The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Are we all closet burlesque?

There’s a little bit of Dita in us all…


Six-inch heels and a 16-inch waist, large cocktail glasses and delicate satin gloves, luscious red lips and ’50s curls – there is an array beautiful things that you will find in an evening of burlesque.

Burlesque artists are enchanting to look at. You only have to see Dita Von Teese and you become lost in the curiosities of her costume. Many desire vintage glamour and sophistication and although corsets, pompadour hair and satin gloves do not feature in much of our usual everyday attire, the elegance of burlesque may not actually be that far from our everyday wear as we may first assume.

An art form from the 17th century, burlesque entertains through music, comedy and the art of the tease. It differs from stripping in the way that burlesque is about art and the tension of the tease while stripping is about nudity. Some burlesque dancers choose not to get naked at all. Burlesque is classy, comedic and charming – what girl would not want to be a part of that? Thanks to Ms. Teese, we can!



In late 2012, the femme fatale launched her own dress collection, which can be bought online at She also has her own lingerie line, perfume and book The Art of the Teese and intends to do bags and accessories – it’s never been easier to add the essence of burlesque into everyday life. This glamorous style has also inspired the high street. Take for example bustier tops, suspender tights and exposed seems that run down the leg, these are sold in Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Primark. Mesh tops and dresses were everywhere last season: exposing a little flesh is sexy and sophisticated. Dita Von Teese has donned this look on the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival in 2007 and at Jonathan Saunders celebration dinner earlier this year. Even staple garment the pencil skirt, teamed with vintage and Victorian accessories will give you the risqué edge.

But of course, Ms. Teese is not the only reason why burlesque has grown in popularity over the years, it has appeared on the catwalks of Dior, Ziad Ghanem and Jean Paul Gaultier. Burlesque has grown considerably over the years; it appears in books, movies, on catwalks and on the hangers in our wardrobes. We dress more burlesque than we think we do and come into contact with it more than we’ll ever know.