Art of the Teese – Burlesque and Fetish by Dita von Teese
Tasneem gave me this book around 2007-8 and I finally finished the book in December 2015 just before Christmas as my brother took the family around MARGARET river, Denmark and Albany. It took me so long mostly because the photography is so amazing. The book itself is in 2 parts (Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese) each of which start from the cover and end in the middle. Apart from the notes, Dita tells such a great story and history of it all. She brought it with her and she’s takes you there by describing the mentality, situation, products and politics.
Fetish and the Art of the Teese notes:
– Great explanation of fetish and how most will picture BDSM when it’s so much more. The word meant, quite simply, “magical charm”. In the art world it means “something that shocks the sensibilities”.
– Bettie Page made famous by a photographer no one remembers his name. I wish the book showed more pictures of all the personalities and fashions she mentioned. How Irving and Paula Klaws made her famous and their story.
– After being turned down numerous times by Playboy she finally got in and had to use a surname and she found Von Treese in the directory which Playboy typoed and ended up as Teese!
– Men wear corsets too. (Google image Mr. Pearl to get a shock!)
– The golden lotus – the mythological three-inch Chinese foot. Once again google image foot binding.
Burlesque and the Art of the Teese notes:
– Different names for a striptease like ecdysiast, slinger, effeuilleuse. To me a stripper bares all for money and cheap thrills while a burlesquer does it for the tease/art/illusion/fantasy/fun. (I will never forget the skill with which Dita dropped her pompoms at one of the Erotica expos in London)
– I’ll try share the powerful picture that had stalled me 8 years to finish reading this book. (Go to 0.52 seconds of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me_M-Zv2ChM)
– Burlesque came from the word burlare which means “to laugh at”.
– She includes her ballet experiences in many of her shows. Explains how ballet used to be showgirls and how napoleon himself had one of these private rooms where they get to watch ballet dancers in different stages of undress warming up.
– She devises entire shows based on a single Swarovski crystal. She would sit with Cathrine, sipping Dom Perignon and dream up all sorts – dress, props, corset, setting, etc all for this one crystal.
– Lovely history, stories and evolution of the burlesque scene and ultimately how Dita discovered her signature shows and identity.
– Now this is a great read with breathtaking photography and no one better than the ‘Queen of the New Burlesque ‘ to introduce you to the world. My greatest appreciation to Tasmeem for this present.