I am pretty sure the Chambre Syndicale doesn’t recognize Zahia Dehar, but that hasn’t prevented her from staging her second “couture” lingerie runway show in Paris. Dehar, you’ll recall, is a former underage prostitute who made headlines for sleeping with a bunch of French footballers for payment. The French love her, as does Karl Lagerfeld, who’s supported her projects in the past.
Her second lingerie collection featured models popping out of giant cupcakes, and one picture even seems to suggest that one emerged from a refrigerator. But the grand finale was Zahia herself, dressed as the hottest bride ever, stepping out of a doll box. Apparently Zahia really has a thing for showing off her boobs, as well as other people’s. The collection did so with aplomb!
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.
It is probably for the first time in the history of Paris Couture Week that Couture Panties would be paraded on the runway. The initiative is taken by Zahia Dehar who is set to launch an eponymous, high-fashion lingerie line with a catwalk show during couture week in Paris.
Zahia called on the talents of a host of couture specialists for the line’s one-off creations, including corset maker François Tamarin, flower maker and plumassier Bruno Legeron and embroiderer Jean-Pierre Ollier. Artist Michel Carel and accessories designer Cécile Boccara also collaborated on the collection, which will show on Jan. 25 at the Palais de Chaillot. And to complete her journey to fashion legitimacy, none other than Karl Lagerfeld shot her for the line’s look book–which will be handed out in the press kit at the show.
Who is Zahia Dehar? Zahia Dehar caused a furor in France back in 2010 when it was revealed that she had slept with several prominent French footballers for payment (about £2,000 a night, according to an article in the Telegraph at that time). Prostitution is legal in France, but you have to be 18 to peddle your wares, and she wasn’t.