She’s the poster girl for Burlesque dancing. The definition of old school glamour. And the woman who can pull off the kind of kind of winged eyeliner that incites both intense jealousy and awe.
After a career that’s spanned decades, Dita Von Teese is showing no signs of halting.
Here in Australia for her Strip Strip Hooray shows and to launch her latest Wheels & Dollbaby cardigan collaboration (it’s an 11 year-long partnership that’s seen Von Teese bring out 26 variations), we caught up with the 43-year-old to talk style and beauty.
Speaking of your lovely new Wheels & Dollbaby cardigan, do you think the humble cardi is the most underrated piece of clothing?
“Absolutely. I love cardigans and I love that this one is stretchy. It’s a nice sexy cardigan, so I wear mine with cigarette pants or a pencil skirt.”
Your style truly embodies that 'old Hollywood' glamour feel. What are your tips for being stylish?
“I invest in a great piece that I really, really love and I wear it for years and years and years. There are certain pieces that I’ve been wearing for 10 years and people compliment me on it and say, ‘Oh my god, that coat is so beautiful’ or, ‘That dress is so great’. It's never cheap clothes that happens with, they are designer pieces. Or they’re pieces I wasn’t going to buy because they were too expensive, but if you shop with care that’s really the key.
"I don’t shop very often, I don’t shop for leisure, I don’t shop to make myself feel better. I buy things that I spend a lot of time thinking about it. I leave it at the store for a few days and decide if I really want it. When I was younger I just used to go and buy everything and have lots of things and I stopped doing that and it’s been great.”
Watch: Mollie Makeup demonstrates winged eyeliner, one of Dita von Teese's signatures. (Post continues after video.)
What are the three classic pieces you think every woman should have in her wardrobe?
“I love a pencil skirt or a dress with the hemline just below the knee. That is an essential; it’s like a perfectly tailored dress. I think a lot of people don’t understand why their clothes don’t look runway-ready, but I think if you invest that little bit of money it can make a difference.
“It’s a great idea to invest in a pair of shoes that you really love and feel really comfortable in — a simple, black pair of pumps is great. I think getting a great pair and then have them resoled every time you need it, because if you wear them a lot they’ll break down and you can extend the life of your shoes.
“Lastly, a great coat so that you have a really beautiful silhouette. I believe in investing in a really nice coat. They can go day to night and look glamorous if you need to."
Your skin is amazing, what’s the secret?
“I don’t have much of a routine. My mother and grandmother have good skin, I’ve never had a problem with acne or anything, but I do have quite sensitive skin. There’s a lot of dryness that can become red. If I have a problem I go and see a professional. I like retinol, that’s good, I have a prescription for it.” (Post continues after gallery.)
Your red lipstick has been your signature look for a long time now, what are your favourite brands and shades?
“It varies, you know, in my beauty book I have a whole chapter on red lipstick. But Mac Ruby Woo is a good classic red that stays on throughout the day. I also love the luxury experience of a scented, red lipstick from YSL with a beautiful fragrance gold case. I do like the experience of lipstick.”