Inside The 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came to Asia for the first time last week. Filmed in Shanghai, 55 A-list models walked the runway in 87 outfits. Victoria’s Secret doesn’t sell any of its invitation-only entry passes, but on the black market the price of a pass was said to have soared to $53,000 on the day of the show.
The show took place in Pudong’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, which emitted Victoria’s Secret’s pink light in an UFO-like shape on the night of the show. Some 3,000 attendees lined up for hours outside in the biting wind to exchange an actual ticket (theoretically with a seat number) with their invitation. Those who didn’t luckily get a floor seat, but had to get there early to secure a good seat in the balcony since the seating-arrangement system that was supposed to assign the seats after the guests’ entry went down right before the show, causing some chaos outside the arena.
6 BEST & Must-See Moments From 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
Another snafu was that Gigi Hadid, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry didn’t make it to Shanghai as expected. Rumor goes that China didn’t grant Hadid a visa this time, due to her “racist” behavior in September, as perceived by some Chinese people who were irritated. Katy Perry was banned from performing in the mainland due to political reason.
On every seat was a packet of cards on the six themes of the show and portraits of the models, known as angels. The themes were “Punk Angel,” “Porcelain Angels,” “A Winter’s Tale,” “Millennial Nation,” “Goddesses” and “Nomadic Adventure.” The performers included Harry Styles, Miguel, Leslie Odom Jr. and Chinese pop singer Jane Zhang.
With rock hard abs and a huge red-and-black flame costume on her back, comeback angel Candice Swanepoel opened the show in the Punk Angel outfit, only a year after she gave birth to her first child. This is the 29-year-old South African model’s 10th appearance in Victoria’s Secret’s runway show. All the outfits in the Punk Angel segment were leather, with rivets, pins and zippers. It featured the brand’s first collaboration with a luxury brand, the limited-edition capsule collection VSxBALMAIN.
After Bella Hadid and her ex-boyfriend, the Weeknd, crossed paths on the stage last year, we missed a similar encounter of Styles and his ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift this year. Styles, dressed in a Gucci black suit and Victoria’s Secret-pink shirt, opened the Punk Angel segment show with his new single “Kiwi.”
Later in this segment models Lily Aldridge and Alessandra Ambrosio walking in matching punk outfits with tassels and over-the-knee high-heeled boots. Aldridge closed the Porcelain Angel segment in a black lingerie set with a fluttering fairy-blue-and-white robe. I shared a cab ride from my hotel to the arena with Lily’s friend Amy, who was in Shanghai for two days for Lily’s eighth walk down the runway for Victoria’s Secret. “I will meet Lily at the after party,” she said. “We will have some fun but probably won’t stay long.”
The Winter’s Tale segment welcomed Karlie Kloss in her matching silver blonde hair, white veil and flowery wings, followed by one of the show’s biggest dramas: Ming Xi’s tumble. The Shanghainese angel tripped on her floor-length gauze and fell on her knees when she almost had arrived at the fixed point right in front of the cameras. It took Xi some time to stand up as her wing seemed to fall on her head, but she maintained a big smile throughout, with the audience giving her loud applause. The next angel, Gizele Oliveira, held Xi’s hand to the fixed point. On her way back to the backstage, Xi was interacting with her front-row Chinese celebrity friends, making fun of her mistake.
Later, during the Goddess segment, Styles returned to perform “Only Angel” while the shiny Fantasy Bra of the year was displayed by Lais Ribeiro, along with a pair of stylish golden wings and high-heeled Roman sandals. Again this year, the Fantasy Bra was created by billionaire jewelry-maker Mouawad.
The show closed with the multicultural “Nomadic Adventure” section, followed by a flurry of confetti. The angel crew, led by Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio, returned to the stage clapping hands with each other.
Seven hours before the show, backstage was crowded with journalists and bloggers. Models were in light pink, flower-embroidered pajamas, having their hair and makeup done while saying hi to the cameras. Some popular Chinese fashion bloggers were spotted live-streaming the backstage scene to their followers. The fantasy bra was briefly on display backstage, protected by two security guards. This year’s fantasy bra is valued at $2 million, weighs more than 600 carats and is embellished with nearly 6,000 precious gemstones.