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What a Teese!


Raven-haired Dita Von Teese, former fetish model-turned-burlesque-seductress is attaching her garter belts to Bloomingdale’s. She also operates a line called Von Follies in Australia.

A premium line of lingerie born on Dita Von Teese’s drawing board forayed into Bloomingdale’s stores in March this year. The partnership between the burlesque star and the brand is a special one as the lingerie collection for Bloomingdale’s is Teese’s first premium lingerie line for the US market. With this new collection, the diva hopes that her creations will “inspire women to wear lingerie for themselves and not to please other people”.

“It’s so very exciting to be doing this with Bloomingdale’s, because I am fascinated with lingerie. In fact, my first job was in a lingerie store. I later created sexy-looking pinups and began collecting vintage lingerie. That’s what sparked my career,” she stated.

She added: “My whole career and every aspect of it is about do-it-yourself glamour. I do not run with an entourage of makeup stylists, and I don’t have someone dictating to me what is the right thing to wear. I don’t have anyone advising me. Each of my products – my lingerie, my perfume, and everything that I do beauty-related with regard to building my burlesque shows – is just me. And I’m really into the motto: I can do it, you can do it. It’s not magic; you just have to have the ambition, patience, and desire to create it yourself. It has a special meaning to be able to offer these kinds of products at an affordable price to other women who are looking for glamour in their everyday lives.”

The style icon and fashion muse for Jean Paul Gautier, Von Teese is no stranger to designing lingerie or beauty and her new lingerie that gives a nod to the vintage era with ultra-femme details like velvet ribbons, eyelash lace trim and control mesh. “I’ve been a long-time collector of vintage. I have an enduring affection for lingerie, but also as most people know, retro style. And, I really wanted to use the knowledge that I have derived from my first job when I was 15. I worked at a lingerie store as a bra-fitter and buyer. For this collection, I wanted to bring together fit, function, and affordability with touches of glamour and retro style,” says Teese about her design influences. Her love for the classic goes beyond clothes, as she declares: “I have a ’53 Cadillac, a ’46 Ford convertible, and a ’39 Packard. I don’t allow anyone to drive it except for my mechanic.”

It is these influences that are evident in her luxury boudoir pieces. The lingerie collection is old-school and sexy, inspired by various eras. However, influences from the 30s to the 50s are most prominent. To reflect the different ideas that were involved in creating the new designs, the store will divide the line into various groups: a Parisienne group that will feature ultra-feminine pieces, a group that will feature several leopard printed pieces and other groups with suggestive names such as Savoir Faire, Her Sexellency, Sheer Witchery and Man Catcher. That, however, is not the only reason Teese is confident the pieces will fly off the shelves. “I’ve always loved having beautiful lingerie in my wardrobe, and I’ve never saved beautiful lingerie just for seduction purposes or for when someone else is going to see it. So, it was really important to me to make these pieces work well under clothing and give good shaping. They are pieces that you can wear comfortably, so you’re not compromising beauty and glamour for fit and function,” she says.

Considering that it is Teese’s, the collection also boasts of a number of pieces that one could wear under a sheer blouse or with the top suggesting its presence under a suit. As Teese purrs: “I’ve always loved little hints of what’s underneath, without showing too much. It’s a way of being seductive yet elegant at the same time.”

More words of wisdom pour from Teese, the world’s favourite poster-girl, for some real, smouldering, old-world glamour and pizzazz. The star, very convincingly, advocates the use of garter belts as going much beyond the bedroom by saying: “I never equated garter belts with sex; I just thought that was what you wore when you were old enough to wear hosiery. I have been obsessed with them ever since I was a little girl. I equated them with old-Hollywood glamour and pin-up glamour. I just think they make more sense, too. Instead of dishing out a tonne of money for tights only to get a hole in one leg, if you buy a garter and two or three pairs of one style of stockings, if you get a run in one, pull it off, throw it in the trash and then put on another one. When choosing a garter belt, pick one with metal clips; plastic clips don’t stay. I also like ones with six straps instead of four, as six will keep the seams of your stockings from going crooked.”

The boudoir-inspired collection, which retails for between US$ 28 and US$ 300, takes cues from Teese’s own wardrobe of lingerie, primarily hailing from the 40s and 50s.

When asked about the one piece of lingerie every woman must have in her wardrobe, she exclaims: “A set of black lace lingerie that fits one perfectly and is both sophisticated and sexy at the same time. Whenever I buy a good bra, I always buy several different pairs of the underwear – the bikini, the brief, the string – as many options that are offered because it gives your set longer wear and then you have an entire wardrobe. A good, sturdy garter belt with metal clips that fit well and functions well is also something that I buy. I love black lace over a splash of colour. Also, having a fabulous robe can make you feel good about yourself. Nice comfortable loungewear goes a long way in making you look good. If you look in the mirror in some stained T-shirt or old sweats, I don’t think that can be too good for anyone to do too often!”

She also added that women should not wait for special occasions to wear their best things. According to her: “I don’t put lingerie on for someone else. I put it on because it makes me feel good and more like a woman. Even as a little girl, it made me feel like a lady … I’m trying to change women’s lives and their points of view about lingerie because the lines of what’s sexy and what’s not sexy have been blurred. Why would a woman wait for a special occasion to wear her nicest things? I want to give women accessible glamour with my lingerie collection.”

While there is talk about an Indian brand trying real hard to bring Bloomingdale’s Dita collection to India, even if it does happen, it is likely to take a while before you step into Teese-style cups. For an easy way out, get an NRI relative to get you some Teese. The new lingerie pieces for the Dita Von Teese for Bloomingdale’s line will have prices between US$ 65 and US$ 100 for bras, US$ 25 to US$ 55 for panties and as much as US$ 400 for a full slip that doubles as a dress.