The Burlesque Effect Across America and Europe

Photo: Timothy Neesam/Flckr

The world of burlesque has always incorporated the cultures and fashions of various countries, from the Victorian and Romantic influences of previous centuries to the current neo-burlesque that is dominating stages today. The burlesque movement has grown in popularity over the years and has gone from an underground community to one that is embraced all over the world, particularly when it pertains to fashion.

Dita Von Teese in 3D-printed “Dita” Gown by Shapeways
Photo: Albert Sanchez Photography / Flickr

American burlesque sensation Dita Von Teese is credited with taking burlesque in the country to the next level, infusing a style that incorporated the best of both sides of the Atlantic in a way that captured the hearts and eyes of the scene. Re-defined as neo-burlesque, her stage shows redefined the art form and included a more elevated sense of style with costumes that featured uber-feminine apparel: exquisite boa feathers and ruffles, frilly lace, and embellished tights soon became a mainstay of the genre and have become the look that many women have sought to emulate in their own approach to the community. As Dita is now regarded as a mainstream fashion icon, burlesque style has become more present in the world of fashion and pop culture. The widely successful American all-female group, the Pussycat Dolls, are viewed by many as a modern pop-burlesque group, in both style and performance.

The Pussycat Dolls
Photo: ruiwen [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The burlesque influence can be seen on high fashion runways. As women of all sizes find themselves drawn to their allure and female empowerment of burlesque, the trajectory knows no boundaries at present. Who knows where the future of burlesque fashion is going, but one thing is for certain: it is heralding a new era in the artform that has captivated en masse.

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