6/10/2008

Pop-culture woman of the week - Dita Von Teese


Name: Dita Von Teese
Born: September 28, 1972, West Branch, Michigan
Married to: Marilyn Manson (2005-2007)
Children: None
Occupation: Burlesque artist

She was born as Heather Sweet in Michigan and was from an early age fascinated with the classic retro style, glamour models like Bettie Page and fancy lingerie. She began at an early age to work in a lingerie shop and her fascination and knowledge of the subject started there.

She went to college and studied historical costuming with the goal of becoming a stylist for period films. She is a trained costume designer. Her knowledge of clothing and her retro-style she is now a regular feature on 'best dressed'-lists at important parties and gatherings in the US and she has done much to make the retro-look popular in main stream circles.

At the age of 19 she started to work as a stripper, found the regular acts that was performed boring and made her own style shine through there too. She eventually turned to be a glamour and fetish model and also did some soft porn. She did some shoots for Playboy, which also literally made her name. She had before been known as Dita, but they wanted a last name and she picked 'Von Treese' in the phone book. They misspelled it, but she liked it so much that she kept it. According to Dita herself it was the modelling for Playboy that finally made her father accept her career.

She is most famous for her great efforts in helping with the revival of the Neo-Burlesque with elaborate dance-numbers much inspired by the old musicals of the 1930's and 40's. One of her most famous numbers include the ending with her submerged in a giant martini glass, complete with a gigantic olive. She is also the first ever guest star to perform at the Crazy Horse in Paris.

She has been in a few films in recent years, one being The Death of Salvador Dali, but claims that acting is not something she is very interested in pursuing and just does it when she finds a part that she really likes. She claims not to use stylists since they would fail to understand her clothing style, she dyes her hair black herself (she is actually a blond) and she does her own makeup.

She met her future husband Marilyn Manson through her web-site and he was a fan of hers who wanted her to perform in one of his music videos. They kept in touch and on his birthday in 2001 they became a couple. They got engaged (him giving her a diamond ring from the 1930's) in 2004 and got married a year later at a private ceremony. In January 2007 Marilyn Manson as given the divorce papers (Dita having left their home at Christmas) after he was having an affair with another woman. She has received no financial support after the divorce, nor has she sought to do so.

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