In the 1967 film Belle de Jour, a beautiful but bored young housewife, Séverine Serizy, finds herself sneaking out during the day to work at a Parisian brothel as a high-class prostitute, where she reconnects with herself and her sexuality by living out her fantasies in her secret double life.
Billed as both a drama and a comedy, the French film captures the dual frustrations of modern womanhood, wherein women are expected to be both well-kept and domestic and sexual goddesses. In Belle de Jour, Catherine Deneuve’s character boldly steps out on her own to reclaim her time and her desire, despite the expectations of the people around her. She also creatively explores her fantasies, bringing them to life.
For designer Sharon Sever, Serizy is more than a film character. She’s also the inspiration behind the latest Galia Lahav collection, designed with just such a forward-thinking, revolutionary woman in mind. The collection, made entirely of silk and wool, mixes classic couture fabrics like taffeta and organza with fine embroidery, including pops of playful prints, like red lips.
To honor the independent woman, the collection leans towards the bold and the voluminous — statement sleeves, deconstructed ball gowns, big bows and dramatic waists create striking silhouettes. The Galia Lahav woman always stands out in a crowd, and these looks are no exception. The glamour of the 80s meets the avant-garde of couture, with a color palette made up of hues like hot pink, fuschia, black, white, flaming red and pops of sky blue designed to catch the attention of everyone in the room.
While Belle de Jour is a play on the French term belle de nuit, or lady of the night, it’s also the name of the collection, and a fitting one at that. Many of the dresses could be worn day or night, whether accessorized to more dramatic effect or more simply for an elegant yet still arresting look. Either way, you can’t wear a piece from the Belle de Jour collection without creating a memorable moment for all to witness.