Striptease and Burlesque dancer Dita Von Tease

Dita Von Tease


Back when Dita von Tease was approaching her 18th birthday she knew exactly what she wanted to do she passed that milestone “ As soon as I was of legal age I wanted to take my clothes off and be photographed recreating old pin ups”. Von Tease {still known then by her birth name, Heather Sweet, and working in a lingerie shop where she had held a position since the age of 15} arranged a shoot with a photographer who had taken pictures of her older sister for Penthouse, and posed in just a pink and black corset. She gave the pictures to her then boyfriend for his birthday.
A decade and a half later, the 33 year old’s enthusiasm for channelling the spirit of of the original pin ups and burlesque performers such as Gypsy Rose Lee, Lili St Cry, and Sally Rand won her international acclaim. Last year Vanity Fair called her a “ burlesque superheroine” for the striptease spectacles she stages at parties and in clubs { bathing in a giant martini glass with an olive shaped sponge, or emerging from an outsized powder compact in pointe shoes and a marabou tutu}.

She has ascended to become an adorded insider in the world of high fashion. Jean Paul Gaultier offered her a kid in a candy store moment last year by inviting her into his couture archieve. “ There were gowns they don’t even let out to the Academy Awards, and Mr Gaultier said “ If you want to wear this stuff to the grocery store ,feel free”. Vivienne Westwood, who made the purple silk taffeta wedding gown for her December nuptials to theatrically dark rock star Marylin Manson, has described her as “ mind blowing with the smallest waist, like a drawing from a fairy tale, like snow white”.

Von Tease and Manson


Von Tease and Manson first met at a Santa Monica vintage clothing fair in 1999 and, fittingly, their wedding { in Ireland} is featured in the current issue of American Vogue. Now that the spotlight has swivelled it’s full glare on von Tease, she is making the most of it. She and Manson have not taken a honeymoon yet, after their wedding they flew to be photographed in a circus themed shoot for the relaunch issue of Harpers Bazaar, and she is currently promoting her new book, Burlesque and the Art of the Tease, stacked with lavish photos. “ It’s not anything deep, it’s just a fun book with great pictures. I dust off some charcters in burlesque history, and tell my own story”.
Save for frequently hopping on and off planes , she seems to have found her particular form of domestic bliss in Chatsworth, a quiet superb of LA, with her husband, 4 cats, and two cars, a 1939 Chrysler, “ the big gangster kind with suicide doors”, and a 1965 Jaguar S type “ the pretty one with the grill”. Their home also contains some memorabila eg one of Betty Grable’s corsets, letters from Gypsy Rose Lee, and a “ momento Sally Rand used to sell at her shows in 1938, a handknit penis and ball cover, pretty racy huh !”.

Nonsense business woman


Tease sees herself as a no nonsense business woman “ I learnt a lot reading about Betty Page and how she had no money in the end because she did not own any of her images”. In her early 20s she started to make a name for herself “ I worked in a store selling cosmetics and danced in a strip club, as well as fetish modelling. I was doing all this at once so I never felt a slave to being a model. I would shoot what I wanted to shoot and get paid what I wanted to get paid”.
She set up her first web site in 1992 and her biggest breakthrough came in 2002 when she made the cover of Playboy. “ There were times my parents were not so sure about what I was doing, all the bondage modelling and stripping. When I made the cover of Playboy my father suddenly had much more respect for what I did”.

More information on Dita can be found in

Dita Von Teese respects strippers of all forms

Classic striptease artists

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Author: Saxon is covering the European Striptease industry with monthly updates on or famous London Gossip, Interviews with industry people, articles and news from the world of striptease. We also offer a Striptalk forum, Industry Directory with Stripclubs and Agents and a Job board for the Striptease industry in Europe.