Infamous French Escort Zahia Dehar Debuts 'Couture' Lingerie Collection

PARIS--Wednesday night, in Paris’ majestic Palais de Chaillot, France’s most famous call girl, Zahia Dehar, presented her debut couture lingerie col
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PARIS--Wednesday night, in Paris’ majestic Palais de Chaillot, France’s most famous call girl, Zahia Dehar, presented her debut couture lingerie col
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PARIS--Wednesday 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 city’s fashion week. Guests were welcome by real-life size molds of her naked body, as well as mini white chocolate Zahias, and prints of her look book shot by Karl Lagerfeld--all in a velvet, bubblegum-tinted boudoir.

The 19 year old ‘designer’ hit headlines a couple of years ago for her popularity amongst French football players: At age 17, she was reportedly bought for a night by a team member to be Franck Ribéry’s birthday present.

Ironically (not), the first theme of the show was ‘woman as present’: unknown baby-faced models appeared wearing no underwear at all, but pink bows covering the nipples and crotches (and in some cases, flashing their Hollywood), and with pink present boxes on their heads. The following looks tapped into age-old stripper clichés: French maids in tiny aprons and thongs pouted away; jungle ladies (poison ivy? Eve?) ‘dressed’ in branches appeared against a projection of a tropical flower opening (no need to remind what the ‘flower’ symbolizes).

As for the names of the garments? They, too, were just as subtle: ‘My Apricot’, ‘Wild Stroke’, ‘My Cherry’ (as if the clothes needed subtitles). The press release said that these were meant for a world where ‘frills match shoes and bags’.

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? (Check out her elaborate website if you don’t believe me.) From infamous hooker to cult figure in the making, will next Christmas see Zahia dolls on the shelves?

Amongst female Parisian journalists, there was a heated debate over whether we should attend the show or not--some refused, others went for sociological purposes. I couldn’t resist, as the country’s relation to sexuality continues to fascinate me: In a city where the first lady shagged Mick Jagger and where the previous president’ nickname in the press was “ten minute shower included” for his famous affairs, Monica Lewinski would have been a superstar.