Girl, That’s Not Your Dress: Dita Von Teese in Elie Saab Couture

Posted on January 29, 2013

It is perhaps cruel of us to start your day off like this, but sometimes a greater point must be made, darlings.


Dita Von Teese attends the Sidaction Gala Dinner in Paris in an Elie Saab couture gown.

Elie Saab Fall 2012 Couture Collection/Model: Jac (IMG)

And that point is this: Sometimes, even a diva-goddess can’t get it quite right. Disappointing, we know. Let’s all try and be there for each other as we work our way through this trying time.

Sweetie, pack this dress up in a time machine and send it to Linda Evans in 1986, where she’ll know what to do with it. Go home, put on your spa robe, have some tea, and regroup. You’re Dita von Teese. You’ll bounce back from this.


[Photo Credit: Jean Catuffe/, Getty,]

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  • formerlyAnon

    Aaaahh, the ’80s.

    Linebacker shoulders, how I have not missed you.

    • judybrowni

      Gorilla shoulders: I’m a short gal, and having my shoulders touch my ears was never a good look for me.

      Can’t believe I’ll be going through that in dressing rooms twice in one lifetime.

  • Linda Evans or Joan Collins. That side-split cannot save it.

    • lovelyivy

       This is some Alexis Colby Carrington Dexter etc realness indeed.

    • Ms_Flyover

      My first thought was Dynasty.  My immediate second thought was – no – Delta Burke or Jean Smart on Designing Women.  

      • Snailstsichr

         Oh my – Delta would have rocked this.

      • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

         Didn’t Delta Burke wear this in black for several episodes??

  • *gasp* I never thought I’d see “girl that’s not your dress” and “Dita Von Tease” in the same sentence. It is pretty but heavy looking. It overwhelms her. 

    • And for ANY garment to overwhelm La Von Teese, that is pretty epic.

      • ballerinawithagun

        Dita is not meant to that shrouded.

    • It’s just the shoulders! Big shoulders can be problematic for any woman, even Goddess Von Teese! Just a stumble, that’s all! 

      I’m going to go sob quietly for a while.

      • EveEve

        Tis a pity – but it’s also the length of the sleeve. And oh my goodness, the shoes could be worn by Dorothy when she grew up and wanted to return to Oz!   Beautiful color on her.  I think Christina Hendricks would look nice in the dress too.

      • susan6

         Yeah, I was actually trying to figure out if there was a way to tear the sleeves off; if you cover the arms portion of the photo, it is actually a great color and shape on her.  But those shoulders make her look like she’s hunched up or shrugging perpetually.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        I’m passing a virtual tissue to you…after I sniffle quietly.Don’t worry, you’ll get a clean virtual tissue.

    • Caroline2

       And yet she still looks basically fabulous.  Wrong dress, definitely, but she is Dita Von Teese.  She does not acknowledge this “bad” you speak of, she cuts it (and you) dead.  She is Dita.  She will  rule another day.  And all the days after that.  She is Dita.

    • AnneElliot

      I agree, I was shocked — shocked, I say!!!   It is a small comfort, however, that even a goddess like Dita has an off-day.

  • appliquer

    Love the deep color on her and actually like the dress if they would take a bunch off the shoulders and arms. Actually, make it sleeveless.

    • MissMariRose

       Yeah. That may not be her dress, but it’s definitely her color. I love that gorgeous deep red.

  • Is it the shoulders that make her head look so gi-normous? Dita Von Pez-Dispenser.

  • Kathy_Marlow

    Change the shoulder on the dress, whole other story..such a sad thing to start off the day.  I hope there is a most excellent WERQ or hot boy post to make up for it. 

  • MilaXX

    Yeah, those giant shoulder pads aren’t doing her any favors.

    • Stubenville

      Are you hearing the Dallas theme song, too?

      • ballerinawithagun

        You had to do that to me, didn’t you. Can’t stop hearing it now!

        • lovelyivy

           Seriously- I guess I’ve got my earworm for the week.

      • MilaXX

        More Dynasty to me. That dress has Linda Evans name written all over it.

      • bitchybitchybitchy

        Hearing it, and picturing Linda Gray giving J.R. a stone-cold stare.

  • In_Stitches

    It’s fabulous on the model.  I suppose it needs a tiny torso with a small bust?  I don’t know, I can’t shake the feeling that Amber Riley could rock it.  

    • sweetestsith

       I think the model shape/size is required. It looks kind of interesting (the shoulders almost become a cape) on the model, when its adding curves to a narrow build. Adding pre-existing hips/boobage makes it look heavy and awkward. The extra length due to DVT height doesn’t really help. Sad day, I love the shiny red sequins with her coloring!

      • Introspective

        I thought the same. the color is incredible on her but the shape and length are a huge fail. I guess if Von Teese can flub, anything in fashion is possible.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I don’t hate the dress per se, but the lenght and the shoes are all wrong. Change that and she could have pulled it off.

  • OrigamiRose

    I didn’t think it was possible for Dita von Teese to look frumpy.  In Elie Saab, no less!

  • carolynmo

    Oh, this dress reminds me of the Pioneers of Television show that aired before Downton Abbey; it focused on soap operas of the 80’s and 90’s. Let me tell you, this dress would fit right in on Dynasty. I was howling with laughter at the clothes before I had my heart broken by Julien Fellowes.

  • Judy_S

    She’s Dita Von Teese. She still looks better than most people do in “their” dresses.

    • RebeccaKW

       She certainly looks better here than a lot of the celebs in the SAG posts.

      • Derek_anny

         Agreed.  It’s only a horrible scarring moment for us because her record is astounding.

  • Janet B


    I have a Christmas ornament that looks just like that material.

  • eowyn_of_rohan

    Christmas ornament + linebacker + glitter factory explosion.

  • nannypoo

    I always liked shoulder pads because I thought they made the hips look smaller. I see I was wrong.

    • formerlyAnon

      They can, they can put shoulders & hips into a better proportion!

      They can also be over done . . .

  • BrooklynBomber

    We’re in Christmas sweater territory with this one.

  • Valerie Jones

    Totally understand the irresistible allure of the red sequins, though.  Certainly Dita’s color and not Linda’s. If the neckline were chopped down to the cleavage and the shoulder pads diminished, it could have worked, no?  Clearly, it must unravel to 3 or 4 fabulous layers underneath …

  • sweetlilvoice

    I like it, especially the shoes.

  • E. D.

    I’d like it better sleeveless.

  • Maybe Dita should join the cast of Dallas….she could bring her own wardrobe.

  • This could look amazing with some tweaking – ease up on the shoulders, lower the neckline and make the skirt full-length.  That would take it into serious va-voom territory.

  • Annabelle Archer

    Dita, darling, Lifetime already filmed the Liz Taylor  movie.  Sure they fucked it all up by choosing Blowhan, but no amount of costuming on your part can change that.  

  • ashtangajunkie

    I think that might only be the model’s dress. It’s certainly not Dita’s, although I wish I looked that fabulous during a “not my dress” moment.

  • Sobaika


    I feel like this would go over much better if the fabric wasn’t so heavy.

  • I like it on the model, but on her it looks…thicker somehow. Like there was extra padding added in the shoulders/arms or something. I think maybe she just has too much body for this dress. Which is not something you often say about Dita, but there it is.

  • Becky Downs


  • I hate that thee slit is more open on Dita than it is on the model.

    • l_c_ann

      I don’t think that slit can close on DvT, which equals too tight.

  • Ceur

    I think it’s ugly, but I would like to do an experiment and see it on Taylor Swift.

  • Little_Olive

    I like it, so sue me. Gorgeous fabric and construction. I think the shoulders are the mistake but I wouldn’t remove all the padding; I guess they should look more like on the model, more square and air-filled than round and 80’s puffy.    

    Like that, I don’t think that is anybody’s dress. No one with breasts, at least. Wait. Rosie H-W maybe? 

    Wrong shoes but I like the fact that she’s not wearing black pumps. 

  • duplessis3

    dont think it is anyone’s dress, but those shoes are perfection!

  • mmc2315

    Oh.  Christmas!

  • Julia and Suzanne will be so happy that the lost Sugarbaker Sister has returned.

  • jw_ny

    The dress is rather garish, but does look better on the model than Dita.  I’m thinking the wearer should be tall and model thin (Dita being shorter and curvy) …one that wants extra curves and bulk, rather than someone as broad shouldered as Linda Evans.  She’d look like a linebacker in this (which is how she normally looked in the 80’s.) Just because Linda would wear it doesn’t mean she should.

  • Judy_J

    You’re right…this is right out of Krystle Carrington’s closet.

  • ecallaw1977

    It’s gorgeous on her in theory, but why does it look so thick and heavy? It doesn’t on the model.  This SHOULD WORK, damnit!

  • decormaven

    It’s just a misfire, Miss Dita. Recalibrate, and all will be right with the world. 

  • lonepear

     Even Dita von Teese has an off day. The difference between her and the rest of humanity is that her off days look like *that*.

  • quiltrx

    The shoulders look a little different on the model, which makes it a little better.  Take off the shoulder pads and the too-ruched sleeves, and this would be fine.  The color is terrific on her.

    My main issue on first glance was that the dress looks FUZZY.  It’s just a weird fabric, designed weird too.  I usually love Saab, but this is a WTF for sure.

    And Dita dear, you’re still our goddess.  We’ll see you next time.

  • It’s a lot of dress for her, but I thought more Joan Crawford than anything

    • Vera L-

      I was thinking Joan Collins!

  • i kinda like it :S

  • StellaZafella

    Ahh, when the mighty fall, etc.
    It’s not really that bad, just not the usual high standards we expect.

    I think the fabric is too heavy and glitzy for this design. the “International falvor” of the thing could be: Grecian draping, Russian miltary shoulders and a slit hemline to please an Italian widow…1980 to a tee. 
    Instead it just looks like shes trying out for the part of a slightly butch taxi dancer at a USO party.

  • She looks great, pleasee!! 

  • Maybe if it were floorlength? I don’t much mind the Crawford shoulders. 

  • I’ll give her a pass since it’s January.  None of us are thinking clearly at the moment.

  • Beardslee

    Maybe it’s the overwhelmingness of the dress but I also think she looks like she’s feeling poorly, and I doubt she’s allowed to feel poorly.
    Thank goodness nobody expects perfection from a middle aged matron like me!  

  • mightbewrong

    No mention of the shoes? They look like the ones I bought for my pin-up costume last halloween. From Spirit.

  •  You know, it looks okay on the model.  I just don’t think it is the kind of dress that works well on someone that is bigger than an A or B cup.  It is making someone who usually looks like a perfect pinup goddess look top heavy.

  • f_yeah_marie

    It’s so rare for her to have a misstep that it’s easily forgiven.

  • Alyssa

    A rare misstep from the fabulous Ms. Dita! I will need something absolutely wonderful to make up for this!

  • Cynica

    Hair and makeup are still flawless. I’m clinging to that. 

  • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

    OMG TLo, again, I am screaming “LINDA EVANS!  BACK TO HELL FROM WHENCE YOU CAME!”  And then I scroll down and again, YOU say “Linda Evans.”  But I must say, even with the wrong dress, she remains impeccably put together.  

  • Igor Buarque

    This is Linda Evans in 1986

  • BrooklynBomber

    Looking good on the model still doesn’t mean it’s a good dress. It’s not. I realize this is a matter of opinion, but: Bad dress! Bad dress!

  • Anathema_Device

    Wow. So very wrong. Either she is the wrong body type for it (too busty?) or she needed to go up a size to get the proper drape. Or she needed to just put this back and start over. Yes, that last option was the correct one, I think.

  • ccm800

    Got this one wrong IMO –  love this on her. 

  • MaryanneGirl

    I stand by my life’s mantra: NO GOOD CAN COME FROM SHOULDER PADS. 

    Even for a DIVA like Ms. Von Teese.

  • Nancy Dunn

    Actually, I think she  looks pretty spectacular!! Gorgeous silhouette, I do admit to loving shoulder pads, though. They make those of us who are not very thin-waisted look more curvy.

  • She looks insanely fabulous.  Black satin pumps and clutch could have nailed it for her.

    •  I guess an hourglass figure + linebacker shoulders only works on … Joan Collins? I agree about the black accents, but there’s no saving that dress; it looks like a fur coat on her!

  • KGW

    Snow White’s Christmas Special, premieres at 8:00 p.m central. 

  • Imasewsure

    Linda Evans… yes…. I could not figure out who could make this work and that is the only one… love you Dita… you are 99,999/100,000 with us…

  • Monday1900

    I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen her wear something I didn’t like.  Also, I am sore afraid about the 80’s revival.

  • kschwarting

    I’m thinking she should ship the dress off to Dolly Parton, who could werq that exaggerated shoulder and sequins.

    On the plus side, her face is its usual fabulous form and I really like the shoes.

  • Joyce VG

    OMG Dita von Teese took a bad picture.  I’m floored. 

  • MoHub

    Who’da thunk it? I am shocked!

  • Tracy_Flick

    And now we know where that fine line is, where retro slides into dated. So close, yet so far. 

  • elirt

    Wow – for once it looks better on the model than on Dita!  Dita is a tiny lady so I can’t imagine how anyone could wear it yet, the model looks proportioned. Maybe it’s scaled differently then the runway version?

  • kathryn_dc

    First Sybil, now this?! 

  • bluefish

    Sorry to disagree, gentlemen.  Think she looks fantastic from head to toe and this to me signals that the 70s-80s-90s Mobius Strip is about to descend on us again.  She looks super fierce and very Ultimate Avengers 2.   The shoes alone are killler and already on the runways.  And she’s wearing very very fine hose which if I were a betting old lady I would wager is about to make a comeback along with the much missed truly feminine shoe.  She looks fabulous. 

  • Zippypie

    Oooof!  I don’t think that’s anybody’s dress.

  • teensmom99

    As a fellow well endowed lady, I’d like to share with Dita, who is generally fabulous, that a high cut like that collar is not your friend. But great to see you stretching a little.

  • claudemtl777

    I don’t see it as all that egregious a choice…So what if it’s a wink at Dynasty…It’s an AIDS benefit, she’s wearing red and a lot of the boys at the event probably reacted very positively to a bit of 80’s excess. I remember the Dynasty-watching parties very fondly…
    She’s found the one event where that dress could be worn…

  • mhleta

    Ugh. Ever since I read an interview with her, this woman just pisses me off no matter what. “Would you believe I devise my entire show based upon a single one of these jewels? It’s true I choose a color from my collection (…) and with it I can imagine a whole world.”  Whatever, creep.

  • Beth G

    I’m sorry… I’m at a loss as to how dress designers have decided that making a woman’s boobs look completely disproportional to each other is the new black…

  • minnye

    Huh. I like it. I mean, I don’t particularly care for the silhouette, but taken in Dynasty-inspired context, it’s a smashing dress. I like that Miss Dita is mixing things up a bit.

    • Apparently we’re in the minority here as I also think she looks voomtastic.

  • CheriCPat

    Oh, but those are MY shoes!!  Any idea who they are?

  • marilyn

    Too bad.  The color is great for her, and the shoes are wonderful too.  This dress might have worked if either:  1) The skirt was floor length, or 2) The shoulder pads were removed, or both.

  • e jerry powell

    This dress has nothing whatsoever to do with her job description.

  • shelley514

    Dita, please stop.  And update your look a wee bit.  This whole pin-up girl thing all the time, year after year, is just . . . played out gurl.

  • The shoes are from Hell’s Cobbler.

  • guest2visits

    The shoulders and the shoes need to go. Otherwise… this dress is very striking in the outside night photos; it seems to be made for
    dark, dramatic places.

  • What blows my mind here is that the dress looks ok on the model but OH SO WRONG on Miss Dita.  Sad day indeed…

  • jjfg

    Oh my gosh, I think the world just shuddered on its axis.  Dita got it wrong.  Not a dress for a girl with an actual, like, body.

  • BrightsideSusan

    I do miss shoulder pads – but not the linebacker sized ones.  Dita has been trigting and made an error on this selection.

  • BrightsideSusan

    oops – thrifting.

  • Love those shoes.

  • libraangel

    AAARRRGGGHH!  get you want a 40’s vibe, but you ain’t no Ava Gardner, darling!

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    Dita is usually so spot-on that it’s surprising to see her choose something that doesn’t quite work.  I’m going to have to lie down now to recover my poise….

  • kaycem

    you have to give a goddess credit — with the exception of the first picture, she is working the ever-loving shit out of her angles to at least keep up the appearance that she’s pulling it off.  so even when it’s not working, it’s kind of working because she’s just that good.

  • siriuslover

    I saw this on FB at work and wanted to run over here and read your comments, but I couldn’t. I am just surprised that Ms. Von Teese received a “girl that’s not your dress.” She IS human!

  • it’s just not her size… something went fucking wrong

  • gracedarling

    I actually think the problem is the styling – this should ONLY be Dita’s dress! It could go from 80s to 40s in a jiffy if she traded out the shoes for some wedges and put her hair up in a same-toned turban. Switch out the matching lipstick for something a little more orange-based so that it’s a true brick-red, and suddenly you have modern-day Carmen Miranda, not latter-day Joan Collins.

  • shnaggi

    …and sadly her neck is three shades of coppertone darker than her face….lighten up on the pancake-STAT!

  • Eek, makes her look fat.

  • Surprisingly, I like this dress on the model but not on her.