5 Things You Didn’t Know about Dita von Teese

No single figure active in the last five or so decades is more intimately associated with burlesque and its revival than Dita von Teese, the American dancer and artiste who has become the face of the neo-burlesque form, helping to kickstart a movement that sees the revitalization of the lost art in dance, film, music videos and book form. Although she is widely known outside of her shows, for her high-profile marriage to shock-rock star Marilyn Manson, as well as her world-famous figure, there is much more to the burlesque revival star, details of her life marking her as an intensely interesting figure, on — as well as off — the stage.

1.     She initially trained to become a ballerina

dita von teese

From a very early age, von Teese, then going by her given name, Heather Renée Sweet, has trained as a classic ballet dancer, going as far as becoming, by age thirteen, a solo dancer for one of the local ballet companies.  Despite branching away from the ballet scene by her teenage years, claiming that “by 15, I was as good as I’d ever be”, she didn’t let this early influence wither away, being known to incorporate various elements of ballet into her burlesque shows, with the most obvious connection being her tendency for going “en pointe”, the ballet term for walking on tiptoes.

2.     Her interest in lingerie came early on

dita von teese

When, as a teenager, her mother took the young Dita to buy her first whiter-cotton bra and flesh-coloured stockings, von Teese remained deeply underwhelmed, by the items, which did not live up to her expectations of elaborate and provocative lingerie that she has glimpsed in pictures in her Father’s Playboy magazine as well as images of pin-up models. Further interest in makeup, tattoos and fashion followed and even ended up working in a lingerie shop when she was fifteen, contributing to her future red-hot tease style.

3.     She credits her world-famous waist on decades of wearing corsets and a healthy diet

dita von teese

Dita von Teese’s famous measurements – a 56 centimetre waist that can be tied down to as low as 42 centimetres – are one of her more famous identifiers and, indeed, were instrumental in her early career, having gained some recognition in the fetish modelling world as a tightlacer. Dita von Teese explains the ability to maintain her figure in her forties by wearing corsets since she was eighteen, as well as living a healthy lifestyle. Her typical diet is devoid of bread and light on the alcohol and includes drinking a smoothie made out of parsley, coriander and spinach every morning.

4.    Her wedding to Marilyn Manson was officiated by experimental film legend Alejandro Jodorowsky

dita von teese

After forming a couple with the infamous provocateur and industrial metal icon Marilyn Manson following their sharing of a bottle of absinth on Manson’s 32nd birthday in 2001, the two continued being boyfriend and girlfriend for years before getting married in 2005. The ceremony took place in Ireland in the house of their friend and artist Gottfried Helnwein and was officiated by the Chilean surrealist film-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky. Sadly, the marriage only lasted a year before von Teese filed for divorce. Prior to her mediatized relation with Manson, she has been known to be romantically linked to punk-rocker Mike Ness, actor Peter Sarsgaard, as well as several relations with same-sex partners.

5.     Her love for early 20th century aesthetics permeate all aspects of her life

dita von teese

Dita von Teese is known for her love of fashion and all things vintage, which goes well beyond the interest in burlesque hair, makeup and clothes. Her house in Hollywood, California includes a complete pink kitchen equipped with old-school appliances, a collection of vintage china and a room dedicated to hats. The same can be said about the content of the garage, which is packed with classic American cars, including a 1939 Packard One Twenty Eight, a 1946 Ford Super De Luxe, a 1939 Chrysler New Yorkerand a 1965 Jaguar S-type.

7 Robert de Niro Movies You Should Rewatch

Robert de Niro is one of the greatest actors. His grumpy allure and his prolific work turned him into an icon. His method acting is now famous, especially for the uncomfortable way he treated some of his movie colleagues in order to obtain the best results from them. Here are 7 Robert de Niro movies to remind you what a marvelous actor he is.

1.  The Godfather II (1974)

Robert de Niro movies

De Niro did and amazing job as the young mob leader Vito Corleone. What you probably didn’t know is that de Niro auditioned for the role of Sonny Corleone in the first The Godfather movie. He won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the sequel. Another thing about his acting here is that he is the first to win an Oscar for a role almost entirely played in a foreign language. His portrayal of young Corleone included speaking in Sicilian dialect.

2. Raging Bull (1984)

Robert de Niro movies

Here is another movie where de Niro was spectacular. Along with Joe Pesci, he plays in the dramatic story portraying the rise and fall of boxer Jake La Motta, a violent man who uses beating as an anger tool outside the boxing scene as well. What makes this performance noteworthy is that de Niro had to make the boxer a truly unlikable character. Because the plot depicts a fallen Jake La Motta who had also gained weight, for de Niro to fit the role, the production had to take a pause so he could fatten up.

3. Silver Lining Playbook (2013)

Robert de Niro movies

Although not his greatest role, de Niro did a nice job in this movie where he played the father of a son (Bradley Cooper) with bipolar disorder. The emotional drama was a nice hit in theaters and received tons of award nominations, with de Niro in competition for the Best Supporting Actor. Talking about his role brought him to tears at some late show hosted by Katie Couric.

4.  The Score (2001)

Robert de Niro movies

Here de Niro plays a retired thief who, together with a younger Edward Norton, plans one last hit. Contrary to its genre, the movie doesn’t have neither unnecessary chases, nor awkward gun violence. In his official and daily life, de Niro’s character owns a jazz club, therefore we can enjoy cool and elegant tunes during the movie action, making all this atmosphere adequate for his character development.

5.  Las Vegas (2013)

Robert de Niro movies Las Vegas

In this movie de Niro plays together with Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas. Not exactly an Oscar winning movie, but a nice change in genre with a typical comedy plot developing a somehow funny character of de Niro. It doesn’t change anything in your life, but it’s funny to see a bunch of old friends gathering and having fun. Moreover, de Niro makes a cute widower surrounded by photos of his late wife.

6. Awakenings (1990)

Robert de Niro movies

Based on Oliver Sacks’s accounts, this movie retells the emotional life of people from Bronx mental hospital, Robert de Niro here plays Leonard, a human subject for the experiments of Dr. Malcolm Sayer (Robin Williams). Leonard is one of Dr. Sayer’s 15 patients who are tested and observed for the effects of L-DOPA. This journey walks us through his frozen states, his reaction to love and lust and the sudden insights and torments as well. All of this takes place between the doctor and the patient.

7.  Falling in Love (1984)

Robert de Niro movies

To complete our list of Robert de Niro movies, this one is a mushy romance where he and Meryl Streep play an almost impossible couple. They develop a nice emotional friendship after briefly stumbling on each other in a bookstore, although each of them is married with someone else. The movie script has nothing brilliant in particularly, making Streep and de Niro acts even more powerful. Plus, if you want to be reminded of de Niro younger look, this movie could easily help you with that.

5 of the Most Influential Fashion Designers

We are surrounded by fashion, whether we like it or not. Everything around us revolves around style or lack of, for that matter. Fashion trends have helped define the age we live in and the ages we lived in. We often judge someone by the way they dress, and while some may say this makes us shallow, it’s not always the case. Someone’s fashion style can reveal plenty of psychological details about that person. Ever wondered who are the most influential fashion designers of our time? Here’s a list with some of our favorite ones.

1.Vivienne Westwood

vivienne westwood most influential fashion designers

One of my all time favorite fashion designers is the Queen of Punk herself, lady Vivienne Westwood. She helped redefine what style meant before she appeared in the fashion industry. Miss Westwood is most famous for bringing punk elements like safety pins, leather, non conventional materials and all kinds of eccentric accessories into the mainstream. She is known for her rebellious persona and shocking fashion shows, always reinventing herself and people’s notion about style and trends. She revolutionized both women and men’s way of dressing and it’s quite easy to recognize her designs. She is truly original. This makes her one of the most influential fashion designers and she is top of our list today.

2. Coco Chanel

coco chanel most influential fashion designers

We cannot talk about style, fashion and influential fashion designers without mentioning Coco Chanel. She is synonymous with style and elegance and she was one of the pioneers of sophisticated, luxurious women’s clothing. Coco Chanel gave us the famous “little black dress” and timeless suits, which helped women emancipate both on the outside and on the inside. She truly influenced what fashion is today and style has a lot to thank her for.

3. John Galliano

john galliano most influential fashion designers

The ever fascinating John Galliano had to be on our list of most influential fashion designers because that’s what he is: one of the most influential fashion designers of our time. His fashion shows are more than just clothes; he creates an entire visual performance and his theatrical, haute couture designs are truly fascinating. His use of materials, colors and accessories never seize to amaze and Galliano is known for never repeating himself. He has changed the way we look at a women’s dress and…at a man’s dress. Galliano is and will remain l’enfant terrible of the fashion world. We would add terribly talented and utterly original.

4. Giorgio Armani

armani most influential fashion designers

When talking about fashion, one must mention Armani. Giorgio Armani is indeed one of the most influential fashion designers ever and is known for revolutionizing menswear. Armani is synonymous with style and luxury. He is often chosen by celebrities when they have to attend festivities like movie awards or exclusive parties. His sophisticated designs manage to look comfortable and luxurious at the same time. His jeans, jackets and suits are the most popular among fashion and style lovers. Armani is and will be for a very long time a trendsetter and a fashion icon.

5. Dolce and Gabbana

dolce & gabbana most influential fashion designers

Dolce and Gabbana is the most famous fashion duo in history. They have managed to impose themselves on the fashion world with their glamorous and classic collections. They love to shock but they can also be very prêt-a-porter. A lot of famous people choose their clothes to look sexy and luxurious. Dolce and Gabbana are also famous for their line of perfumes.

We hope you enjoyed our list of the most influential fashion designers of our time. If you have a personal favorite who isn’t on our list, tell us about her or him. We would love to hear from our readers and you can get in touch with us using the comment section.

 

 

 

5 of the Best Al Pacino Movies You Could Watch

Al Pacino is one of the biggest celebrity Hollywood has seen. The Italian American actor was born in 1940. As early as 1972, he displayed highly acclaimed acting skills in The Godfather. Pacino is an established user of method acting – a set of techniques that help the actor immerse in the character by appealing to the most similar personal experiences. This approach fits Pacino best when he plays characters revolving around breaking the law, be it mob member or policemen.

The secret might lie in Al Pacino’s personal history, a rich reservoir of life experience with similarities to some characters he portrays. During his early years in Bronx he was considered a troublemaker at school, started smoking and drinking at age 9, as well as trying marijuana at 13. Luckily for us, although he left school at 17, he took low-paying jobs to finance his acting courses. Until his career took of in the late 1960s, he has had his share of life experiences. Here are 5 of the best Al Pacino movies to watch!

5. Scarface (1983)

Brian De Palma’s Scarface is one of the best examples of mob films, a genre of productions focused around organized crime, but with a taste of film noir. While some critics have been enthusiastic about Scarface, other, like Martin Scorsese, praised it. Moreover, as time passed, the film turned into a cultural icon. The 1983 Al Pacino hit movie is inspired by a 1932 movie focusing on Al Capone’s career. Both of them were surrounded by accusations of excessive violence and other bourgeois complaints.

However, Brian de Palma uses violence as a means of showing character development, not just for the sake of it. That was the context surrounding mob life. While the mob of Al Capone’s era provided alcohol, Tony Montana provided cocaine, basically filling the same function. Scarface is an important Al Pacino film, because it puts his 1970s experience with Godfather to the best use.

Al Pacino Scarface4. The Insider

Al Pacino’s grandest 1990’s portrayal. The film is a masterpiece, as director Michael Mann brilliantly places Pacino in the role of Lowell Bergman, the “60 Minutes” producer who struggles to get the message of a tobacco industry wistleblower out in the world. The Insider is a highly praised movie. Although Al Pacino did not take the Oscar for it, it was nominated for seven Academy Awards, so check it out!

Al Pacino The Insider

3. Serpico

This time Pacino is the good and honest cop who won’t accept the money in a highly corrupt system. Here he is the good guy concerned with the ethics of the civil servants, but also he portrays a realistic image of all the turmoil and resistance a cop can experience within this system and even near-death wounding experiences that would make all his corrupt colleagues happy. Pacino’s character, Carlito, would have you weep in shame over your daily little unethical choices.

Al Pacino Serpico

2. The Godfather II

A great deal of controversy surrounds the cinema fans’ greatest questions: which one is better, The Godfather I or II? The debate may never be settled, as taking a final decision is awfully difficult. Godfather II, one of the best Al Pacino movies, received 11 Oscar nominations and won in six categories. The fact is that Pacino’s performance in the second part of the trilogy is his best, leaving many puzzled by the Academy’s decision to award the best actor title to someone else. However, Robert de Niro won an Oscar for his portrayal of the young Vito Corleone.

Al Pacino The Godfather II

1. The Godfather I

This is one of the best movies in history, not only from the fans’ point of view, but from the critics’ side as well. In 1971, Al Pacino had his first lead role in “The Panic in the Needle Park”, but his performance in The Godfather turned him into a star. Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece soon became one of the most influential in the gangster film genre. If you haven’t watched the best Al Pacino movies, better start with this one!

MBDGODF EC003

5 Famous Street Artists in 2014

Street artists become famous when their work manages to capture some of the most acute societal tensions. The street is used as a message board composed out of various urban infrastructural elements. Some street artists aim for the widest direct audience when they choose the placement of their art pieces. Others prefer to position their projects on specific sites that are not easily accessible, relying on the Internet for the wider public. Most street artists, however, worked in both types of areas during their careers.

The fascination with street art stems from the artistic inspiration the artists display when choosing ingenious combinations of materials. They make surprising connections between various components of the public realm clear while skillfully adapting their technique to new material. Check out these 5 famous street artists in 2014!

1. Borondo

Borondo is a young Spanish artist born in 1989. His technique is a novel adaptation to the old art street problem, dealing with the police. Scratching painted windows hardly qualifies as a crime. His work is inspired by the latest harsh economic crisis.

”Where the crisis strikes, you will notice many shops that are either closed or empty. If you scratch the window slightly you will suddenly be able to see the inside of the shop. I find that quite poetic, glass has something beautiful about it. Sometimes I like to do the opposite of that. I apply black paint on commercial spotlights and by scratching the paint off the spotlight, I allow light to pass through,” Borondo said.

Borondo2. Vulpes Vulpes

The Baltimore-based street artist has a passion for foxes. By awarding the fox with human attributes, Vulpes Vulpes sends messages both through legal murals, as well as through hidden from view placements in former Yougoslavia and Turkey, as Complex.com informs us. Again, the consequences of the economic recession are visible in pieces such as ‘Solidarity Forever’.

Vulpes Vulpes

3. M-City

The Polish street artist born in 1978 has a black and white signature style he uses to picture various urban processes. Some of his works portray stylized heavy industrial machines.  A recent work of one of the most famous street artists of 2014 is this impressive mural from an unknown Istanbul location. The UFO absorbing the police cars may be a message of the artist’s hope that forms of social control will be eradicated when an unknown future social force will be fully effective.

M-City

 

4. Axel Void

Axel void was born in 1986 in Miami, but lived in Spain from an early age. He returned to Miami, where he currently resides, after finishing his art studies at several Spanish universities. “Nada”, a piece completed several months ago sits on an abandoned train in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The southern state Oaxaca is one of the poorest from Mexico. Trains departing from the region often carry people who attempt to cross the border to find a better life in the U.S. The painting portrays a Mexican who was assaulted while attempting to reach the U.S. by ‘La Bestia’, a famous train connecting the Southern and the Northern parts of Mexico. Migration is a common process in poor areas and Axel Void managed to provide a powerful image by connecting the means of mobility with the pains caused by structural economic factors.

Axel Void

5. Case Ma’Claim and Pixel Pancho

The collaboration between Case Ma’Claim and Pixel Pancho provided this elaborate image of how technological advancement is integrated into human interaction. Pixel is an expert in robotic elements, while Case, one of the Ma’Calim crew members, focused his previous work around images of hands. Thus, the result was somehow predictable as a concept, but the result itself is mesmerizing. Case is already one of the famous street artists with over 15 years of experience, but this duo with Pixel in NYC is a new project.

Case Ma'Claim and Pixel Pancho

 

Selection inspired by the efforts of Complex.com