Happy Valentine’s Day, darlings. In observance of the romantic holiday, we caught up with none other than burlesque dancer and lingerie designer Dita Von Teese (whom we bumped into on the red carpet at this year’s FEMMY awards)…
What makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day ensemble?
I like simple, so a figure-flattering and womanly silhouette with beautiful lingerie underneath. Choose something you can get out of easily, too! A must-have is a beautiful black lace garter belt with fully-fashioned seamed stockings, no underwear. That’s the height of sensuality, elegant and erotic at the same time.
Describe your perfect date, please!
Nice dinner, hot make-out session, and possible sleepover.
What are your V-Day plans this year?
I had my Valentine’s date in advance. I went to Big Sur with my sweetheart and stayed in a little cabin in the woods. Valentine’s Day is just another day…the best thing is to be romantic for no reason, on any chosen day.
What’s the most romantic thing someone’s done for you?
I like things like love letters written on paper, my name written in the snow…I also like simple romantic gestures, like when my man takes out the trash. Man jobs are sexy!
Tell us, where did you get your first bra?
My first bra was nothing very exciting. I think it was a training bra from a department store in Michigan. But I started working when I was 15 at Lady Ruby’s Lingerie. And that’s when I started really learning about lingerie. I had bras from Ungaro, Dior, and all these wonderful brands. So I started my lingerie wearing early on.
Just curious…do you own any granny panties?
Well, I am an advocate of the granny panty cut in beautiful sheer and lace fabric. So I always do like a granny panty, but in a sexy way. But as for me, I’m sure that my boyfriend would turn his head if I wore a pair of white cotton granny panties. That’s how men work.
What’s your best-selling lingerie item?
The bras. Also, the garter belts. I wear stockings every day—I don’t do pantyhose—so I’m really serious about the fit and function of the lingerie. When I first started my line, a lot of department stores didn’t want to buy garter belts. And I told them, My garter belts are meant to be worn! They’re not these frivolous, sexy beasts. I started making six straps instead of four. Now, those have been doing really well. I’m glad that my preaching the glory of garter belts is getting through.
Who are some of the lingerie designers you admire?
I admire Chantal Thomass very much. She’s a good friend and she does beautiful work. She’s really one of the only other lingerie brands that’s in my wardrobe still. I also like Fifi Chachnil—I love shopping for lingerie in Paris— and I love luxurious dressing gowns from Josie Natori. I have a collection of those. She’s so wonderful!
You recently released The Beauty Mark—how are book sales going?
Really great! I just got on the New York Times Best-Seller’s List, and I’m spending this Valentine’s Day doing a book signing.
Can you share one tip?
It’s a 400-page book—there’s a lot of advice in there. There’s a whole chapter about vibrant color on the lips. There’s so many colors to wear other than red that are beautiful, even if it’s fuchsia or magenta or violet.