Angels in Red
Victoria’s Secret Rocks Paris at Annual Show
By THOMAS ADAMSON
PARIS — The laciest, if not raciest, catwalk event of the year ? aka, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show — took place Wednesday night in in the City of Light. Among the takeaways: 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 gild, 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,” said 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.
Bruno Mars also performed several times, ramping up the energy and using the catwalk as his stage — in signature shades, with tuxedo-wearing 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 hand-crafted 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.
A (HADID) FAMILY AFFAIR
Hadid, 52, was the proudest of mothers Wednesday night.
For the first time, the former model could boast that Bella was included in the Victoria’s Secret model line-up 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 told The AP.
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 added.
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 Sunday night.
Led by Alessandra Ambrosio, the troupe posed for photos outside the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday morning as gob-smacked 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.