Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese (born Heather Renée Sweet on September 28, 1972) is an American burlesque dancer, model, costume designer, author and actress.

Early life
Dita Von Teese was born Heather Renée Sweet on September 28, 1972, in Rochester, Michigan, the middle child of three daughters. Her mother was a manicurist and her father was a machinist at a company that made graphite. She is of partly Armenian heritage.

Von Teese is well known for her fascination with 1940s cinema and classic retro style. This began at a young age and was fostered by her mother, who would buy clothes for her daughter to dress up in. Her mother was a fan of old, Golden-era Hollywood films, and it was from her that Von Teese developed a fascination with the actresses of that day, especially Betty Grable.

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.

The family relocated from Michigan to Orange County, California, when her father's job moved. 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-colored 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, eventually as a buyer. Von Teese has been fond of wearing elaborate lingerie such as corsets and basques with fully fashioned stockings ever since.

In college Von Teese studied historic costuming and aspired to work as a stylist for period films. She is a trained costume designer, often designing and copyrighting the photoshoots herself.

Personal life
Von Teese splits her time between her homes in Hollywood and Paris.

She is a collector of vintage china, particularly eggcups and tea sets, and drives a 1938 Packard One Twenty Eight, a 1946 Ford Super De Luxe, a BMW Z4 and a 1965 Jaguar S-type. She also owned a 1939 Chrysler New Yorker from 1997 to December 2010.

Prior to her marriage, Von Teese had been romantically linked to vocalist/guitarist Mike Ness of Social Distortion and to actor Peter Sarsgaard. She has also spoken of several lesbian experiences, including a serious relationship with a woman when she was 20. She is dating French aristocrat Louis-Marie de Castelbajac.

She has been open about the plastic surgery she has undergone, having had breast implants and her beauty mark being artificial.

She participated at the PETA's campaign "Animal Birth Control (ABC)."

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