Feminists protest at French knicker show

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The Independent Online
ONE MALE shopper said: "It reminds me of the red light district in Amsterdam", as he glanced at the window display at Galeries Lafayette. The Paris department store is using real mannequins to model a range of lingerie by the designer Chantal Thomass.

Since 13 April three models have been on show in windows designed to look like rooms. The models, scantily clad in a variety of bras, frilly knickers, suspenders and silky gowns, sip champagne in the conservatory, file their nails in the bathroom, and prepare snacks in the kitchen.

Many passers-by appreciate the displays. Others believe the shows insult women and give the wrong image of Paris. On Saturday 50 feminists outside the store chanted"Women in windows, no, no, no." A petition to remove themodels has been signed by 150, including two female National Assembly deputies, saying the shows were degrading.

A spokesman for Chantal Thomass said: "Our models are beautiful, not vulgar and degrading. Their eyes never catch those of any shopper."

There was no sign of the girls yesterday. A store spokeswomen said Monday was their day off, but could not say if they would return today.