Dita von Teese

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Posted by motoman 03/27/2009 @ 08:17

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Dita Von Teese: From Russia With Love - The Gossip Girls
She's an internationally-known burlesque dancer and lingerie model and earlier today (May 15) Dita Von Teese was spotted in Moscow, Russia. The fair-skinned cutie looked fabulous as she posed for the paparazzi at the Eurovision Song Contest,...
Dita Von Teese: H&M Fashion Against AIDS! - Just Jared
Dita Von Teese and Katy Perry are just two of the celebrities joining H&M and Designers Against AIDS (DAA) for Fashion Against AIDS, to help fight the disease and raise youth awareness. Also participating in the campaign and pictured below: Tokio Hotel...
Dita Von Teese Teams Up With H&M for Charity Tees - Hollyscoop
Dita Von Teese is using her unique sense of style for a good cause! She's just one of the stars who has turned designer all in the name of charity. Dita, Katy Perry, Estelle, Cyndi Lauper, and rap group NERD have all created one-of-a-kind t-shirts for...
Katy Perry for H&M Against AIDS - LimeLife
Celebrities are going crazy for h&ms fashion campaign against AIDS and Katy Perry and Dita Von Teese are just two of the latest celebrities joining the cause. h&m's Fashion Against AIDS annual charity line has quite a few more celebrities joining in to...
Dita Von Teese: Latest Cougar Robbing the Cradle? - FOXNews
... 25, the actor-son of fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and his stunning ex-wife Catherine de Castelbajac, who dated Bill Koch and the late Ron Silver. Dita and her new beau were recently spotted at the Coachella Music Festival....
Dita Von Teese: Traveling In Style - The Gossip Girls
Ready for the long flight overseas, Dita Von Teese was spotted departing from the Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday (May 7). The burlesque beauty was all dolled up as she made her way to the ticket counter, readying to board her AirFrance...
Dita launches Wonderbra by Dita Von Teese - TheInsider.com
Everyone knows Dita Von Teese's passion for vintage and stripping, so if you put these two things together you'll get her lingerie line called Wonderbra by Dita Von Teese. The collection is a combination of 1950s shapes and 1940s fabrics....
Dita Von Teese : Try Burlesque beauty Dita's new lingerie - Entertainment and Showbiz!
Burlesque beauty Dita Von Teese known passion for vintage and stripping has launched new range of lingerie. The figure-hugging designs have been made for underwear giants Wonderbra. Wonderbra who launched her as the new face of their famous push-up bra...
Dita arrives in Moscow - esctoday.com
Despite rehearsing twice already, one vital ingredient has been missing from the German presentation up until today - the star attraction, Miss Dita von Teese. Germany held a special press conference today to mark the arrival of its glamour queen,...
It's Eurovision Weekend! - BusinessWeek
German duo Alex Swings Oscar Sings will compete with their song "Miss Kiss Kiss Bang," and appear onstage with burlesque babe Dita von Teese, who says her performance was inspired by '30s-era Berlin cabaret. "I'm not here to save Germany from placing...

Dita Von Teese

Photo by Steve Diet Goedde.

Dita Von Teese (born September 28, 1972 in Rochester, MI) is an American burlesque artist, model and actress.

Dita Von Teese was born Heather Sweet on September 28, 1972 in Rochester, Michigan, the middle of three daughters. Her mother was a manicurist and her father was a machinist at a company that made graphite.

Von Teese is well known for her fascination with 1940s cinema and classic retro style. This began at a young age and was fostered by her mother, who would buy clothes for her daughter to dress up in. Her mother was a fan of old, Golden-era Hollywood films, and it was from her that Von Teese developed a fascination with the actresses of that day, especially Betty Grable, an actress that she frequently cites as her favorite.

She was classically trained as a ballet dancer from an early age, and danced solo at age thirteen for a local ballet company. Though she originally wanted to be a ballerina, Von Teese states that "By 15 I was as good as I’d ever be". She was later to incorporate this element into her burlesque shows, where she frequently goes en pointe.

The family relocated from Michigan to Orange County, California when her father's job moved. Von Teese attended University High School in Irvine.

As a teenager, Von Teese's mother took her to buy her first bra, made from plain white cotton, and gave her a plastic egg containing a pair of wrinkly, flesh-colored tights. Von Teese says she was disappointed as she had been hoping to receive beautiful lacy garments and stockings, of the type she had glimpsed in her father's Playboy magazines. This fueled her passion for lingerie. She worked in a lingerie store as a salesgirl when she was fifteen, and eventually as a buyer. Von Teese has been fond of wearing elaborate lingerie such as corsets and basques with fully fashioned stockings ever since.

In college Von Teese studied historic costuming and aspired to work as a stylist for period films. She is a trained costume designer.

Von Teese began her career in a local strip club when she was eighteen. Disappointed with the lack of originality in all the other strippers' acts, Von Teese created a vintage-inspired outfit, with beehive hairstyle and elbow-length gloves coupled with a basque and seamed stockings, piquing the interest of the clientele.

It was during this time at the strip club that she began some glamour modeling, before she eventually became a fetish model. Her retro pin-up look, frequently emulating Bettie Page in photo shoots, set her apart from most other fetish models.

Her official website is often referred to as one of the first model sites on the internet. Von Teese has maintained meticulous care to own the copyright to the majority of her images, very aware of what became of models, such as Bettie Page, who did not.

Von Teese achieved some level of recognition in the fetish world as a tightlacer. Through the wearing of a corset for many years, she had reduced her natural waistline to 22 inches (56 cm), and can be laced down as far as 16.5 inches (42 cm). A diminutive person already, Von Teese stands at 5 feet 6 inches (170 cm) and weighs 105 pounds (48 kg).

Von Teese appeared on a number of fetish magazine covers, including Bizarre and Marquis. It was around this time when she appeared on the cover of Midori's book, The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage.

Von Teese was featured in Playboy magazine in 1999, 2001 and 2002, with a cover-featured pictorial in 2002. Dita says that it is her appearances in Playboy that finally won her father's respect for her profession.

The German metal band Atrocity chose her as the cover model for their 2008 album, Werk 80 II.

Von Teese is best known for her burlesque routines and is frequently dubbed "the Queen of Burlesque" in the press. Von Teese began performing burlesque in 1993 and, as a proponent of New Burlesque, has helped to popularize its revival. In her own words, she "puts the tease back into striptease" with long, elaborate dance shows with props and characters, often inspired by 1930s and 1940s musicals and films. Some of her more famous dances have involved a carousel horse, a giant powder compact, a filigree heart and a clawfoot bathtub with a working shower head. Her feather fan dance, inspired by burlesque dancer Sally Rand, featured the world's largest feather fans, now on display in Hollywood's Museum Of Sex. Her signature show features a giant martini glass.

Her burlesque career has included some memorable performances. She once appeared at a benefit for the New York Academy of Art wearing nothing but $5 million worth of diamonds. Additionally, Von Teese became the first ever guest star to perform at the Parisian Crazy Horse cabaret club when she appeared there in October, 2006. Also in 2006, Von Teese appeared on an episode of America's Next Top Model cycle 7 doing a workshop to teach the contestants about sexiness by means of burlesque dancing and posing. In 2007 Von Teese performed at the adult entertainment event Erotica 07 in London alongside Italian Rock noir band Belladonna.

Cameron Diaz performed a tribute to Von Teese's martini glass routine in the film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Von Teese's name appears in the credits, listed under "Special Thanks." It is rumored that this was only added after Dita threatened to sue the film makers for stealing her idea.

In 2008 Von Teese was one of the contributors to Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna's book Cherry Bomb along with Jessicka, Tori Amos, Cherie Currie of the Runaways, Terri Nunn, Christian Joy, Lisa Loeb, Katy Perry, Samantha Maloney, Betsey Johnson, Anna Sui, and Louise Post.

Von Teese is also an occasional actress. In her early years she appeared in fetish-related, soft-core pornographic movies, such as Romancing Sara, Matter of Trust, in which she is billed as Heather Sweet, and also in two hard-core fetish films by Andrew Blake: Pin Ups 2 and Decadence.

In recent years she has appeared in more mainstream features, such as the 2005 short film, The Death of Salvador Dali, written by Delaney Bishop, which won best screenplay and best cinematography at recent festivals, including SXSW, Raindance Film Festival and Mill Valley Film Festival, and Best Actress for Von Teese at Beverly Hills Film Festival. She appeared in the feature films Saint Francis and The Boom Boom Room, both in 2007.

In addition to this, she has appeared in a number of music videos, including the video for the Green Day song "Redundant", the video for Zip Gun Bop by swing band, Royal Crown Revue, Agent Provocateur's video for their cover of She's Lost Control, and performed her Martini Glass burlesque routine in the video for "Mobscene" by Marilyn Manson. She has also been featured in a tantalising striptease/burlesque act in George Michael's live tour 2008 , for the song "Feelin' Good".

In recent years, the fashion world has come to accept Von Teese and her retro look, and she has appeared on a number of best-dressed lists. Von Teese frequents the front row of fashion shows, particularly Christian Dior and Marc Jacobs, labels she is often seen wearing.

She has also done various catwalk work. During Los Angeles Fashion Week, Spring 2004, she modeled for former-club kid Richie Rich's fashion label, Heatherette. In 2005 she appeared in the Autumn/Winter Ready-to-Wear show for Giambattista Valli, a former designer for Ungaro, in Paris. In the 2006 Milan Fashion Week, Von Teese was on the runway, opening for the Moschino diffusion label, Moschino Cheap & Chic, autumn/winter 2006/7 show. In 2007, she appeared twice in the Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture show during the Paris Fashion Week. Additionally, she has starred in several ad campaigns. She appeared in Vivienne Westwood's spring/summer 2005 collection adverts and became the face of Australian clothing range Wheels and Dollbaby for their 2006/7 Spring/Summer advertising campaign. Currently, she is a spokesmodel for MAC Cosmetics. Von Teese has appeared in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle, and international issues of nearly every fashion magazine. She has also campaigned on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and appeared in their ads. Most recently she has designed a new lingerie range with Wonderbra.

In spite of this, Von Teese states that she never uses a stylist. "The one time I hired a stylist, they picked up a pair of my 1940s shoes and said, "These would look really cute with jeans." I immediately said, 'You’re out of here.'" She does her own make-up, and dyes her naturally blonde hair black at home.

Von Teese currently resides in Hollywood. She is a collector of vintage china, particularly eggcups and tea sets, and she drives a 1939 Chrysler New Yorker, a BMW Z4 and a 1965 Jaguar S-type.

Von Teese frequently mentions that her best friend is fellow burlesque performer, Catherine D'lish, who designs all of Von Teese's burlesque costumes.

Prior to her marriage, Von Teese had been romantically linked to vocalist/guitarist Mike Ness of Social Distortion and to actor Peter Sarsgaard. She has also spoken of several lesbian experiences including a long-term relationship with a woman when she was 20. Von Teese was one of the guests to attend the wedding of Jessicka and Christian Hejnal on October 13, 2007 in Los Angeles.

She has been open about the plastic surgery she has undergone, with both breasts and her beauty mark being artificial.

Marilyn Manson had been a long time fan, and was a member of her website. They first met when he asked her to dance in one of his music videos. Though she was unable to, the two kept in contact. On Manson's 32nd birthday, in 2001, she arrived with a bottle of absinthe, and they became a couple. Manson proposed on March 22, 2004 and gave her a 1930s, 7-carat, European round-cut diamond engagement ring. On November 28, 2005, they were married in a private, non-denominational ceremony in their home.

A larger ceremony was held on December 3 at Gurteen Castle in Kilsheelan (County Tipperary), Ireland, the home of their friend, Gottfried Helnwein. The wedding was officiated by surrealist film director and comic book writer Alejandro Jodorowsky. They reportedly exchanged vows in front of approximately 60 guests, including burlesque sensation Catherine D'lish, Lisa Marie Presley, Eric Szmanda, Jessicka (Ex-Jack Off Jill) of Scarling and Christian Hejnal also of Scarling. She wore a royal purple silk taffeta gown, made by Vivienne Westwood plus a tri-corned hat designed by Stephen Jones and matching Mr. Pearl corset. Moschino designed an additional wardrobe for the rest of the weekend, exclusively for Von Teese. The reception music was provided by the retro German band "Palast Orchester mit Max Raabe". Guests were invited to participate in clay pigeon shooting, archery and falconry in the days following the wedding. The wedding pictures appeared in the March 2006 edition of Vogue under the heading "The Bride Wore Purple". The couple lived in Laurel Canyon.

On December 29, 2006 Von Teese filed for divorce from Manson citing "irreconcilable differences." Von Teese left their house empty-handed on Christmas Eve, and was not able to get in touch with Manson to inform him of her intentions of divorce. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Von Teese says "I wasn't supportive of his partying or his relationship with another girl. As much as I loved him I wasn't going to be part of that". The 'other girl' is believed to be actress Evan Rachel Wood, with whom Manson has continued his relationship after his divorce from Von Teese. Von Teese also stated that she gave Manson an ultimatum, but says "it didn't work. Instead, it made me the enemy." Von Teese is not seeking spousal support and seems to have no interest in his assets. The news broke for the public and for Manson on his birthday on January 5, 2007, when he was served the divorce papers.

Additionally, Von Teese was a featured guest on the sixth episode (original air date: October 25, 2006) of Cycle 7 of America's Next Top Model.and as a coach in the Burlesque special Faking It.

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Germany's Next Topmodel, Cycle 3


Germany's Next Topmodel, Cycle 3 is the third season of the show that was aired on the German television network ProSieben. The show started airing on February 28, 2008 with 120 semi-finalists in the competition, and finished on June 5, 2008. This cycle's tagline as mentioned in the television previews, is "Sie laufen wieder" ("They walk again" – as in to walk the runway). This season was commercially presented by Volkswagen Tiguan.

For this season the number of contestants was expanded to 19. The show is hosted by top model Heidi Klum.

Out of 18.217 applicants, 120 girls from all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland came to Cologne to convince the judges of their qualities as Germany's next top model. The young women had to walk the runway either in a favourite outfit or bathing suit. Moreover they undertook small challenges: Some had to sing, dance or scream in wrath, others were told to advertise a shampoo or even expose the preferences of a cleansing agent for toilets. Meanwhile the other contestants had to show three different emotions (anger, dolor and happiness) in a one-minute-photoshoot.

The judges narrowed down the competition to fifty girls, who flew to Barcelona in a surprise trip the next morning. They were booked for the BREAD & BUTTER – tradeshow for selected brands festival on January 16, January 17, and January 18, 2008. The show was presented by Phillipp Plein, a well-known designer, on the same evening. As most of the girls had not been very experienced in doing a runway show, some of them had severe problems on the catwalk which lead to several pitiable sights. In the end thirty girls reached the next round.

The 19 finalists are taken to their first destination in Austria to do a photoshoot in front of a helicopter. However before that judge Rolf Scheider reports about several complaints by the hotel organisation about how the girls left their rooms and asks the abusers to reveal themselves in front of the entire group. Gisele, Sarah and Gina-Lisa admit to having smoked in the rooms but who has drunk all the alcohol from the mini-bar remains a secret. Scheider promises consequences for everyone. At the photoshoot several girls have trouble with the wind like Gina-Lisa whose dress is constantly soaring up leaving her underwear visible for several moments but its Gisele who's taken most of the attention due to being afraid of helicopters. Back in Germany the girls finally arrive at the model house but as a result of none of them admitting having drunk the alcohol yet, they are taken back to a youth hostel as a punishment for the entire group. One day later they are finally allowed to stay in the luxurious building but its the first housemeeting, organized by Gisele, Katharina and Aisha, that is causing new trouble. Several girls accuse each other of being responsible for a bad atmosphere, and Gisele accuses Aline of having called Gina-Lisa a prostitute. The meeting ends without any constructive result when Gisele bursts out into tears because the group surrounding Aline is calling her a liar. On elimination day the girls have to do a runway walk in front of the judges while keeping an egg on a spoon in their mouth. While hearing her criticism, Katharina is asked by the judges who was bitching the most in the house, and as she states its Tainá Santos Silva both girls are happy to have a chat in front of the panel which is interrupted by Heidi after seeing no signs of results coming up from that. Outside the room Katharina is accused by the other girls for being a snitch and another argument between the two parties begins. The episode ends with a cliffhanger once again, the first time being cycle 2's episode 11. The elimination process is completely cut from the episode but a preview showed a few seconds of the following week's episode.

Last week's elimination is shown at the very beginning of this episode. Rubina Radwanski is eliminated due to the inability to express her personality in a photo shoot. Heidi Klum tells Aisha that she has a lot of potential but the judges don't think they are able to bring out the best in her, so she is sent home as well. The judges panel also decides to send Sandra Korte home because her under achievements hamper the progress of the show.

The remaining contestants go to a salon for their makeovers. Gina-Lisa Lohfink and Wanda Badwal, however, complain throughout the entire process. Lohfink is upset in large part because she does not want to have her long white weave cut short. Badwal cries about her hair loss.

Afterwards the contestants are taken to a fashion store where they have to pick outfits that match their new haircut. Once again Lohfink draws everybody's attention by wrapping herself up in ten articles of clothing. – She is certain that she is allowed to keep everything she wears. Gisele Oppermann and Sarah Knappik are chosen as the challenge's winners. They get to chose a complete outfit for free.

The girls then visit the tanzhaus nrw where personal coach Dr. Stefan Fredrich encourages them to talk about themselves in front of the group. Oppermann reveals being bullied in the past by her shoolmates and breaks down once again in front of the group just like some other girls.

Eight contestants are given the chance to audition for the leading role in a C&A shoes television commercial; Janina Schmidt wins the modelling job.

For the week's photo shoot, the girls have to pose in pairs of two. Each girl is representing the opposite to her partner. Carolin Ruppert and Jennifer Hof are safe from elimination and get a business class ticket for the plane that will move the contestants to their new home in New York City.

At judging, Aline Tausch is called out for not satisfying the judges' expectation concerning her photo, while Tainá Silva is criticized for her lack of potential. Both girls are eliminated.

The remaining 14 contestants start their journey in New York with attending different castings for the currently running New York Fashion Week. Janina-Delia Schmidt finds herself in the lucky position of landing two jobs on different shows and Jennifer Hof wins a job for a promotional in front of New Yorks skyline. Once again the girls get in trouble after being forced by the judges to vote for the four weakest among them that shouldn't attend castings. Sarah Knappik is named by everyone including herself for still not being able to walk followed by Gina-Lisa Lohfink, Carolin Ruppert and Christina Leibold. Although not being among these four, Gisele Oppermann gets teary for another time after receiving a heavy amount of votes as well. At the week's photoshoot on which the girls have to pose with exotic animals Oppermann refuses to take photos with an ape after not being happy of how the animal is treated by the team. Therefore Heidi tells her on eliminations day that they're sick of her behaviour and gives her a warning but let her pass onto the next round. It's Elena Rotter, the only austrian among the finalists, who has to leave New York halfway with being critized for having started on a very high level but not being able to built upon this and being surpassed by the other girls.

This week's photo shoot was inspired by the shoot for 1-800-Flowers on the episode The Girl Who Suddenly Collapsed from America's Next Top Model, Cycle 4.

This week's photo shoot was inspired by the beach shoot on the episode The Girl Who Blames The Taxi Driver from America's Next Top Model, Cycle 8.

This week's photo shoot was inspired by the gender swap shoot on the episode The Girl Who Takes Credit from America's Next Top Model, Cycle 8.

This week's photo shoot was inspired by the nude shoot on the episode The Girl Who Marks Her Territory from America's Next Top Model, Cycle 7.

This episode marks the first time that host Heidi Klum is not part of the judges panel.

Sarah Knappik refers to a Bild article published on April 11, 2008 – 33 days before the broadcast.

This week's reward photo shoot was shot on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as in The Girl Who Blames The Taxi Driver from America's Next Top Model, Cycle 8.

This week the contestants are put to the test when they have to maneuver their way through a laser maze. Carolin Ruppert wins the challenge, and her reward is jewellery amounting to $10,000. This challenge is taken from the episode The Girl Who Changes Her Attitude on Cycle 8 of America's Next Top Model. The episode features martial arts training with Daniel Bernhardt and a photo shoot for McDonald's Germany. In lieu of the main photo shoot that week, the girls act in a Kill Bill themed commercial shoot for a fictional energy drink called taka. The commercial is inspired by the Rollitos chips commercial in the episode The Girl Whose Lip Puffed Up from America's Next Top Model, Cycle 2. Raquel Alvarez and Jennifer Hof struggle with their commercials and eventually Alvarez is eliminated due to the lack of potential compared to the other contestants. The song that is played during Alvarez's Best of compilation is "Grissom's Overture" by John M. Keane.

This week, inspired by her appearance on The Girl Who Graduates from America's Next Top Model, Cycle 7, Dita von Teese helps the contestants to get into the mood for pin-up photography and posing, followed by a Rio Carnival themed photo shoot at the Orpheoum Theatre. It was partly inspired by the pin-up shoot on The Girls Who Are 1940s Pin-ups from America's Next Top Model, Cycle 5. Christina Leibold wins the job for a television commercial shoot for the women razor Gillette Venus Breeze filmed by director Ben Hartenstein. Jennifer Hof has a minor accident in the girls' house, injuring her foot.

The girls are taken out jogging in the Hollywood Hills with judge Peyman Amin. Later they do a food-themed photo shoot with photographer Kristian Schuller.

The girls have a busy last week in Los Angeles. The Ed Hardy casting finally results in a shoot with Christina shot by Christian Audigier. A German telco provider does a commercial shoot including an audition where Carolin is selected as the winner. A challenge in the mansion involves humilating Peyman, just like in the episode Das große Cosmopolitan-Shooting steht bevor from Germany's Next Topmodel, Cycle 2.

At judging, Wanda Badwal gets eliminated due to a lack of potential. Christina Leibold and Jennifer Hof enter the finale. When Janina Schmidt and Carolin Ruppert step forward to the judges, the episode ends with a cliffhanger once again, for the third time in season three.

For the first time in Germany's Next Topmodel history two episodes are broadcast within one week. This episode features the search for a male top model.

The final show featured all of this cycle's contestants walking the runway. As in previous finale shows, a fake photo shooting is arranged, this time involving a spider and a python. Monrose present their new single "Strike the Match" and Seal performs two of his songs.

Ages and measurements stated are at time of contest.

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Bettie Page

Bettie Page's iconic bangs

Bettie Page (April 22, 1923 – December 11, 2008) was an American model who became famous in the 1950s for her fetish modeling and pin-up photos. Her look, including her jet black hair and trademark bangs, has influenced many artists.

She was also one of the earliest Playmates of the Month for Playboy magazine. "I think that she was a remarkable lady, an iconic figure in pop culture who influenced sexuality, taste in fashion, someone who had a tremendous impact on our society," Playboy founder Hugh Hefner told the Associated Press.

Her later life was marked by depression, violent mood swings and several years in a state mental institution. In the 1960s, she converted to Christianity and served as a Baptist missionary in Angola. After years of obscurity, she experienced a resurgence of popularity in the 1980s and has a significant cult following.

Page was born Betty Mae Page in Nashville, Tennessee, the second child of Walter Roy Page and Edna Mae Pirtle. At a young age, Page had to face the responsibilities of caring for her younger siblings. Her parents divorced when she was 10 years old. After her father, whom Page would accuse of molesting her starting at age 13, was imprisoned, Page and her two sisters lived in an orphanage for a year. During this time, Page's mother worked two jobs, one as a hairdresser during the day and washing laundry at night.

As a teenager, Page and her sisters tried different makeup styles and hairdos imitating their favorite movie stars. She also learned to sew. These skills proved useful years later for her pin-up photography when Page did her own makeup and hair and made her own bikinis and costumes. During her early years, the Page family traveled around the country in search of economic stability.

A good student and debate team member at Hume-Fogg High School, she was voted "Most Likely to Succeed". On June 6, 1940, Page graduated as the salutatorian of her high school class with a scholarship. She enrolled at George Peabody College, with the intention of becoming a teacher. However, the next fall she began studying acting, hoping to become a movie star. At the same time, she got her first job, typing for author Alfred Leland Crab. Page graduated from Peabody with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1944.

In 1943, she married high school classmate Billy Neal in a simple courthouse ceremony shortly before he was drafted into the Navy for World War II. For the next few years, she moved from San Francisco to Nashville to Miami and to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she felt a special affinity with the country and its culture. In November 1947, back in the United States, she filed for divorce.

Following her divorce, Page worked briefly in San Francisco, and in Haiti. She moved to New York City, where she hoped to find work as an actress. In the meantime, she supported herself by working as a secretary. In 1950, while walking along the Coney Island shore, she met Jerry Tibbs, a police officer with an interest in photography. She was a willing model, and Tibbs took pictures of her and put together her first pinup portfolio.

In the late 1940s, what were known as camera clubs were formed as a means of circumventing legal restrictions on the production of nude photos. These clubs existed ostensibly to promote artistic photography, but many were merely fronts for the making of pornography. Page entered the field of glamour photography as a popular camera club model, working initially with photographer Cass Carr. Her lack of inhibition in posing made her a hit. Her name and image became quickly known in the erotic photography industry, and in 1951, her image appeared in men's magazines with names like Wink, Titter, Eyefull and Beauty Parade.

From 1952 through 1957, she posed for photographer Irving Klaw for mail-order photographs with pin-up, bondage or sadomasochistic themes, making her the first famous bondage model. Klaw also used Page in dozens of short black-and-white 8mm and 16mm "specialty" films which catered to specific requests from his clientele. These silent featurettes showed women clad in lingerie and high heels acting out fetishistic scenarios of abduction, domination, and slave-training with bondage, spanking, and elaborate leather costumes and restraints. Page alternated between playing a stern dominatrix and a helpless victim bound hand and foot. Klaw also produced a line of still photos taken during these sessions. Some have become iconic images, such as his highest-selling photo of Page shown gagged and bound in a web of ropes from the film Leopard Bikini Bound. Although these underground features had the same crude style and clandestine distribution as the pornographic "stag" films of the time, Klaw's all-female films (and still photos) never featured any nudity or explicit sexual content.

In 1953, Page took acting classes at the Herbert Berghoff Studios, which led to several roles on stage and television. She appeared on The United States Steel Hour and the The Jackie Gleason Show. Her off-Broadway productions included Time is a Thief and Sunday Costs Five Pesos. Page acted and danced in the feature-length burlesque revue film Striporama by Jerald Intrator. She was given a brief speaking role, the only time her voice has been captured on film. She then appeared in two more burlesque films by Irving Klaw (Teaserama and Varietease). These featured exotic dance routines and vignettes by Page and well-known striptease artists Lili St. Cyr and Tempest Storm. All three films were mildly risque, but none showed any nudity or overtly sexual content.

In 1954, during one of her annual pilgrimages to Miami, Florida, Page met photographers Jan Caldwell, H. W. Hannau and Bunny Yeager. At that time, Page was the top pin-up model in New York. Yeager, a former model and aspiring photographer, signed Page for a photo session at the now-closed wildlife park Africa USA in Boca Raton, Florida. The Jungle Bettie photographs from this shoot are among her most celebrated. They include nude shots with a pair of cheetahs named Mojah and Mbili. The leopard skin patterned Jungle Girl outfit she wore was made, along with much of her lingerie, by Page herself. A large collection of the Yeager photos, and Klaw's, were published in the book Bettie Page Confidential (St. Martin's Press, 1994).

After Yeager sent shots of Page to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, he selected one to use as the Playmate of the Month centerfold in the January 1955 issue of the two-year-old magazine. The famous photo shows Page, wearing only a Santa hat, kneeling before a Christmas tree holding an ornament and playfully winking at the camera.

In 1955, Bettie won the title "Miss Pinup Girl of the World". She also became known as "The Queen of Curves" and "The Dark Angel". While pin-up and glamour models frequently have careers measured in months, Page was in demand for several years, continuing to model until 1957. Although she frequently posed nude, she never appeared in scenes with explicit sexual content.

The reasons reported for her departure from modeling vary. Some reports mention the Kefauver Hearings of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency (after a young man apparently died during a session of bondage which was rumored to be inspired by Page), which ended Klaw's bondage and S&M mail-order photography business. In fact, the United States Congress called her to testify to explain the photos in which she appeared. While she was excused from appearing before the committee, the print negatives of many of her photos were destroyed by court order. For many years after, the negatives that survived were illegal to print. However, the most obvious reason for ending her modeling career and severing all contact with her prior life was her conversion to Christianity while living in Key West, Florida in 1959 in combination with the 1957 trials.

On New Year's Eve 1958, during one of her regular visits to Key West, Florida Page attended a service at what is now the Key West Temple Baptist Church. She found herself drawn to the multiracial environment and started to attend on a regular basis. She would in time attend three bible colleges, including the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Oregon and, briefly, a Christian retreat known as "Bibletown", part of the Boca Raton Community Church, Boca Raton, Florida.

She dated industrial designer Richard Arbib in the 1950s. She then married Armond Walterson in 1958. They divorced in 1963.

During the 1960s, she attempted to become a Christian missionary in Africa, but was rejected for having had a divorce. Over the next few years she worked for various Christian organizations before settling in Nashville in 1963. She worked full time for Rev. Billy Graham.

She briefly remarried Billy Neal, her first husband, who helped her to gain entrance into missionary work; however, the two divorced again shortly thereafter. She returned to Florida in 1967, and married again, to Harry Lear, but this marriage also ended in divorce in 1972.

She moved to Southern California in 1979. There she had a nervous breakdown and had an altercation with her landlady. The doctors that examined her diagnosed her with acute schizophrenia, and she spent 20 months in a state mental hospital in San Bernardino, California. After a fight with another landlord she was arrested for assault, but was found not guilty by reason of insanity and placed under state supervision for eight years. She was released in 1992 from Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County.

A cult following was built around her during the 1980s, of which she was unaware. This renewed attention raised the question among her new fans of what happened to her after the 1950s. The 1990s edition of the popular Book of Lists included Page in a list of once-famous celebrities who had seemingly vanished from the public eye.

In 1976, Eros Publishing Co. published A Nostalgic Look at Bettie Page, a mixture of photos from the 1950s. Between 1978 and 1980, Belier Press published four volumes of Betty Page: Private Peeks, reprinting pictures from the private camera club sessions, which reintroduced Page to a new but small cult following. In 1983, London Enterprises released In Praise of Bettie Page — A Nostalgic Collector's Item, reprinting camera club photos and an old cat fight photo shoot.

In the early 1980s, comic book artist Dave Stevens based the female love interest of his hero Cliff Secord (alias "The Rocketeer") on Page. In 1987, Greg Theakston started a fanzine called The Betty Pages and recounted tales of her life, particularly the camera club days. For the next seven years, the magazine sparked a worldwide interest in Page. Women dyed their hair and cut it into bangs in an attempt to emulate the "Dark Angel". The media caught wind of the phenomenon and wrote numerous articles about her, more often than not with Theakston's help. Since almost all of her photos were in the public domain, opportunists launched related products and cashed in on the burgeoning craze.

In a 1993 telephone interview with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Page told host Robin Leach that she had been unaware of the resurgence of her popularity, stating that she was "penniless and infamous". Entertainment Tonight produced a segment on her. Page, who was living in a group home in Los Angeles, was astounded when she saw the E.T. piece, having had no idea that she had suddenly become famous again. Greg Theakston contacted her and extensively interviewed her for The Betty Page Annuals V.2.

Shortly after, Page signed with Chicago-based agent James Swanson. Three years later, nearly penniless and failing to receive any royalties, Page fired Swanson and signed with Curtis Management Group, a company which also represented the James Dean and Marilyn Monroe estates. She then began collecting payments which ensured her financial security.

After Jim Silke made a large format comic featuring her likeness, Dark Horse Comics published a comic based on her fictional adventures in the 1990s. Eros Comics published several Bettie Page titles, the most popular being the tongue-in-cheek Tor Love Bettie which suggested a romance between Page and wrestler-turned-Ed Wood film actor, Tor Johnson.

The question of what Page did in the obscure years after modeling was answered in part with the publication of an official biography in 1996, Bettie Page: The Life of a Pin-up Legend. That year, Bettie Page granted an exclusive one-on-one TV interview to entertainment reporter Tim Estiloz for a short-lived NBC morning magazine program Real Life to help publicize the book. The interview featured her reminiscing about her career and relating anecdotes about her personal life, as well as photos from her personal collection. At Page's request, her face was not shown. The interview was broadcast only once.

Another biography, The Real Bettie Page: The Truth about the Queen of Pinups written by Richard Foster and published in 1997, told a less happy tale. Foster's book immediately provoked attacks from her fans, including Hefner and Harlan Ellison, as well as a statement from Page that it was "full of lies," because they were not pleased that the book revealed a Los Angeles County Sheriff's police report that stated that she suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and, at age 56, had stabbed her elderly landlords on the afternoon of April 19, 1979 in an unprovoked attack during a fit of insanity. However, Steve Brewster, founder of The Bettie Scouts of America fan club, has stated that it is not as unsympathetic as the book's reputation makes it to be. Brewster adds that he also read the chapter about her business dealings with Swanson, and stated that Page was pleased with that part of her story.

In 1997, E! True Hollywood Story aired a feature on Page entitled, Bettie Page: From Pinup to Sex Queen.

In a late-1990s interview, Page stated she would not allow any current pictures of her to be shown because of concerns about her weight. However, in 1997, Page changed her mind and agreed to a rare television interview for the aforementioned E! True Hollywood Story/Page special on the condition that the location of the interview and her face not be revealed (she was shown with her face and dress electronically blacked out). In 2003, Page allowed a publicity picture to be taken of her for the August 2003 edition of Playboy. In 2006, the Los Angeles Times ran an article headlined A Golden Age for a Pinup, covering an autographing session at her current publicity company, CMG Worldwide. Once again, she declined to be photographed, saying that she would rather be remembered as she was.

I never thought it was shameful. I felt normal. It's just that it was much better than pounding a typewriter eight hours a day, which gets monotonous.

Within the last few years, she had hired a law firm to help her recoup some of the profits being made with her likeness.

According to MTV: "Katy Perry's rocker bangs and throwback skimpy jumpers. Madonna's Sex, book and fascination with bondage gear. Rihanna's obsession with all things leather, lace and second-skin binding. Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction The SuicideGirls Web site. The Pussycat Dolls and the entire career of Marilyn Manson's ex-wife Dita Von Teese" would not have been possible without Page.

According to long-time friend and business agent Mark Roesler, on December 6, 2008, Bettie Page was hospitalized in critical condition. Roesler was quoted by the Associated Press as saying Page had suffered a heart attack and by Los Angeles television station KNBC as claiming Page was suffering from pneumonia. A family friend said Page was in a coma, a claim not denied by Roesler. Her family eventually agreed to discontinue life support, and she died at 18:41 PST on December 11, 2008.

She is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

Most, if not all, of Page's existing films have been reissued on DVD, such as Bettie Page: Varietease/Teaserama, as well as a collection of five shorts called Betty Page in Bondage. In 1984, London Enterprises, a producer of S&M films, added music and narration to 28 of Klaw's silent fetish movies for the two-volume video Irving Klaw Bondage Classics. Page appears in half of these featurettes. In 2005, both volumes were released on a single DVD by Cult Epics as Bettie Page: Bondage Queen.

A compilation of her burlesque dancing performances from Striporama, Varietease, and Teaserama plus The Exotic Dances of Bettie Page (13 black-and-white dancing and cat-fight shorts) are on the Cult Epics DVD release Bettie Page: Pin Up Queen.

The DVD 100 Girls by Bunny Yeager (also by Cult Epics) is a documentary with behind-the-scenes footage on Yeager's photo sessions with Page and other pin-up models. Page also appears in another set of Irving Klaw bondage reels in Bizarro Sex Loops, Volume 20, a collection of vintage fetish shorts produced by Something Weird Video.

In 2004, Cult Epics produced the biographical film Bettie Page: Dark Angel. This low-budget straight-to-disc biopic centers on the 1953–1957 Irving Klaw period, faithfully recreating six lost fetish films she did for Klaw. Model Paige Richards plays the title role.

Another biographical movie, The Notorious Bettie Page (2005), follows her life from the mid-1930s through the late-1950s. It stars actress Gretchen Mol as the adult Page. Bonus footage added to the DVD release includes rare color film from the 1950s of Page playfully undressing and striking various nude poses for the camera.

In 2009, Academy Award nominated director Mark Mori will release the official authorized documentary biography, Bettie Page Reveals All. After more than 10 years of working with Bettie Page this film provides a unique look into her life. The film contains exclusive interviews with Bettie Page and important figures in her life and career, such as Hugh Hefner.

In 2006, Bettie Page and Halo Guitars collaborated to produce a limited edition of custom guitars, released at the 2007 Winter NAMM show in southern California. The total run of one hundred guitars were hand-made and designed by luthier Waylon Ford, art was designed by Pamelina H. and the only collector guitar series authorized by Bettie Page.

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Lola the Vamp

Lola The Vamp is the only burlesque performer in theatrical history to perform burlesque for the academic award of PhD. She is part of the resurgent burlesque movement of the early 21st Century, including performers such as Dirty Martini, Dita Von Teese and Jo Boobs. Lola's work in burlesque harks to the Art Nouveau aesthetics of the Belle Epoque era, rather the classic striptease of mid-20th Century Burlesque. Australian, her performances include Tease-o-rama 2002, 2003, and 2005, and Miss Exotic World Pageant 2006, Go Go Burlesco in Sydney and Edinburgh Fringe 2005 (for which her show earned several positive reviews in the UK from The Times and The Scotsman) The Big Day Out 2003, 2004 2005, and her headlining tours of the East Coast of Australia 2007 and 2008. Lola has been involved in launching two burlesque clubs in Australia and was the subject of an exhibition by 5 artists at Rivoli Gallery in Brisbane in 2005. In 2005 she launched La Lola Salon, Australia's first burlesque school of the neo-burlesque period. She became Australian Penthouse Pet of the Month in November 2007.

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Jessicka 2004, Los Angeles, California

Jessicka (born Jessica Fodera on October 23, 1975) is an American singer and artist who is best known for her bands Jack Off Jill and Scarling.

Jessicka grew up in the town of Sunrise, Florida. She was raised as an only child by her mother Nancy after her mother divorced her husband, Joseph. Nancy enrolled her daughter in a local Montessori school, where she excelled in art and music. While attending elementary school Jessicka was placed in the school's gifted program, where she excelled in theatre, art, and creative writing. After high school Jessicka had immersed herself in music, Goth-culture, gay iconography, and feminist literature. She often wrote the word "cunt" on her knuckles, and began to drift from the norm; at seventeen she decided that she wanted to start her own band.

After a few failed attempts at starting a band, Jessicka met Tenni Arslanyan while attending high school in Sunrise, Florida. They had begun writing songs, but had not yet formed a complete band when Robin Moulder and Michelle Oliver joined them to create the band Jack In Jill. In 1992, Jack In Jill got their start when they were asked to open for fellow Floridian and long time friend Marilyn Manson and his band, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids at a Davie, Florida nightclub called The Plus 5 Lounge. Before advertisements for the show were printed, Manson suggested a name change to Jack Off Jill, which the foursome accepted. In 1993, Jack Off Jill released their first recording titled, "Children 5 And Up", produced by Marilyn Manson.

Dreadlock-clad Jessicka was the center of all the hype and attention that JOJ received. During concerts, she performed on-stage antics dressed in Goth or kinderwhore attire, that included stripping young men on stage while the band and crowd taunted the exposed fans, as well as writing the word cunt on her body, slicing her arms on-stage with a razor and covering the audience with multi colored spit, candy, and her own blood. In early 1993, Jessicka and Manson formed Mrs. Scabtree. Scabtree was a side project where Manson played drums, while Jessicka shared vocal duties with then boyfriend, Jeordie White, known later as Twiggy Ramirez. He and Jessicka met while working at a Florida based record store called CD Exchange.

In late December 1993, Jessicka spent a night in jail when she and Manson were arrested after a concert in Jacksonville, Florida, after being accused by the town's Christian Coalition for breaking the town's adult entertainment codes. Both singers were charged with misdemeanors. Though Jessicka's onstage behavior was often labeled as shocking, she's never claimed to be a shock rocker. In fact, Jack Off Jill had more in common musically with riot grrl acts such as Babes in Toyland and Bikini Kill than they did with Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, with whom Jack Off Jill would later be constantly compared. It did not help that after a four year relationship, then boyfriend Twiggy Ramirez, began to mimic Jessicka's dress and appearance, making critics' comparisons draw even closer. At this time Jessicka increasingly cut herself on and off stage, which earned her the title of Patron saint of self injury, a line that would later resurface in the lyrics to Jack Off Jill's song, "When I Am Queen".

Jack Off Jill released several independent records and several 7" singles on Jessicka's own label Rectum Records, all before her 21st birthday. It was not until she played a benefit show on April 7, 1994 with legendary Minneapolis based grrl band Babes in Toyland and 7 Year Bitch at the Cameo Theatre on Miami Beach, that Jack Off Jill caught the eye of record labels. Jack Off Jill signed with Los Angeles based Risk Records, in January 1997. The band released their first full-length Sexless Demons And Scars, on September 9, 1997, then hit the road on several national tours throughout the United States and Canada. Once back in Los Angeles, Jessicka began to question her commitment to Jack Off Jill. At this time not only were she and band mate Robin Moulder not agreeing on the band's direction but she and mentor Manson were no longer on speaking terms. The initial strain in their relationship was due to the involvement of Manson's ex-guitarist Scott Putesky in JOJ, and Jessicka's ongoing feud with ex boyfriend, Twiggy Ramirez. In early 1998 after reading Manson's semi-autobiographical book The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell, and finding her role in the story had been reduced to a mere mention as a groupie, she decided to contact Manson. She found out that Manson believed that she had employed Putesky in retaliation to how she was negatively depicted in the book. Their renewed friendship is speculated to be the reason why by early 1999, Putesky was no longer a member of Jack Off Jill and the band were asked to take the opening slot on the Marilyn Manson Rock is Dead tour after Hole departed. By most accounts, the split was amicable.

On July 17, 2000, JOJ released their second full-length CD, Clear Hearts Grey Flowers, just as their label was preparing to close its doors. Due to pressure, poor publicity for C.H.G.F, several line up changes, tension between founding members Jessicka and Robin, and management problems, Jack Off Jill played its last show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles in April 2000. They were joined onstage by guitarist Helen Storer of the UK band Fluffy and producer Chris Vrenna on drums. JOJ officially called it quits in late 2000.

After taking a break and making Los Angeles her permanent residence, Jessicka was invited in 2001 by guitarist Christian Hejnal to perform guest vocals on his solo album. The pair had only met a few months earlier through their mutual friend Lisa Leveridge at a Los Angeles night club. They began recording and rehearsing together and eventually recruited the musicians who would form the first and very short-lived lineup of Scarling. in 2002.

In early 2002 Jessicka was introduced to Long Gone John, owner of Sympathy for the Record Industry, by mutual friend Mark Ryden. On March 19, 2003 Scarling.'s debut single, "Band Aid Covers the Bullet Hole", was released on John's label. Its cover featured an illustration entitled "Wound 39" by artist Mark Ryden. In April 2004, Scarling released their first album, the seven-song, thirty-three-minute Sweet Heart Dealer, which again utilized the team of Ryden and Vrenna.

In the autumn of 2004, Jessicka was featured on the cover of ROCKRGRL magazine's vocalist issue. Scarling. was invited to join the lineup of the Robert Smith-curated Curiosa Festival, performing on select West Coast dates alongside Jessicka's long-time favorite, The Cure. Three weeks before joining the Curiosa tour, drummer Samantha Maloney filled in and was soon replaced by Beth Gordon. Smith described the band's music as "dark, desperate, chaotic, gorgeous pop music, the sound of the end of the world" and nominated "Sweet Heart Dealer" for the 2004 Shortlist Music Prize.

After a series of 7" singles on Sympathy, Scarling. announced in early 2005 that their second album, So Long, Scarecrow, would appear later that year; it was preceded by the single "We Are the Music Makers" and was released on August 23, 2005. So Long, Scarecrow was co-produced by Rob Campanella and received much critical praise. Alternative Press gave the album a 5 out of 5 rating and described Jessicka as "the cuddliest sociopath ever to hold a microphone", while The Independent described Jessicka's vocal style as being "between Kate Bush sweetness and Siouxsie Sioux stridency".

In December 2005, Scarling. embarked on its first UK tour, creating a buzz for themselves and selling out most venues. While in Europe, Jessicka attended long-time friend Manson's wedding to burlesque performer Dita Von Teese on December 3, 2005, in a non-denominational ceremony at Gottfried Helnwein's castle in County Tipperary, Ireland. In 2006 Jessicka continued to tour in the US and Europe with Scarling, touring with such bands as UK shoegaze outfit Amusement Parks on Fire and opening for The Wedding Present and Depeche Mode. Scarling. are expected to begin working on their third full length album in 2008.

Post-Jack Off Jill Jessicka worked with Kevin Haskins (a founding member of Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, and Love & Rockets), producer Chris Vrenna on American McGee's Alice soundtrack, drummer Samantha Maloney , and horror comic and magician Roman Dirge. Fodera also made a cameo appearance in the film Ellie Parker. It is speculated that she appeared in the film due to the involvement of her best friend, actress Jennifer Syme, who died on April 2, 2001, in a tragic automobile accident.

Jessicka also recorded a song with the band 'Honey to Ash', called The Last Day in June.

In 2008 Jessicka was one of the contributors to Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna's book Cherry Bomb along with Dita Von Teese, Tori Amos, Cherie Currie of the Runaways, Terri Nunn, Lisa Loeb, Katy Perry, Samantha Maloney, Betsey Johnson, Anna Sui, and Louise Post. She gave tips on how to start a band.

In 2009, Jessicka contributed quotes to the books I Love Geeks: The Official Handbook by author Carrie Tucker and Girls Against Girls by author Bonnie Burton. Burton's book includes quotes and inspirational stories from other famous role models who have had first hand experience with girl meanness, such as Jane Wiedlin, founding member of the Go-Go's; Jenny Conlee, bandmember of The Decemberists; and Tegan, bandmember of Tegan and Sara.

Jessicka is bisexual and has been open about her sexual experiences with both men and women. She has been romantically linked to musicians such as Jeordie White, guitarist Clint Walsh (Gnarls Barkley), Interpol bassist Carlos D, and Scarling guitarist Christian Hejnal. On February 14, 2006, (Valentine's Day) while on a break from touring, she and guitarist Christian Hejnal were engaged. Their wedding took place on October 13, 2007 at the Oviatt Penthouse in Los Angeles. Keanu Reeves, Jeff Buhler, Roman Dirge, Kevin Haskins, Dita Von Teese, Mark Ryden, Jared Gold, Elizabeth McGrath, Gary Baseman, Clint Catalyst, Tim Biskup, Lisa Leveridge, and Samantha Maloney were amongst the guests that attended. The couple changed their surname to Addams. Ryden's wedding gift was a miniature portrait of the couple, a faithful adaptation of Jan Van Eyck's "Arnolfini Portrait," that was reproduced on the invitations.

On April 25, 2008 Jessicka unveiled her artwork to the public at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery in Los Angeles, California. The multi-artist show called "depARTed" was curated by actor Daniel Franzese and featured art inspired by stars that died before their time. All art submitted was inspired by famous personalities like Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Anna Nicole Smith, to notable figures like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., to artists like Keith Haring and Isabella Blow. Artists included: Ron English, KRK Ryden, Nathan Meier, Jason Mercier, Morgan Slade, Craig Robinson, Matos and Jessicka. The event was sponsored by Flaunt magazine.

On February 7, 2009 Jessicka attended artist Mark Ryden's exhibition "The Snow Yak Show" at the Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo along with well known American artists Tim Biskup, Junko Mizuno, Gary Baseman, Chris Berens, and Marion Peck. This show marked a bit of a departure for the artist, whose previously brightly colored palette and rich back rounds were replaced by a more austere, minimal look and staying to a serene palette of white and grey tones. Jessicka was listed as one of Ryden's muses for the show.

Jessicka is currently working with designer Jared Gold and Clint Catalyst. She appeared on Germany's Next Top Model hosted by Heidi Klum, on March 6, 2009.

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Max Raabe

Max Raabe (December 12, 1962 in Lünen) is a German singer and band leader of the Palast Orchester. He and his orchestra specialise in recreating the sound of German dance and film music of the 1920s and 1930s, especially by performing songs of the Comedian Harmonists.

He founded the Palast Orchester in 1986, while he was studying at the Berlin University of the Arts from 1988 to 1995 as a baritone opera singer. His career and that of the Palast Orchester began with a Schlager hit entitled "Kein Schwein ruft mich an" ("Why does no one call" aka "No pig calls me", 1992), a pop song in 1920s style, and the film Der bewegte Mann (English title: "Maybe, Maybe Not") in 1994.

He writes original music, including film music, and also creates covers of well known modern pop songs in a 1920s-1930s band style, including such songs as Britney Spears's "Oops!... I Did It Again", and Tom Jones' "Sex Bomb".

1994 Raabe portrayed Dr. Siedler in the Berlin 'Bar jeder Vernunft' version of The White Horse Inn, a production which has since achieved cult status.

1999 saw Raabe play the role of "Mack the Knife" in Kurt Weill and Bertholt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera alongside Nina Hagen.

In 2005 he had his first concert in New York City's Carnegie Hall. He again performed at Carnegie Hall with the Palast Orchester on November 2, 2007, as part of a "Berlin in Lights" festival.

He performed at the wedding of Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese at Gottfried Helnwein's Irish castle on December 3, 2005.

In October, 2008, Raabe and the Palast Orchester performed a series of shows in the U.S.

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Gottfried Helnwein

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), 2000, Gottfried Helnwein's "Mouse I" (1995, oil and acrylic on canvas, 210 x 310 cm) in the exhibition "The Darker Side of Playland - Childhood Imagery from the Logan Collection".

Gottfried Helnwein (born October 8, 1948 in Vienna) is an Austrian-Irish fine artist, painter, photographer, installation and performance artist.

Helnwein studied at the University of Visual Art in Vienna (German: Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Wien). He was awarded the Master-class prize (Meisterschulpreis) of the University of Visual Art, Vienna, the Kardinal-König prize and the Theodor-Körner prize.

He has worked as a painter, draftsman, photographer, muralist, sculptor, installation- and performance artist, using a wide variety of techniques and media.

His early work consists mainly of hyper-realistic watercolors, depicting wounded children, as well as performances - often with children - in public spaces. Helnwein is concerned primarily with psychological and sociological anxiety, historical issues and political topics. As a result of this, his work is often considered provocative and controversial.

Viennese-born Helnwein is part of a tradition going back to the 18th century, to which Messerschmidt's grimacing sculptures belong. One sees, too, the common ground of his works with those of Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler, two other Viennese, who display their own bodies in the frame of reference of injury, pain, and death. One can also see this fascination for body language goes back to the expressive gesture in the work of Egon Schiele.

A clarity of vision in his subject matter was emerging in Helnwein's art that was to stay consistent throughout his career. His subject matter is the human condition. The metaphor for his art, although it included self-portraits, is dominated by the image of the child, but not the carefree innocent child of popular imagination. Helnwein instead created the profoundly disturbing yet compellingly provocative image of the wounded child. The child scarred physically and the child scarred emotionally from within.

In 2004 The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco organized the first one-person exhibition of Gottfried Helnwein at an American Museum: "The Child, works by Gottfried Helnwein" at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. The show was seen by almost 130,000 visitors and the San Francisco Chronicle quoted it the most important exhibition of a contemporary artist in 2004. Steven Winn, Chronicle Arts and Culture Critic, wrote: "Helnwein's large format, photo-realist images of children of various demeanors boldly probed the subconscious. Innocence, sexuality, victimization and haunting self-possession surge and flicker in Helnwein's unnerving work".

Harry S.Parker III, Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco explained what makes Helnwein's art significant: "For Helnwein, the child is the symbol of innocence, but also of innocence betrayed. In today's world, the malevolent forces of war, poverty, and sexual exploitation and the numbing, predatory influence of modern media assault the virtue of children. Robert Flynn Johnson, the curator in charge, has assembled a thought-provoking selection of Helnwein's works and provided an insightful essay on his art. Helnwein's work concerning the child includes paintings, drawings, and photographs, and it ranges from subtle inscrutability to scenes of stark brutality. Of course, brutal scenes—witness The Massacre of the Innocents—have been important and regularly visited motifs in the history of art. What makes Helnwein's art significant is its ability to make us reflect emotionally and intellectually on the very expressive subjects he chooses. Many people feel that museums should be a refuge in which to experience quiet beauty divorced from the coarseness of the world. This notion sells short the purposes of art, the function of museums, and the intellectual curiosity of the public. The Child: Works by Gottfried Helnwein will inspire and enlighten many; it is also sure to upset some. It is not only the right but the responsibility of the museum to present art that deals with important and sometimes controversial topics in our society".

In 2000 the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presented Helnwein's painting "Mouse I" (1995, oil and acrylic on canvas, 210 cm x 310 cm) at the exhibition The Darker Side of Playland: Childhood Imagery from the Logan Collection. Alicia Miller commented on Helnwein's work in Artweek: "In 'The Darker Side of Playland', the endearing cuteness of beloved toys and cartoon characters turns menacing and monstrous. Much of the work has the quality of childhood nightmares. In those dreams, long before any adult understanding of the specific pains and evils that live holds, the familiar and comforting objects and images of a child's world are rent with something untoward. For children, not understanding what really to be afraid of, these dreams portend some pain and disturbance lurking into the landscape. Perhaps nothing in the exhibition exemplifies this better than Gottfried Helnwein's 'Mickey'. His portrait of Disney's favorite mouse occupies an entire wall of the gallery; rendered from an oblique angle, his jaunty, ingenuous visage looks somehow sneaky and suspicious. His broad smile, encasing a row of gleaming teeth, seems more a snarl or leer. This is Mickey as Mr. Hyde, his hidden other self now disturbingly revealed. Helnwein's Mickey is painted in shades of gray, as if pictured on an old black-and-white TV set. We are meant to be transported to the flickering edges of our own childhood memories in a time imaginably more blameless, crime-less and guiltless. But Mickey's terrifying demeanor hints of things to come...".

Although Helnwein's work is rooted in the legacy of German expressionism, he has absorbed elements of American pop culture. In the 70s he began to include cartoon characters in his paintings. In several interviews he claimed: "I learned more from Donald Duck than from all the schools that I have ever attended." Commenting on that aspect in Helnwein's work, Julia Pascal wrote in the New Statesman: "His early watercolor Peinlich (Embarrassing)- shows a typical little 1950s girl in a pink dress and carrying a comic book. Her innocent appeal is destroyed by the gash deforming her cheek and lips. It is as if Donald Duck had met Mengele".

Examining his imagery from the 1970s to the present, one sees influences as diverse as Bosch, Goya, John Heartfield, Beuys and Mickey Mouse, all filtered through a postwar Viennese childhood.

The self-portrait for the artist's blindfolded unbent head covered with blood occurs twice in Helnwein's triptych The Silent Glow of the Avantgarde (1986). The middle panel shows an enlarged reproduction of Caspar David Friedrich's The sea of Ice, a depiction of a catastrophe of 1823/24 which is generally interpreted as a romantic allegory of the force of nature overpowering all human effort . Helnwein compared the "quietly theatrical" ecstatic attitude of his self-portrait with the heroic pose of the figure of the suffering figure of Sebastian and generalizes both to the stigma of the artist in the 20th century, making him a kind of saviour figure. In addition, its poetic title sets the viewer onto the right track. The visual montage of the modern artist as Man of Sorrows with Friedrich's landscape painting projects the dashed hopes of the romantic rebellion into the present, to the protest thinking of modernity, which has become introverted and masochistic, and its crossing of aesthetic boundaries. Is romanticism making a comeback? - No; actually, it had never left modernity. But its rebellion is confining and introverting itself in the "body metaphysics" of contemporary artists to its own flesh and blood. Thus, the comeback of romanticism leads for Helnwein, too, to stressing just one of its partial aspects, the stylizing in the form of a self-portrait of a protest introverted to martyrdom which historically was once linked in a contradictory way with social opposition, rebellion, and utopia..

Mitchell Waxman wrote 2004, in The Jewish Journal, Los Angeles: "The most powerful images that deal with Nazism and Holocaust themes are by Anselm Kiefer and Helnwein, although, Kiefer's work differs considerably from Helnwein's in his concern with the effect of German aggression on the national psyche and the complexities of German cultural heritage. Kiefer is known for evocative and soulful images of barren German landscapes. But Kiefer and Helnwein's work are both informed by the personal experience of growing up in a post-war German speaking country... William Burroughs said that the American revolution begins in books and music, and political operatives implement the changes after the fact. To this maybe we can add art. And Helnwein's art might have the capacity to instigate change by piercing the veil of political correctness to recapture the primitive gesture inherent in art.".

One of the most famous paintings of Helnwein's oeuvre is Epiphany I - Adoration of the Magi, (1996, oil and acrylic on canvas, 210 cm x 333cm, collection of the Denver Art Museum). It is part of a series of three paintings: Epiphany I, Epiphany II (Adoration of the Shepherds), Epiphany III (Presentation at the Temple), created between 1996 and 1998. In Epiphany I, SS officers surround a mother and child group. To judge by their looks and gestures, they appear to be interested in details such as head, face, back and genitals. The arrangement of the figures clearly relates to motive and iconography of the adoration of the three Magi, such as were common especially in the German, Italian and Dutch 15th century artworks. Julia Pascal wrote about this work in the New Statesman: "This Austrian Catholic Nativity scene has no Magi bearing gifts. Madonna and child are encircled by five respectful Waffen SS officers palpably in awe of the idealised, blonde Virgin. The Christ toddler, who stands on Mary's lap, stares defiantly out of the canvas." Helnwein's baby Jesus is often considered to represent Adolf Hitler..

Helnwein is also known for his stage and costume designs for theater, ballet and opera productions. Amongst them: "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare, (director, choreographer: Johann Kresnik), Theater Heidelberg, 1988, Volksbühne Berlin, 1995; "The Persecution and Murder of Jean Paul Marat, Performed by the Drama Group of the Hospice at Charenton, under Direction of Monsieur de Sade" by Peter Weiss, (director: Johann Kresnik), Stuttgart National Theatre, 1989; "Pasolini, Testament des Körpers", (director: Johann Kresnik), Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, 1996; "Hamletmaschine" by Heiner Müller, (director: Gert Hof), 47. Berliner Festwochen, Berlin 1997, Muffathalle, München, 1997; "The Rake's Progress" by Igor Stravinsky, (director: Jürgen Flimm), at Hamburg State Opera, 2001; "Paradise and the Peri", oratorio by Robert Schumann, (director, choreographer: Gregor Seyffert & Compagnie Berlin), Robert-Schumann-Festival 2004, Tonhalle Düsseldorf; Der Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss, (director: Maximilian Schell) at Los Angeles Opera, 2005, and Israeli Opera Tel Aviv, 2006;"Der Ring des Nibelungen, part I, Rheingold und Walküre", choreographic theatre after Richard Wagner, (director, choreographer: Johann Kresnik), Oper Bonn, 2006; "Der Ring des Nibelungen", part II, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, director, choreographer: Johann Kresnik), Oper Bonn, 2008.

Gottfried Helnwein currently lives and works in Ireland and Los Angeles.

Helnwein has four children with his wife Renate: Cyril, Mercedes, Ali Elvis and Wolfgang Amadeus, who are all artists. He moved to Dublin, Ireland in 1997. In 1998 he bought castle Gurteen de La Poer in County Tipperary where he now lives with his family. In 2004 Helnwein received Irish citizenship On December 3, 2005, Marilyn Manson and Dita Von Teese were married in a private, non-denominational ceremony at Helnwein's castle . The wedding was officiated by surrealist film director and comic book writer Alejandro Jodorowsky, Gottfried Helnwein was best man. They exchanged vows in front of approximately 60 guests, including Lisa Marie Presley, Eric Szmanda, Jessicka, burlesque performer Catherine D'lish and Christian Hejnal. Dita wore a royal purple silk taffeta gown, made by Vivienne Westwood and a tri-corned hat designed by Stephen Jones and matching Mr. Pearl corset. Christian Louboutin designed her shoes and Moschino created an additional wardrobe for the rest of the weekend, exclusively for Von Teese. The reception music was provided by the retro German band Palast Orchester with Max Raabe. Guests were invited to participate in skeet shooting, archery and falconry in the days following the wedding. The wedding pictures appeared in the March 2006 edition of Vogue under the heading "The Bride Wore Purple". In the past Helnwein has supported the Church of Scientology's Narconon organizations.

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Source : Wikipedia