Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret rocks Paris with $3M bra

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FASHION -

The lac­i­est, if not raci­est, cat­walk event of the year — aka, the Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret fash­ion show — took place last Wed­nes­day night in the City of Light. Among the take-aways: per­for­mances by Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars, sis­ters Bella and Gigi Ha­did join­ing forces, as well as a $3 mil­lion Fan­tasy bra mod­eled by Jas­mine Tookes. Here are the high­lights of the Paris show:

An­gels in red

Guests shuf­fled into the huge steel-and-glass atrium of Paris’ Grand Palais to the sound of a string or­ches­tra play­ing softly from a huge Arc de Tri­om­phe decor.

The calm lasted only a few sec­onds, how­ever, and was bro­ken by the flash of red neon lights and bold rock mu­sic blast­ing out to an­nounce the start of the 40-minute pre­sen­ta­tion, which in­fected the cheer­ing guests.

Swedish model Elsa Hosk strut­ted out fit­tingly with elec­tric en­ergy in a cropped bustier — en­veloped in a huge, three-di­men­sional red Chi­nese dragon; Ken­dall Jen­ner — in blood red — wore thigh-high boots, a long-line plung­ing bra and suede an­gel wing and Gigi Ha­did looked like she would take off in flight, sport­ing a hand-painted cape with an Aztec-pat­tern that bil­lowed as she walked.

The high-oc­tane show was di­vided into six the­matic sec­tions, re­flected in the col­or­ful styles that bore inches of bare skin: Road Ahead, Moun­tain Ro­mance, Pink Na­tion, Se­cret An­gel, Dark An­gel and Bright Night An­gel.

The sig­na­ture wings flut­tered through­out — in feather, silk, gold guild, suede and Swarovski crys­tal.

“Not only do the wings get big­ger but we tap into new ar­ti­sans and peo­ple who do things with 3-D print­ing ... that’s al­ways the won­der­ful thing about work­ing on the show,” says Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret Ex­ec­u­tive Pro­ducer Monica Mitro.

As the show ended, a mil­lion pieces of glit­tered rib­bon fell on the an­gels and the ador­ing crowds.

Gaga, Mars, The Weeknd

With a retro bleached hair­style, Lady Gaga gave a rous­ing and gutsy live per­for­mance of Mil­lion Rea­sons to the crowd, and ap­peared again for A-YO.

At one point her mi­cro­phone got stuck in the tassels of her dark cow­boy hat, but this didn’t stop the con­sum­mate pro­fes­sional, who con­tin­ued singing John Wayne as Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret mod­els danced with her and criss­crossed the run­way rhyth­mi­cally to the beat.

As the 30-year-old pop­star ended her set, she walked over to kiss Ha­did’s mother, re­al­ity TV star Yolanda Ha­did, in her front row seat. (Be­fore the show, Gaga treated her In­sta­gram fol­low­ers to a photo of her­self in sil­ver Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret un­der­wear).

Bruno Mars also per­formed sev­eral times, ramp­ing up the en­ergy and us­ing the cat­walk as his stage — in sig­na­ture shades, with tuxedo-wear- ing back­ing dancers jiv­ing be­hind him.

The Amer­i­can singer had guests jump­ing up and down for funky per­for­mances of 24K Magic and Chunky.

But it was per­haps The Weeknd that got the most cheers of the night. The singer ser­e­naded Bella Ha­did — with whom he has been ro­man­ti­cally linked — with his hit song Star­boy, and al­most fol­lowed her up the cat­walk as she walked in a lace gown with silk or­ganza corset.

$3 mil­lion fan­tasy bra

The Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret Fan­tasy bra the 25-year-old Jas­mine Tookes was se­lected to wear is con­sid­ered the piece de re­sis­tance of the brand’s run­way dis­play.

The bra, glim­mer­ing with thou­sands of gem­stones, was pre­sented like crown jew­els ahead of the show. An in­cred­i­ble work of art, it was de­signed by Ed­die Borgo and hand­crafted over 700 hours with gems from jew­eler AWMouzan­nar.

“It is so beau­ti­ful. It’s cov­ered in white di­a­monds and emer­alds and it has about 9,000 gem­stones. It cost $3 mil­lion — so stun­ning,” gushed Tookes back­stage while she was hav­ing her hair done.

It’s the third time a black model has been cho­sen to model the Fan­tasy Bra.

Tookes says the gar­ment was con­structed on a mold of her up­per body, lit­er­ally made to mea­sure.

While the bra may be per­fect for the run­way pre­sen­ta­tion, Tookes joked she prob­a­bly wouldn’t want to go for a jog in it, given its weight.

“It’s very heavy; it weighs more than 450 karats. It weighs down on my shoul­ders a lit­tle bit, but it’s so worth it,” she says, cheek­ily adding: “I might jog out of this show with it though.”

Ha­did, 52, was the proud­est of moth­ers last Wed­nes­day night.

For the first time, the for­mer model could boast that Bella was in­cluded in the Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret model lineup as well as Gigi for 2016.

“Last year, Gigi got it and Bella didn’t get it and I felt awk­ward be­ing there hav­ing Bella at home. And this year, it’s just so per­fect be­cause they’re both here. We’re cel­e­brat­ing, the sis­ters to­gether,” she says.

The three posed for cam­eras and kissed on the pink car­pet fol­low­ing the col­lec­tion — in a show of fam­ily love.

“It’s all sur­real. I mean, I came here when I was 16, mod­el­ing. So many years have gone by and to be here with both my girls.it’s emo­tional. I keep look­ing at them and pinch­ing my­self. Who­ever thought that this would hap­pen?” she adds.

She was one of the orig­i­nal Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret mod­els back in 1995.

Now at 51 years old — and just as youth­ful-look­ing — Veron­ica Webb speaks to the AP about the chal­lenges and par­tic­u­lar­i­ties of the famed fash­ion show that she be­gan 21 years ago.

“I was in the first Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret show and it was one of the most chal­leng­ing book­ings that I ever did be­cause, ob­vi­ously, if you’re in a room and ev­ery­one else is dressed and you’re in your un­der­wear it’s a lit­tle bit em­bar­rass­ing,” she says, laugh­ing.

Webb, who made his­tory as the first African-Amer­i­can to ever have a cos­met­ics con­tract, also re­called how im­por­tant the ex­pe­ri­ence boosted her pro­fes­sional life.

“It was one of the proud­est mo­ments of my ca­reer also be­cause it took so much dis­ci­pline and mak­ing so many fit­ness goals to get there,” she says.

Even Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret mod­els get ner­vous

Brazil­ian beauty Lais Ribeiro phys­i­cally jumped when a loud­speaker bel­lowed there was just one hour un­til show time.

“But­ter­flies just came stronger in my stom­ach. I’m get­ting very, very ex­cited,” Ribeiro, 26, tells the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Ribeiro knows more than most about the hid­den dan­gers in a show such as this, where mod­els in tow­er­ing heels can in­jure them­selves. She hurt her foot as a Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret An­gel three years ago.

“What am I scared of ? I twisted my an­kle and kind of broke my foot in the re­hearsal three years ago. So I’m al­ways scared of the high heels (that might make) me miss this amaz­ing show,” she says.

Se­cu­rity tight

Hours be­fore last Wed­nes­day’s show be­gan, hun­dreds of me­ters in the area around Paris’ Grand Palais and the Champs Elysées av­enue were in near lock­down, bar­ri­caded with pass­ing tourists and fash­ion­istas alike get­ting frisked.

Bomb squad dogs sniffed out ev­ery sin­gle bag that en­tered the Grand Palais where the fash­ion show took place.

Paris re­mains in a state of emer­gency fol­low­ing last Novem­ber’s Paris at­tacks at a con­cert hall and var­i­ous spots around the cap­i­tal.

City of an­gels

The An­gels, as Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret top mod­els are known, have taken Paris — and their In­sta­gram ac­counts — by storm since fly­ing into the City of Light on Nov 27.

Led by Alessan­dra Am­bro­sio, the troupe posed for pho­tos out­side the Eif­fel Tower last Tues­day morn­ing as gob­s­macked tourists stopped to take in the in­cred­i­ble views, which in­cluded the mon­u­ment.

Josephine Skriver, Adriana Lima, Lily Don­ald­son, Hosk, Lily Aldridge and Tookes wore as­sorted An­gels T-shirts and skinny, fig­ure-hug­ging black jeans.

But the fun con­tin­ued on­line, with Lima post­ing a from-be­hind shot of her and Martha Hunt wear­ing thigh-high boots dur­ing the show’s prepa­ra­tions.

Mere mor­tals may use a face mask ahead of a glam­orous night out — but these are An­gels, and ter­res­trial rules don’t ap­ply.

Trend­ing on­line were pho­tos of some of the mod­els us­ing 24-karat gold sheet masks to pre­pare for the 2016 show.

It’s very heavy; it weighs more than 450 karats. It weighs down on my shoul­ders a lit­tle bit, but it’s so worth it.” Jas­mine Tookes, 25-year-old model who wore the Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret Fan­tasy bra

Swedish model Elsa Hosk presents a cre­ation; US model Jas­mine Tookes presents the $3 Mil­lion 2016 Bright Night Fan­tasy Bra; Lady Gaga (cen­ter) per­forms with US singer Bruno Mars (left) and Cana­dian singer The Weeknd; Por­tuguese model Sara Sam­paio.

PHO­TOS BY MARTIN BUREAU / AFP

Clock­wise from top:

From left: Josephine Skriver, Jas­mine Tookes, Lily Aldridge, Adriana Lima, Elsa Hosk, Alessan­dra Am­bro­sio and Tay­lor; a model gets ready back­stage; Lady Gaga per­forms as Chi­nese model Sui He presents.

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