Jean Paul Gaultier and Dita Von Teese Talk Couture, Tattoos, Vintage Shopping in S.F.

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Kate Conger
Dita Von Teese models an haute couture dress designed by Jean Paul Gaultier.
Tell me about your relationship with Jean Paul Gaultier. How do you influence each other?
Dita Von Teese: We have a lot of the same kinds of obsessions about corsetry and a certain era. I love that we're a little bit like each other. We have the same ideas of infusing sense of humor into glamor and things that could normally be considered quite serious. We have that in common.

When did you start collaborating?
DVT: I met him in 2001. We have a lot of friends in common. I had gone to Paris and I had met one person ...one person led to another person. People who I work with all the time, like Ali Mahdavi and Suzanne von Aichinger -- who was famously his muse for many, many years -- so it was kind of like a network of friends who were all intertwined.

You've visited San Francisco before?
DVT: Yeah, lots of times. I'm actually coming back in May to perform two nights at the Fillmore. I'm bringing my full show here.

What's your impression of our fashion here in San Francisco?
DVT: I haven't spent a lot of time here lately, but I spent a lot of time here in the early and mid-1990s, in the retro scene, in the young swing-dance scene. I think there's always been really great style here. It's one of my favorite places for shopping for vintage.

Have you been to La Rosa, on Haight Street?
DVT: Yeah, my prized possession in my vintage collection comes from La Rosa. I was there a couple of years ago, shopping, and buying something. Right before I left, they said, "We have one thing you might be interested in, but it's kind of expensive." I said, "Well, what is it?" and they brought out a Christian Dior haute couture 1954 -- Mr. Dior era -- New Look suit, which is basically the Holy Grail of vintage '50s shopping. [See the suit here]. It had all the serial numbers. The real Dior Paris haute couture is very rare, and worth more than a high-end Mercedes. I got a very good deal on it, and it's really my most treasured -- besides my haute couture dresses that Jean Paul has been kind enough to give me, like this one -- that Dior suit is one of my finest treasures.

"The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk" continues through Aug. 19 at the de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden (at JFK, in Golden Gate Park), S.F. Admission $20.

Dita Von Teese performs "Strip, Strip, Hooray!" May 21-22 at The Fillmore, 1805 Geary (at Fillmore), S.F.. Admission is $47.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF, follow Kate Conger at @kateconger, and like us on Facebook.

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De Young Museum

50 Hagiwara Tea Garden, San Francisco, CA

Category: General

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