She’s known worldwide as the Queen of Burlesque, so it only makes sense for Dita Von Teese to have an equally fabulous lingerie collection, right? Well we are so excited to reveal that Dita’s ultra glamorous collection has now landed at figleaves.com.
Inspired by her love for vintage style, expect to be captivated by elegant lace constructions, timelessly feminine silhouettes and exquisite finishing touches. We were lucky enough to catch up with Dita to find out the story behind her collection, which style icons inspire her and the secrets to feeling sexy and confident.
1. When did your fascination with lingerie begin?
I remember being fascinated with my mother¹s lingerie drawer from a young age. To me, lingerie has always been a symbol of womanhood, which I always looked forward to. When I was little, my mother loved watching classic 1940s and 50s technicolor musicals, and I became enamoured with the glamour of the women in those films. There were a lot of backstage showgirl scenes in these films, and I think the glimpses of lingerie from those eras made a huge impression on me that has never gone away.
When I was a teenager, my first job was working in a lingerie store, and I worked in lingerie for about 10 years. I think those years as a lingerie salesgirl influence the way I design the collection. I take special care to offer a variety of sizes and shapes that respect a woman’s varying preferences. I want the collection to be both glamorous and functional for moments of beauty and luxury in everyday life.
2. How do you feel when you¹re wearing your favourite lingerie?
I just love opening up a drawer-full of colourful, lacy, satiny things! For me, wearing nice lingerie is a part of the ritual of being a woman. I love to savour it! I love choosing lingerie that coordinates with my clothes, and I also love brilliant, bright colours underneath a simple black dress. No matter what your fashion style or personality is, you can choose a secret persona underneath it all with your choice of lingerie!
3. How many pieces of lingerie do you have in your personal collection?
It would be impossible to say lingerie has been a part of my life for a very long time, and I’ve been collecting vintage lingerie pieces for over 20 years. I have a vast collection which spans eras from 1890 through the 1990s, and current things from my favourite French designers, like Chantal Thomass who is a very close friend and who I see in Paris often and chat with about lingerie. There are a lot of 1930s, 40s, and 50s influence in my designs. I use nostalgic details and shapes while maintaining modern elements that provide shaping, support and comfort. I also have an archive of museum quality loungewear, shapewear, and swimwear, and so I¹ve begun using my personal collection to design special pieces to add to the line.
4. Who is your style icon?
I have so many style and beauty icons, but they are all from the past. I love high-glamour, and mid-century was the era where glamour was at its height in Hollywood. I¹ve always been attracted to the stars of the 30s and 40s, perhaps because it was also about creation and transformation, which is something anyone can do if they set their mind to it… and so I set out to give myself that same kind of classic Hollywood makeover with the use of elegant, womanly clothes, glamorous hair, signature make-up hallmarks of the past. It’s not easy to find modern style icons in Hollywood because most glamour we see is invoked by ‘glam squads’.
Apart from the red carpet, I see more glamour in real life on real women than anywhere, really. I especially see it amongst my fans, other women who are glamorising everyday, for themselves and not just for the cameras. For me, these are my real modern icons, not celebrities that pay stylists and then sit in hair and makeup for five hours before an awards show. I think they look beautiful, but it’s not exactly sending out a message that can inspire real women to create their own glamour. I regularly stop into an ice cream store near my house just to see a certain girl behind the counter who always has unique, dramatically drawn cateye makeup in place every single day. Everyday glamour, that’s what I love, admire and preach…and lingerie is a great way to have glamour that takes no extra time at all!
5. What would you say is the secret to feeling sexy and confident?
The secret to feeling sexy and confident? I don’t think there’s any one simple magic method that works for everyone, but I do believe that knowing yourself, honouring the things that make you personally feel good are what matters. I can tell you what those things are for me, but they may not be the same for you. True sexiness doesn¹t come from trying to appeal to someone else’s idea of sexy, you have to try new things and notice how it makes you feel, and honour those feelings. I’ve had moments in my life where others tried to tell me what they thought of my look, for instance, telling me I look younger with less makeup or something like that, and the fact is, I’m not trying to look younger, I just feel good when I wear my red lipstick!
6. What is it you love most about vintage style?
I love vintage style because both in beauty and in style there was a womanly elegance, and I love celebrating femininity. I also love the art of creating mystique and aesthetic beauty, because glamour is really about that, creating allure. Retro glamour, especially in the 1930s and 40s, was really about enhancing a woman’s beauty and creating a persona. It seems that as decades go by, it’s becoming less and less important to dress for aesthetics and more important to dress for comfort. I say you can have it all, if you want it. My lingerie collection is about that everyday glamour combined with functionality and comfort.
7. We are so excited about your AW14 collection, the pieces are beautiful! What is the inspiration behind your collection?
In autumn and winter, I love richness and depth with splashes of colour, especially jewel tones. Exquisite lace is always inspiring, so I seek out special lace patterns and find ways to really showcase that lace. For instance, I love to see the scalloping of lace along the edges of a bra and even on the panties. I bring design details to the back of the bras, panties and garters too. I think a hallmark of quality and luxury is carrying over design details throughout the entire garment, not just the front.
8. Describe your collection in 3 words.
Glamorous. Sensual. Functional.
9. Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?
One of my favourite pieces available at figleaves is my ‘Mancatcher’ sheer lace bra. It is made with lovely Chantilly lace. I also love the way this type of bra lifts yet still maintains a sexy, natural feel…ideal for seduction!
The ‘Madame X’ bra, which has been a best seller in black, will now be offered in blue, so I can’t wait to wear that. ‘Savoir Faire’ is another classic black lace set of lingerie that I love to wear, so I’m especially excited to finally have the new colour way which is a peacock blue with a gorgeous mocha lace overlay. After the design process I get really excited as the new styles arrive in stores because that’s the same time they make it into my lingerie drawer too!
I also love the ‘Her Sexcellency’ garter belt. I wear stockings all the time and I’m often asked what the trick is to keep my stockings in place. Many modern lingerie brands make cute, little garter belts that are really just novelty pieces. This garter belt is fully functional, made with strong power-mesh to keep it from slipping or turning, six straps to keep stockings held firmly in place, and metal garter snaps rather than breakable plastic ones. Once you try a garter belt like this one, you’ll see just how easy it is to experience the elegance and eroticism of stocking and garters in everyday life.
10. What’s been your proudest career moment?
It’s not easy to name my proudest career moment but having a lifelong love of lingerie turn into designing my own collection is certainly a proud moment. But rather than celebrating my accomplishments, I tend to view each achievement as something I need to work to ‘live up to’ and maintain, and set new goals.
11. And finally, what can we expect to see from you next?
I have many more plans to translate favourite vintage classics into modernised, functional lingerie pieces; there are so many things to explore! I’m also looking at my archive of nightgowns, negligées, pyjamas, robes, loungewear, and swimwear to find ways to show women the many opportunities to bring glamour into their everyday lives in a comfortable and sexy way. I’ve just produced two gorgeous, sweeping 1940s-inspired robes, and for many of the ranges, I’ve added sexy half slips, ideal for pairing with lacy bras. There are so many beautiful styles of the past that are begging to be revived. It brings me great pleasure to be able to find ways for things like this to be revived in new ways, in a variety of shapes and sizes for any women.
Shop the collection now.