Dita Von Teese Teams With Jean-Paul Gaultier for Haute Couture Show and Musical Revue in Paris

Dita Von Teese walks the runway during the Jean-Paul Gaultier Spring Summer 2019 show - Getty-H 2019
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The burlesque star talks exclusively about walking Gaultier’s couture catwalk in a 'Diva Von Teese' gown and guest-starring in his style-driven ‘Fashion Freak Show’ production.

L.A.-based burlesque star Dita Von Teese is making quite the splash in Paris this week, walking the Jean-Paul Gaultier haute couture runway this morning and making her first guest appearance last night in the iconic French designer’s musical production “Fashion Freak Show.” Von Teese told The Hollywood Reporter exclusively about her Parisian adventures.

"Excited to be here in Paris during couture week, taking my fourth walk down the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier,” said Von Teese. “Someone pointed out to me that Gaultier is the last designer to present the couture show on an actual stage-style runway, as all the other shows feature the models walking on the floor just in front of the guests. The runway was actually invented for burlesque in the 1930s, and then borrowed much later on in fashion, so this is a tradition that I love!”

Von Teese donned an ethereal nude-and-black tulle gown with a velvet cage bustier, wing-like adornment on the shoulders, and a train embellished with black plumetis embroidery; a representative for Gaultier said the French couturier dubbed the dress "Diva Von Teese."

In 2015, Gaultier closed his eponymous ready-to-wear line to focus solely on haute couture and other projects. The Jean-Paul Gaultier spring-summer haute couture collection was inspired by the deep sea and Japanese influences such as obis and pleating, while peppered with riffs on the designer’s signature sailor shirts and intricate corsetry.

Catherine Deneuve, Kat Graham and Irina Shayk sat front row to take in the couture show.

Von Teese also sent THR photos of her first performance on Tuesday night as guest-star in Gaultier’s “Fashion Freak Show” that debuted at the historic Folies Bergère cabaret hall in the City of Lights last September. With the French couturier serving as set designer, costume designer, writer and director, the theme of “Fashion Freak Show” is a musical retrospective. 

The fashion-variety show nods to some of Gaultier’s greatest inspirations — musicians Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Mylène Farmer; filmmakers Pedro Almodóvar and Luc Besson; and French dancer-choreographers Regine Chopinot and Angelin Preljocaj.

“I’m thrilled to take part in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s stage show; the Folies Bergère theatre is rich with showbiz history,” said Von Teese. “Josephine Baker made her indelible mark on Paris with the ‘banana dance’ in this very theatre [in 1926], and the place still feels mythic, with the patina that makes you feel the energy of the past, while experiencing something totally modern and new!”

“When Jean-Paul first told me about his idea a couple years ago, I knew it would be a groundbreaking, celebratory show with a playful sense of humor,” Von Teese added. “I saw the show during my last European tour of The Art of the Teese, and I was so excited and proud of him for finding such a great way to tell his story. I am privileged to join his incredible cast this week for a special engagement!”

Von Teese has a seven-show run in “Fashion Freak Show” through Sunday, Jan. 27.