Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 28 September 2013

Smouldering Sirens: Dita Von Teese

In which G.M. Norton gets his monocle steamed up by the Queen of Burlesque.

Welcome to the third instalment of the ‘Smouldering sirens’ series run here at Norton of Morton, where I grant admittance to a rather lovely lady.

Today’s lady in question and joining the fabled ranks of Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe is none other than the Queen of Burlesque herself, Miss Dita Von Teese. By an enormous stroke of luck, today marks her forty-first year of stylish living. 

As often seems to be the case with the famous people I admire (Grant, Caine, Monroe, T-T), ‘Dita Von Teese’ is of course a stage name. Born as the still rather interestingly named Heather Renée Sweet, Miss Von Teese adopted ‘Dita’ in tribute to silent film actress, Dita Parlo.

Having achieved a coveted cover appearance in a 2002 copy of Playboy and thus being thrust into the spotlight, she was required to have a surname. Picking out ‘Von Treese’ from the telephony directory, the Playboy Proof Checker failed to spot that they had misspelled it as ‘Von Teese’. No doubt they were distracted by the pictorials. I’d wager this wasn’t the only time this particular siren has steamed up a monocle.   

It’s nearly impossible to overstate Dita Von Teese’s beauty. With her powder-pale face, rouge lips and jet black, cascading locks, she looks as though she has just stepped out from the golden age of Hollywood glamour.

Embodying the classic style of the 30s, 40s and 50s starlets that she loves, Miss Von Teese has reawakened the glamorous, beautiful and escapist world that is burlesque.  

Miss Von Teese’s burlesque shows are elaborate affairs, incorporating a gigantic powder compact, a clawfoot bathtub and of course, her signature show feature of giant martini glass. 
When she’s not cavorting on stage in stockings and tassels, Miss Von Teese looks equally radiant in elegant and sophisticated gowns, complimenting her eye-catching curves and invisible waist. 

As Miss Von Teese is quoted as saying: “I advocate glamour. Everyday. Every minute”.

Hear, hear! What an inspiring woman.

If only young ladies had more role models today of this ilk. Perhaps then we would not see such a decline in morals and manners, and young women could confidently say “No” to orange fake tans, large hoop earrings and the abomination that is leggings (and often transparent ones at that). 

For this reason alone, it would be remiss of me not to include Miss Von Teese as one of my Smouldering Sirens. 

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’



  1. I admire Dita a great deal. It is her influence that prompted me to act more lady like and start burlesque. She is a true inspiration to me, one I could not be without. A super post indeed!

  2. Can't argue with that, she's bloomin gorgeous!

  3. Very fake in my opinion. I like that she makes an effort but it is too contrived, too fake somehow. Doesn't seem like she is being unique in any way of her own.
    So many better.
    Watched Gilda the other day. Will you do something on Rita Hayworth ever? She was an absolute beauty!

    1. Your honesty is what sets you apart, ma'am - thank you. Regardless of authenticity, at least we can be thankful that Miss Von Teese has brought her style inspirations to a new and receptive audience.

      I would be delighted to pen a little something on Rita Howarth. A most ravishing lady indeed. Do keep your eyes peeled for something over the coming months! If you have any more suggestions on this feature or any others, please do fire away.


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