Dita Von Teese on affordable glamour and her Strip-return dreams

The Art of the Teese tour sashays into House of Blues on July 10.
Photo: Jennifer Mitchell

This classic beauty has built a lasting career channeling a bygone era. Fashion icon Dita Von Teese, an ageless 44, brings The Art of the Teese—two hours of classic burlesque—back to Vegas as part of her latest tour. Expect high production value, a revamped martini-glass act and a cast that includes her handpicked favorite burlesque performers. She spoke to the Weekly from her Southern California home, wearing no makeup and a favorite robe.

As a performer who had two runs in the Crazy Horse Vegas revue, what’s your favorite Vegas show? I’ve always been a big fan of classic Las Vegas. I used to love to seeing Jubilee! I’m waiting for the next big Vegas revue.

How do you define glamour? It’s not about private jets or expensive things, diamonds or champagne. I’ve lived a life of glamour making minimum wage. I’d spend $3 on a red lipstick and decorate my house with flea-market finds. [Glamour is about] surrounding yourself with beauty and aesthetic things, presenting yourself in a theatrical way, living your life like you’re part of a movie.

How do you maintain such poise? Do you ever just want to wear some old sweats and dirty sneakers? I don’t see the point in shopping for ugly clothes. I love skirts and dresses that are figure-flattering without being too revealing, believe it or not. Even though my profession is striptease, without the clothes you don’t have anywhere to start from. When I go to my workouts, I’m wearing simple, black capri pants and ballet flats. I do things a certain way, but I don’t spend a lot of time getting ready in the morning. Just find a fashion icon that you aspire to. When I look at amazing casual looks, I look at Audrey Hepburn. She’s simple, casual, elegant.

Would you ever consider returning to Vegas for a residency? I’d love to have my own room again. Maybe somebody’s reading out there ...

The Art of the Teese Burlesque Revue July 10, 7:30 p.m., $50-$100. House of Blues, 702-632-7600.

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