Every year Victoria Secret’s famous bejewelled angels walk the glamorous catwalk, famously known as the most-watched fashion event of the year. With around 800 million who tune in annually, the likes of Bella Hadid, Alessandra Ambrosio, Romee Strijd and Candice Swanepoel led the host of favourite faces returning to the runway. Flaunting their desirable physiques in angel wings, the extravagant supermodels were accompanied down the runway with musical entertainment provided by Harry Styles, Jane Zhang and Leslie Odom Jr.
The 22nd annual Victoria Secret fashion show was held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China on Monday the 20th November 2017. The location of the show changes frequently, however, the brand has been steadily building its presence in mainland China over the past few years; with 26 stores there, a savvy business decision, driven by a desire to bring the VS brand to a new region was made. And therefore, it made commercial sense for Shanghai to host this year’s catwalk extravaganza.
Securing a place on the angel’s team is one of the most sought-after desires in the modelling world, one that models all over the world will do everything possible (including workouts twice a day) to attain. This year’s catwalk casting was as competitive as ever, with 400 girls attending call-backs in New York which were run by casting director John Pfeiffer. These call-backs required the girls to wear matching VS underwear as they auditioned in front of a hawk-eye line-up including Pfeiffer himself, Ed Razek, producer Monica Mitro and super stylist Sophia Neophitou. Amongst the familiar faces who walked the catwalk, there was also a plethora of new names including Sudanese model Grace Bol, Dutch sports illustrated model, Roosmarijn De Kok and Brit model and L’Oreal ambassador, Alexina Graham.
VS runways boast a recurring theme of ‘less is more’ as models often showcase lingerie, heels and a pair of wings. There is always a theme appointed to each runaway presentation. Previous shows have presented ‘sexy sportswear,’ or ‘sexy nightwear’. Despite the theatrical costumes affiliated with these shows ultimately it is the underwear that takes centre stage. However, this year VS took a different approach to the runway and collaborated with Balmain on a selected few one-off looks for the show. Victoria Secret favoured a Grecian theme this year, with models Bella and Candice both seen in gold headpieces and flowing fabric reminiscent of Ancient Greece. This made the show different because it marked the first time that VS teamed up with a high-fashion brand to produce pieces that will be made for retail.
Despite being a superb success, the show proved to be missing something or more so someone. Bella Hadid earned her wings without her sister Gigi Hadid, who had been noticeably absent by her side. According to the Telegraph, the decision for Gigi to not be involved in the show “had been welcomed by many in China, after she caused offence by impersonating the Buddha and “mocking Asians” in “racist” Instagram videos”. After the controversy over the video erupted, the model wrote an apology on social media but this didn’t stop Bella spreading her wings and she chose to focus on the brighter things commenting to W magazine “I am so excited and I wish we had more time to go look around but we’ve been working out and working out”.
Bella Hadid’s most iconic piece exposed a skimpy black lingerie set, that complemented her sensational figure, with plume feathers to illuminate her ensemble and a pair of paisley print long gloves applauded with colourful heels.
This year’s fashion show took place on Monday 20 November in Shanghai but will air on CBS in America, on November 28 at 10 pm EST. However, UK viewers can stream the show using the app HayU from November 29.
Are you as excited to watch it as we are?
Images: DailyMail, Evening standard
Text: Ella Buxton