If you took the structured elegance of ‘50s-era women’s fashion, stirred in a touch of dark gothic charm, and wrapped it all up in a modern-day feminist Snow White, you’d get Dita Von Teese. This woman singlehandedly stole my heart, taught me to always, always, always accent my beauty mark when putting on my makeup, and planted the pearl of confidence in me to be sexy on my own terms, and not give a damn about what anyone else thinks—and has done the same for many other women via her unapologetic presence. Von Teese’s unique brand of cheeky yet elegant glamour shines through in her myriad roles as burlesque dancer, lingerie designer, model, singer, businesswoman, and actress. Love her or hate her, Von Teese is undeniably an icon, and she is here to stay.
Ahead of her appearance at the Moore Theatre this Sunday, Von Teese shared a delightful sneak peek of what’s to come (the show she brings to Seattle is also her newest): “I decided to revisit the bubble dance I used to do at the very start of my burlesque career, a tribute to Sally Rand, but this is with a new twist, and with one of my biggest props,” Von Teese told me over e-mail.
The mystery prop has been in retirement for more than 15 years, but if Von Teese feels it’s time for a reveal, it’s time to get ready for some real fun. (For those unfamiliar with Von Teese’s performances, her props add to an atmosphere of surreal sexiness akin to a kink-friendly version of Alice in Wonderland: one such fantastical performance features Von Teese splashing around in a giant martini glass.)
“I like to play with sensual ideas and even clichés, always with a dash of humor, but I always let my own personality come through in every act,” she explained. “I always just like the idea of inspiring other people to play with fantasies, and fit themselves into those fantasies.”
If you have never seen Von Teese perform, watching the woman move is a painting of seductive opulence in motion, with lots of luxurious feathers, sparkling crystals, and ornate props that prove to be a good time for both Von Teese and her lucky audiences. “For me, I like burlesque to feel uncontrived, fun, playful,” said Von Teese. “I think it's sexy to be yourself, no matter what the exterior you choose to present is.”
Dita Von Teese and the Copper Coupe lands in town this Sun., June 17. Tickets were still available at the time of this writing.