Sovereigns of the Pleasuredome: Dita Von Teese in Thierry Mugler Spectacular

Living in Los Angeles, a run-in with celebrities is inevitable. After most of a lifetime of these run-ins, they just become part of the city's landscape, not much more exciting than seeing the cute boy from school. But there are those few that really excite you, and burlesque queen Dita Von Teese was one of them. I first heard of her years ago when she made the cover of Playboy’s December 2002 issue, which was passed around in my friend's college dorm room one casual evening. I sincerely believe it helped one particularly tomboyish girl come to terms with her sexuality as she quietly flipped through the pictorial for the entire get together. At that time Dita was mostly known as “Marilyn Manson’s wife,” but since the divorce she’s only become more of a fashion icon, regularly seen in fashion week front rows, magazines and celebrity events. She arguably brought burlesque back to single-handedly to mainstream media.

A few weeks back, Dita showed up at my friends’ monthly “polysexual hard partying” events called A Club Called Rhonda. She was up in the balcony overlooking the dance floor justing LIVING the music. It was dark, lights were flashing, you can just barely see her, but I still couldn’t help pointing her out to everyone I knew.

But what makes me like Dita the most is that she's not a "beautiful" woman--she says that herself. Her appearance on CSI confirms it: her teeth are awkwardly big, her face kinda puffy and without the perfect hair, bedazzled lingerie and flawless makeup she's really quite plain. In my mind it's encouraging, meaning any plain girl with the right styling and attitude can look as amazing as Dita. It's the styling that's the tough part, people rarely take to a look as much as Dita took to retro and burlesque. And trying to get her banging bod is a whole other story. (Note: I saw her perform an exclusive sneak preview
 show up close one night, and yes, she has cellulite like everyone else. But that makes her no less amazing.)

Dita and hyper-diva designer Thierry Mugler joined up to manufacture a glamor-meets-Gattaca editorial for the latest issue of FLAUNT. While the Mugler A/W 2011 menswear collection is a refreshing, yet far cry from Mugler's established aesthetic, this spread is a celebration of what Thierry does best on one of the most coveted bodies in the world.

See more photos and read the interview here.