Strip star Dita von Teese guest at Vienna Opera Ball
Jan 16, 2008, 14:10 GMT
11/27/2007 - Dita Von Teese - 2007 British Fashion Awards at the Horticultural Hall in London - Lawrence Hall, Royal Horticultural Halls - London, England © Solarpix / PR Photos
Vienna - US strip star Dita von Teese will shine and shock at this year's Vienna's Opera Ball, Austria's annual society highlight, much to the likely chagrin the high-brow event's organizers.
The model and ex-wife of shock-rocker Marilyn Manson will be guest of notorious Austrian socialite and builder Richard Lugner. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Lugner said his teenage daughter had begged him to invite the burlesque queen to the ball, which takes place on January 31.
The Austrian builder traditionally invites a star or starlet to accompany him and his current partner to the event held at Vienna's prestigious State Opera, with prices ranging from 230 euros for a simple ticket to 17,000 euros for a box.
In the past, 75-year-old 'Mortar' Lugner was accompanied by actresses Sophia Loren or Andie MacDowell, former Spice-Girl Gerri Halliwell and Baywatch-beauty Pamela Anderson. Last year, US-party girl Paris Hilton proved to be less-than enthusiastic company, seemingly bored by the waltzing crowd.
The 35-year-old model von Teese, born Heather Sweet in Rochester, Michigan, came to international fame posing 40s and 50s style. Her penchant for extravagant lingerie and corsets can be expected to raise eyebrows and hackles amongst conservative Opera Ball goers, who long bemoaned Lugner's antics as lowering the standards of the tradition-infused event.© 2008 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur