought, how I take retro style and make it more accessible, wearable and functional in everyday life?

Source and full interview

November 17th, 2013

Dita Von Teese made a name for herself wearing racy lingerie during her shows as a burlesque dancer, so it’s no wonder she was in Australia to launch her own range of sexy underwear, exclusive to Myer. Kate Waterhouse caught up with the 41-year-old while she was in town to chat about how she maintains her porcelain skin, her hopes to one day start a family and how retirement is not on her agenda.

Source and full interview

July 29th, 2013

'Cleopatra' Premiere - The 66th Annual Cannes Film FestivalDita Von Teese claims that she is a very “modern woman” despite her love of antiques.

The 40-year-old burlesque dancer is famous for her classic style.

The gorgeous performer’s home is filled with antiques and odes to bygone eras.

Despite her penchant for relics, Dita argues that she is equally as in tune with the digital generation as anyone else.

“I’m a modern woman in a lot of ways. I don’t wear vintage shoes; I love technology, and I love Twitter,” she told People magazine.

“But I also love the history of my things. When I discover something rare and wonderful, I feel like it’s my responsibility to make sure it lives on.

“People always say, ‘Oh, she lives in another era.’ But it’s not true. I just love to be surrounded by things of glamour and beauty.”

Dita doesn’t embrace all modernity however.

She is happy with the colourful, bulky and beautifully adorned furniture in her home and couldn’t imagine taking on a modern architectural look.

“I can’t stand modern white interiors. IKEA is my worst nightmare!” she said.

“I can’t imagine living in one of those stark, modern, slick, cold homes.”

Dita is proud of the pinup art and stuffed animals in her property.

She believes her unique items add character to her living space.

“I collect antique or ethical taxidermy – meaning the animals died naturally. I think they’re beautiful,” she explained.


April 10th, 2013

ditaredHello Ms. von Teese! I had the pleasure of seeing you at the Crazy Horse in Vegas a few years ago. I was in heaven. Do you plan to do more Crazy Horse shows? Also, I once read an interview where you said that it only takes you something like 20 minutes to get ready?!? Can you please share with us how this is possible when you always appear so well put-together? I need an hour at least from shower to stepping out the door, with the majority of my time spent blowing out my long-ass hair. It is necessary if I’m to go out without a frizzy mess o’ tangles. Finally, what is your favorite liquid eye-liner, and do you have application tips/tricks?  Thanks in advance! -Lacey

Hello Lacey,
Thank you for your question. I’m asked this often, so I’m pleased to explain my routine in detail for you and readers. Although it does appear that I have a high maintenance-looking beauty style, over the past 15 years, I’ve managed to figure out ways to get ready quickly when I need to. I do not like to keep people waiting for me whenever I can help it, plus I’m usually far too busy to be leisurely primping in front of the mirror, so I have a system in place for glamorizing.
I believe that the keys to maintaining glamour and not being late for things is to is prioritize, focus, and practice. Having a beauty regime in place helps with the time factor. I have definite ideas of which things I need to do for myself to feel confident about facing the world, and those are things that I have become well-practiced at achieving quickly. I advise you to consider what those things are for you. It sounds like your hair is important to you, and it’s at the top of the quintessentials list for me too.
When I have very little time, I stick to the basics that I have decided are important to me. For instance, before leaving the house in the morning for my Pilates class, I will bounce out of bed, brush my teeth, splash my face with water, apply a light moisturizer with SPF, and then a sweep of mattifying powder.
Recently, I’ve discovered a great product called Miracle Skin Transformer (…I don’t work for them, I just like this cream for my busy days). It’s similar to the new “BB” creams that you may have noticed are getting a lot of press lately. These creams have it all; moisturizer, sun protection and beautifying/mattifying in one product. There are lots of options out there, at many different price points, so see what works for you.
The next thing I do is put my hair in a neat twist or chignon, which I can do very quickly. I advise every woman to learn and practice a chic, simple updo that you can do anytime, anyplace. I can do it without even looking in a mirror!
Next I put on a matte red lipstick, because red lips top my personal list of “Things I will NOT leave the house without.” Then I put on a pair of sunglasses and I’m out the door in mere minutes, because I also have a “uniform” for my workout-wear: a simple black fitted tee, black capri pants, ballet flats and a coat if it’s chilly. I can do all of this in under 10 minutes, maybe even less! I think I need someone to break out a stopwatch and start timing my various beauty routines.
So I come home after my workout and I want to get ready for my typical afternoon. Let’s say I plan on going out to lunch with a friend. Not a business lunch, but with someone I’m close to.
I think about my hair. If it’s still feeling clean, I will immediately plug in my hot rollers and take a quick shower. When I get out, if the rollers are hot enough, I do a very quick roller set, with maybe 10 rollers, just to add a bit of bounce and bend. (if they aren’t hot enough yet, I will fill that time by choosing what to wear or washing my face).
Then I do a quick makeup while the rollers cool. On a normal day, I wear a touch of foundation or concealer just where I need it, a sweep of powder (I like MAC Mineralize Skinfinish), a touch of blush, a sweep of ivory eyeshadow, I curl my lashes and apply mascara, and of course, my mandatory red lipstick.
I brush out my hair, and if I like what I see, I spray it and go. If I don’t, it’s time for another chignon. Another trick I have to getting out the door quickly is to think about what to wear while I’m primping. When in doubt, wear something you KNOW you love.
If I have a little more time, and if I’m having a business meeting, I might draw a little cat-eye liner, or I might spend more time setting my hair, or making a more polished french twist. I would say that on a day when I am not being photographed, or going on a date, or going to a party, I rarely spend more than 20-30 minutes on beauty.
If I’m turning on full-power glamour for a red carpet appearance, photo shoot, etc, I like to block out more time. I usually give myself an hour and a half to two hours to allow for things like a leisurely bath, intermittent texting, having a snack (never show up at a cocktail party starving!) mixing a cocktail, playing music, and extra time for any possible wardrobe snafus or those “I have nothing to wear!” moments.
If you’re the kind of girl who loses track of time, try creating a playlist that runs a certain amount of time so that you can notice when you should be getting out the door. I like to put a ridiculous song at the end of my playlist so it’s my obvious cue to hurry up!
I also have clocks everywhere, especially at my vanity. It’s really rude to consistently keep people waiting, and if you show up late with a glamorous look, it can be especially annoying to people because no matter what it is that made you late, they’re likely to think it was your primping that did it, and we don’t need to be giving glamour a bad rap, do we?
To answer your eyeliner questions.
If not, try MAC’s Blacktrack gel liner with a fine brush. I prefer gel liners to liquids usually, but I keep various liquid liners around too. I also likeGuerlain’s glamorous gilded liquid eyeliner wand. The only thing I do not like for drawing cat-eyeliner is a felt tipped liner pen or pencil, but that’s just me, because i like the smoothness of a gel or liquid, and I’ve been using a fine-tipped brush for the 20+ years I’ve been wearing my eyeliner the same exact way.
I’m a creature of habit, and like I said, I think the key to getting a fabulous makeup look is practice, and I don’t like to change what I’ve perfected. I do find that when I don’t wear eyeliner for a while, like when on holiday, or if I’m at home sick, I can’t do it as well or as quickly, even though I’ve been doing it for so many years. So practice, practice, practice!
One simply cannot decide to get a perfect high-glamour look for a special occasion without practice. If you do want to do a new look for a special event, start practicing in your daily routine weeks ahead of time, and why not make some effort to infuse a little extra va va va voom into your day?
Some tips for my cat-eye liner style:
-If you’re using my recommended gel liner in a pot, turn the open pot upside down as you draw to keep it from drying out.
-Decide right away how much “sweep” you want for your cat-eye. I have various styles I like, but I try to decide right away if the flick on the outer corner is going to veer upwards or outwards, or if I’m going big or small, or if I want it thick or thin. There are many different ways to paint, and if you look closely you will see that my styles vary slightly. I go back and forth between each eye until they seem even, checking different angles in the main vanity mirror with my secondary hand-mirror. A lighted round vanity mirror with a slight magnification on one side is ideal. I don’t care for highly magnified mirrors.
-Don’t be hard on yourself if they don’t match perfectly every time. Just keep practicing and do your best!
-I keep a tissue handy and wipe the brush often as the eyeliner might tend to dry and become thick and hard to use. I always wipe the brush clean after use. Throw out dried out gel-liner, it’s too difficult to draw a smooth line with thick liner, which is why I never use pencil.
-If you tend to get watery, allergy eyes as I do sometimes, keep a waterproof liner handy. I love MAC LiquidLast, but you have to be very careful to allow extra drying time or you’ll have an absolute disaster on your hands, because it doesn’t come off easily!
I wear this liner just in the corners when I need it, and I use my usual liner for the rest of my eye. I use LiquidLast by itself when I’m performing a show with lots of water, like my Birdcage show, which rains down water for the finale. It doesn’t budge! With it, you could paint a Maria Callas-worthy cat-eye and go for a swim, emerging from the pool as glamorous as ever!
-I like to clean up liner mistakes with a q-tip with a bit of non-oily makeup remover, and then a use a heavy powder like MAC StudioFix on a flat brush to cover the spot. You can also find pre-treated q-tips at some beauty supply stores.
-Wait for liner to dry before curling lashes and applying mascara. I keep an inexpensive little hand-fan in my beauty kit to dry it quickly.
Lastly, I’m glad you enjoyed my performance at The Crazy Horse Paris in Las Vegas. The Crazy Horse has an incredible history in Paris, I’ve been fascinated with it since I was very young. I may be returning to the authentic Crazy Horse in Paris sometime this spring/summer, so perhaps you can consider coming on over to see me at the original cabaret there that’s been open since 1951! Stay tuned to my website and Twitter for updates on all of my shows, including my full-length revue, Strip Strip Hooray!
Wishing you lots of luck in your glamorous adventures!
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