The accidental Dita Von Teese
This week is all about the way that burlesque creates effects and is, itself, affected. The currently ubiquitous Dita Von Teese has been talking to Vogue again - amongst other things about how she came to choose her name, a pseudonym we now consider synonymous with retro glamour and a certain kind of Hollywood style. So how did it come about?
Apparently she was just Dita for years. After watching a film starring Dita Parlo (who was actually born Grethe Gerda Kornstadt) and who was also a big influence on Madonna, she adopted the name. Her aim was to become one of those single name icons - Cher, Madonna etc. Then, when she did her first Playboy shoot in the early nineties they told her she had to have a second name too.
Just pause a moment and contemplate that - can you imagine telling Dita she needs to do anything? How stardom changes us …
So, she was working in a bikini club at the time and opened up a phone book (remember those? No, us neither, obviously we’re all way too young for that!) and with a girlfriend she started flipping through the index, looking for ‘cool’ names. The one she found was Von Treese. But when Playboy ran the shoot they called her Von Teese and despite her request for them to correct it, they called her Von Teese in the following months issue too.
So there you have it - an accidental misspelling or the view of a junior editor at a soft porn magazine made a Germanic surname into a tongue-in-cheek double entendre and cemented the career of an icon - even if it did stop her being known by her first name only!