30th November was the day when angels walked on Earth. Well, at least as close to angels as we can be. We are talking about “Victoria’s Secret Angels” and not the characters of Nalini Singh’s novels. (though we’d love to see them fly too!) This year the most watched fashion event around the globe took place at the Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées, Paris.
As ever, the Angels stole the show. The event is never about lingerie. It is not about the Fantasy Bra studded with bazillion Swarovski. And it is not even about the brand. It is about a dozen or so leggy women owning the floor with wings that sometimes weigh as much as 27 kgs! It is about the Victoria Secret’s Angels. No number of diamonds and skimpy, dazzling under-things can be a match to the models who always, always eclipse the show.
The eyes do ogle at the risque clothing, or the lack of it. Add to that the ornate wings which now are becoming tech savvy if last year is to be taken as an example. But the supermodels are the reason people watch the show every year without fail.
The platform has been graced by Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Karolina Kurkova, Naomi Campbell and so on. The list is literally endless. Being granted the wings is the dream of every model. Then again, walking the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show equates to unprecedented perks, exposure and ultimately bigger and better things. It opens a world for the models. It is a league in its own.
Becoming an angel is a process. It is not just about being a model that fits the measurements. Also, looks are just a minor part of it. VS seeks out models who have a persona. Just watch any show from any year and you will see it to be the truth. The models, sorry “Angels”, exude exuberance for life. They are happy, chirpy, and peppy. As if walking down that ramp is the culmination of their dream, which quite literally is one.
The systematic process before an Angel can strut down that walkway is akin to ‘training for the Olympics’ by many of the models. They train extensively before the show, so much so that they created a whole campaign around it Train Like An Angel. Pilates, racket sports, barre, weight training, resistance bands and squats, they do it all just to “earn their wings”.
But, the show that introduced us to supermodels like Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Miranda Kerr has been a letdown for the past two years. No, we are not talking about lingerie though last year’s selection was just meh. (We have high hopes this year judging from the photos on Instagram and their website.) We are talking about their move towards mainstream models. Models like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner whom it seems Victoria Secret is using to cash in their popularity.
We don’t deny that walking the show is a big break for these models. The relationship is symbiotic for sure, but we miss the era when a model was introduced as an Angel and she went on to disrupt the very fabric of the fashion world. What we see today is more pictures of Kendall, Gigi and Bella on their social media feed rather than the other models. We see the media buzzing about why Cara Delevingne was not “casted’. No it was not because she was bloated, but because she was occupied with work elsewhere. We see people excited about watching Bella Hadid walk by while The Weeknd performs, so close after their break-up.
Take a look at their Insta feed and tell us you don’t see the brand leaning towards the well known names. Take a look at Russell James, the person given the enviable task of capturing the angels, photos and judge for yourself.
Last year Kendall Jenner was invited to walk for VS for the first time, a topic that was endlessly bandied about in the media. Which makes us wonder maybe it is not Victoria Secret bending towards mainstream models, but media itself. Is it not true that the Jenner/Kardashian name is bound to get more clicks? Who here would not want to see Gigi in her smalls? Or Bella Hadid graciously thanking her ex for his performance?
I have been watching the Victoria’s Secret fashion show for ages, right from the time when I had to switch channels if anyone else entered the room. My grandmother would not only have been scandalised she would have had an epic meltdown (God Bless her conservative soul shouting at me from up above at this very moment). But, last year left a not-so-awed after taste despite smashing performances by The Weeknd and Rihanna.
But, then again it is not for the singers that I watch the show. It is the women walking down the aisle like they own the world and lovin’ it.
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