Wednesday (25th January) night, in Paris’ majestic Palais de Chaillot, France’s most famous call girl, Zahia Dehar, presented her debut couture lingerie collection, bringing a sultry close to the Paris Couture Week. Now, the question is: How does such a show end up in a nationally-funded art space, validated by the fashion world–from Karl to Pierre and Gilles to V magazine to Vanity Fair? Should pose that question to Didier Grumbach, the President of the Syndicale.
The French media wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about it. Amongst female Parisian journalists, there was a heated debate over whether one should attend the show or not. Some refused, while others went for sociological purposes. ‘Sex’ is not a big deal in France and hence this debate over attending a former prostitute’s show did fascinate me.The guests were welcome by real size silver busts of Zahia’s naked self, molded from her body; on each seat, a white chocolate naked Zahia awaited each member of the audience, along with her lookbook shot by Karl Lagerfeld. Unknown baby-faced models appeared wearing no underwear at all, but pink bows covering the nipples and crotches and with pink present boxes on their heads. The show consisted of reawakening every stripper stereotype in the book: French maid, ‘exotic chic’ (a vague mix of Eve and a belly dancer), or girls naked and wrapped in pink bows. Thongs and push-ups was as far as it went in terms of actual underwear. The rest consisted of a variation of nipple and coochie pasties matching the theme.