Dita Von Teese: Burlesque Performer
March 4, 2013
When it comes to burlesque, Dita Von Teese is the Meryl Streep of the industry. Taking a cue from the golden age of cinema and classic pin-up imagery, Teese has become the ultimate glamour girl of our time. Named the “Burlesque Superheroine” by Vanity Fair, this performer thinks only outside the box. Perhaps that’s why designers like Christian Louboutin, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Chopard and Cartier have all called on her to perform at their events. Teese and her burlesque shows are the living, breathing, dancing equivalents of eye candy.
And speaking of eye candy, it didn’t take long for Teese to become a world-renowned fashion icon, topping more best-dressed lists than some of our favorite actresses. The real question is, is anyone really keeping tabs on what this star is eating? Not enough, which is why we chatted with Teese about everything food, still leaving time for a bit about burlesque, closet-switching and stripteases…
If you want great burlesque, what are your personal favorite places around the world to go for it?
I don’t really go to many burlesque shows, but I obviously have to mention my own full length revue which is called Strip Strip Hooray! and stars the creme de lá creme of the very best burlesque acts from all over the world. Each performer in the show has been chosen by me because they represent the most unique, show-stopping numbers that keep the hour and a half long revue at a wildly raucous pace. I would also recommend The Crazy Horse Paris, which isn’t exactly authentic burlesque-style striptease, but it is historic, and the most elegant erotic cabaret of all time. It never disappoints.
Current LA spots we’d be sure to find old Hollywood film stars…
Musso and Frank Grill in Hollywood, The Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge, and I’m sure The Oviatt Penthouse would be the perfect place for an illicit old Hollywood tryst.
You never liked X till you tried it at X…
You probably never loved healthy green smoothies and juices until you’ve tried Kimberly Snyder’s elixirs at Glow on Melrose.
What’s the drink you just discovered?
Steaming hot peppermint tea with a shot of Cointreau in it.
What’s the drink that takes you back in time?
A Cointreau Sidecar or a White Lady.
What’s your new favorite place to travel to?
For New Year’s, I went on a romantic trip to an antique storybook-style log cabin in a snowy forest near Lake Tahoe. We spent the days sledding and snowshoeing, and the night mulling wine and making comfort food. After spending the past few years indulging in exotic and fancy European travels, my favorite new thing is to visit obscure, unique place in the United States – and taking road trips. I really want to go glamping in a vintage airstream trailer!
What won’t you travel without?
Glamorous clothes! For me, dressing up in kitsch and over-the-top outfits for my trips is half the fun.
LA restaurants that are time capsules…
Musso and Frank Grill, Canters, Chez Jay in Santa Monica, Formosa Cafe and The Apple Pan
Your go-to recipe for eating in…
If I’m just cooking for myself, I roast slices of japanese kobucha squash with coconut oil and sea salt, and I use the leftovers to make a velvety pureéd soup. If I’m entertaining, I make my famous chicken pot pie.
A trend that’s starting to grow on you…
Instagram, but mostly I just like to view other people’s pictures, since I personally use a protected photo service.
A trend you simply don’t get…
Jeans. Not comfortable!
The places you go for the atmosphere…
The Good Luck Bar and The Madonna Inn
The new thing you like to bring to a dinner party…
My Cointreau travel bar
The new thing you like to have out when hosting one…
My antique typewriter for guests to write notes on.
Where do you go for inspiration?
My library of vintage books and magazines in my house.
The one person you’ve always wanted to switch closets with…
I would trade for the entire Christian Dior haute couture archives from the 1950s through the John Galliano years! But I don’t covet any one person’s closet, because I can’t think of anyone who has my exact style, and I don’t want to get stuck with someone’s jeans and strappy sandals along with the good stuff.
What are some restaurants that never go out of style?
The Beverly Hills Polo Lounge, Musso and Frank Grill
What’s not present on the LA scene yet, that should be?
A carefully-curated burlesque club with authentic, beautiful and risqué striptease acts rather than the same old “faux-lesque” shows with hip-hop dancers singing “Fever” with feather boas. If I never had to see another hot babe in fishnets singing “Big Spender” or “Fever” it will be too soon.
If you could have a dinner party with any five people, living or dead, who would be there? What would you perform?
I have to perform at my own dinner party?? That’s not very fun!
Salvador Dali, Mae West, Marchesa Casati, Betty Grable, Henry Miller