Dita Von Teese Brings Back the Overwire at Faire Frou Frou

Call it the return of the overwire in lingerie. Last popular in the 1950s, the overwire gave bras a certain panache and style, according to vintage lingerie enthusiasts such as Dita Von Teese, Los Angeles resident, burlesque performer and advocate of the 1950s pinup-girl look.

Von Teese adds overwires, which are placed at the top of a bra cup, to give a vintage style to some pieces in her lingerie line, Von Follies by Dita Von Teese,which was introduced in 2012. Manufactured by Australia-based DCI Corp., the line has been sold in Australia and at American retailers such as HSN Inc. Von Teese hopes more U.S. stores pick up her lingerie line, which retails for $27 to $170. On Sept. 24, she made an appearance at Faire Frou Frou, the first boutique to sell the line in the United States. It is located in Los Angeles’ Studio City neighborhood.

Faire Frou Frou’s Gail and Alison Rubke

A group of Dita Von Teese fans greeted her at the shop, and several were dressed like 1950s starlets and pinup girls. Many of them were looking forward to buying new lingerie with a vintage style. “It’s very difficult to find a bra that has an overwire,” said Ashleeta Beauchamp of Los Angeles, whose pinup-style portraits have appeared on websites such as Burbank, Calif., retailer Unique Vintage. “She’s bringing it back,” Beauchamp said of Von Teese.


“It oozes sex but in a classy way,” Tara Alexander, another woman at the event, said of the Von Follies line.Von Teese said many women are bored of basics such as the white bra. “People want something more exotic, more risqué,” she said. The designers and marketers she worked with at first dissuaded her from using details such as overwires, but, as the more exotic pieces in the line started selling well, they gave it a green light, according to Von Teese. “When I do things my way, I succeed,” she said.

The Von Follies line offers exotic-looking lingerie, such as the “Madame X” bra and panty. It features pleated silk and straps. It also has simpler pieces, such as the “Leading Lady,” a lilac bra and panty set that features bows and lace. Unfortunately for the vintage-obsessed, the overwire bra in Von Teese’s “Her Sexellency” line is not yet in stock at Faire Frou Frou, said Alison Rubke, co-owner of the store. But the store will be getting it soon.

Von Follies is part of a booming market for lingerie. American women spent more than $10.7 billion on lingerie during the 12-month period from August 2012 to July 2013, according to market-research firm NPD Group. It was a 2.2 percent increase in lingerie sales from August 2011 to July 2013, when American women spent $10.4 billion.