DITA VON TEESE wasn’t short of inspiration when she started designing her lingerie line, Von Follies – the entire top floor of her house is devoted to her vintage wardrobe, with three shelves devoted to luxurious underwear.
“I like to surround myself with luxury and beauty all the time,” she told us. “I’ve been collecting vintage lingerie for 25 years – my collection is pretty huge now. I’ve always been fascinated by it, I used to sift through my mother’s underwear drawer when I was young. I loved the idea of something that was feminine and functional.”
Von Teese worked in a lingerie store from the age of 16, fuelling her love for artfully made beautiful undergarments and her interest in pin-up models. Having built a solid reputation as one of the world’s leading burlesque dancers, she launched her debut underwear line in Australia in February this year. It has only recently become available to a British market, with stockists including ASOS and Debenhams. Price points are accessible, ranging from £12 for satin thongs to £32 for bras covered with lace and embroidered with bows.
“It wasn’t easy,” she said of the democratic pricing. “I had to ask the manufacturers a lot of questions about how much various fabrics cost, but I wanted to prove that it is possible to create something beautiful and affordable. There is no reason to wear a simple white bra when you can have this.”
As you might expect, the collection is founded on a nostalgic play on modernity and inspired by items that the dancer owns herself.
“What prevents vintage from looking too dress-up is if you mix modern and vintage pieces,” she explained. “That’s what I do – and that’s what I’ve done with this collection. Wear things that look modern. You have to have a discerning eye.”
Von Teese has recently added a number of dresses to her fashion line – and we can hope to see the brand expand further in the future.
“I won’t do shoes, because Christian Louboutin is one of my best friends and that’s something he does very well,” she laughed. “But I can see myself doing jewellery or handbags – I love both of those.”