The im­age changer

JUST AS SHE CHANGED AT­TI­TUDES TO­WARDS BUR­LESQUE DANC­ING, DITA VON TEESE MAY VERY WELL END UP SHIFT­ING PER­CEP­TIONS OF CI­GARS AMONG WOMEN

Virtuozity - - Virtuozo -

WHEN IT COMES TO fe­male ci­gar-smok­ing celebri­ties, Dita Von Teese is cer­tainly up there with the most well known. Often pho­tographed wrap­ping her scar­let-painted lips around a large Cuban ci­gar, or blow­ing the per­fect round smoke ring, Von Teese has be­come an in­ter­na­tional sym­bol for women who wish to dis­as­so­ci­ate them­selves from the tra­di­tion­ally ma­cho im­age at­tached to ci­gar smok­ing.

In­deed, it’s that abil­ity to change per­cep­tions that has made Von Teese such a cel­e­brated fig­ure. While she may have come to promi­nence as an al­ter­na­tive model, and the wife of goth-rock singer Mar­i­lyn Man­son, Von Teese has since shaken up pop­u­lar views of bur­lesque danc­ing, and is often cred­ited with re­turn­ing its rep­u­ta­tion to one that ex­udes glitz and glam­our.

These days, how­ever, Von Teese is nothing short of a fash­ion icon, hav­ing ap­peared on count­less best-dressed lists and graced the cov­ers of count­less fash­ion mag­a­zines. She is known to fre­quent the front rows of fash­ion shows, par­tic­u­larly those held by de­sign­ers like Chris­tian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivi­enne West­wood and Marc Ja­cobs—la­bels she is often seen wear­ing. Make no mis­take, Von Teese is hardly a sym­bol of high-street reg­u­lar­ity—she’s more the epit­ome of high-end haute cou­ture.

"Jean Paul Gaultier, John Gal­liano, and Vivi­enne West­wood were the first de­sign­ers that re­ally made an im­pact on me. Jean Paul has a lot of the same ob­ses­sions that I do. It was a dream come true to meet him and be­come friends with him. I met him the first time when I was do­ing my first fash­ion pic­to­rial, which was for Flaunt mag­a­zine, and it was a huge story of me wear­ing the most im­por­tant pieces from his haute cou­ture ar­chives, and that was a dream!” she once said of the brands she most loves.

And these brands have ap­pre­ci­ated Von Teese’s fan­dom. As well as work­ing with Gaultier on the afore­men­tioned pic­to­rial, she

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