By peoplemag
December 10, 2009 01:00 PM


Though you’d never know it by watching one of her sultry stripteases, Dita Von Teese hasn’t always exuded confidence. In a recent interview with, the burlesque performer admits, “I always felt like a very ordinary looking girl, and I found that dressing in a unique way made me feel less ordinary and more glamorous,” referencing her love of vintage clothing from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. The 35 year-old continues to surprise by copping to serious bashfulness: “I also used clothes as a way to counteract my extreme shyness when I was younger. I wore a lot of extravagant vintage hats, which can make people somewhat intimidated. I think people will only approach if they have something very, very interesting to say to the girl in the outrageous hat!” When asked where she gets her fashion inspiration, Von Teese cites Marlene Dietrich and Italian heiress Marchesa Casati, whom she describes as “icons that have distinctive ‘screw you if you don’t like it’ looks!” before also signing off on Lady Gaga’s atypical aesthetic. “Great style icons aren’t afraid of being the subject of a little ridicule here and there. I love it! I am impressed with Lady Gaga right now. She is proving to be a really eccentric dresser.” Visit for more of Dita Von Teese’s thoughts on style.