||Dita Von Teese
|Date of Birth
||28 September 1972,
|Place of Birth
||Rochester, Michigan, USA
Dita Von Teese was born in Rochester, Michigan. Her mother was a manicurist and her father was a machinist.
Von Teese is well known for her fascination with 1940s cinema and classic retro style, and this began at a young age and was fostered by her mother, who would buy clothes for Dita to dress up in. Her mother was a fan of old, Golden-era Hollywood films, and it was from her that Dita developed a fascination with the actresses of that day, especially Betty Grable, an actress that she frequently cites as her favorite.
She was classically trained as a ballet dancer from an early age, and danced solo at age thirteen for a local ballet company. Though she originally wanted to be a ballerina, Von Teese states that "By 15 I was as good as I’d ever be". She was later to incorporate this element into her burlesque shows, where she frequently goes en pointe.
At age twelve she moved from Michigan to Orange County, California with her parents and her two sisters. Von Teese attended University High School in Irvine.
As a teenager, Von Teese's mother took her to buy her first bra, made from plain white cotton, and gave her a plastic egg containing a pair of wrinkly, flesh-coloured tights. Von Teese says she was disappointed as she had been hoping to receive beautiful lacy garments and stockings, of the type she had glimpsed in her father's Playboy magazines. This fueled her passion for lingerie. She worked in a lingerie store as a salesgirl when she was fifteen, and eventually as a buyer. This was where she got her first corset. Von Teese has been fond of wearing elaborate lingerie such as corsets and stockings since.
In college Von Teese studied historic costuming and aspired to work as a stylist for period films. She is a trained costume designer