Kate Middleton may be the very model of a modesty, but one of her cousins, burlesque dancer Katrina Darling, stripped off on stage in New York last week, flaunting a butt every bit as shapely as her second cousin Pippa’s. Katrina Darling started off her racy performance wearing a red and gold patterned corset with a matching pair of knickers, gold fringed stilettos, white knee socks and a small crown on her head. By the end of it, she was completely naked, bar nipple pasties, a clip-on thong and a crown perched atop her head.
Katrina Darling works for Barclay’s Wealth Management in London. She was making her debut American appearance, performing her ‘God Save The Queen’ routine at the last Tuesday Night Dropout Party at W.I.P, a new SoHo club. Darling, who’s also a model and working on a lingerie line, has been performing since she was 18. She said, “I take my clothes off, but I don’t give away anything that should be kept for someone else.”
By the way Katrina didn’t even know she was related to Kate until she got engaged to Prince William. Kate and Katrina are related through Katrina’s grandmother who is the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge’s great-grandfather, making Darling a second cousin to Middletons. Darling told the New York Post she’s had no backlash from the royal family to her “God Save the Queen” act, and they are welcome to watch her perform: “I’d be happy for them to, but if they don’t, it’s not the end of the world.”
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.