Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Angels and Diamonds: Victoria Secret's Couture Show

by Sienna Vittoria

Million dollar diamonds, lace, skilled craftsmanship and live acrobats. Contrary to the belief of many, the Victoria's Secret annual couture show is not merely a succession of scantily clad ladies prancing down the runway for the pleasure of preadolescent boys watching from their couches at home. The amount of work that is spent creating the intricately jeweled and laced couture lingerie is enormous, and is admirable to anyone who is familiar with the patience required to even thread a needle.
Veering towards more of a theatrical production than simply a runway show, this year viewers were audience to a spectacle of Carnival-themed lights, with background trapeze artists suspended in the air. Proceeding this, models walked in sweet blushtones and baby blues, donning bows and butterfly wings. Viewers were then taken on a trip through time, as each model that emerged on the runway was fashioned to embody a designated month of the year. Sparkles and tinsel sprinkled out as we were then transported to the time of classic Hollywood glamour, with models in diamonds, satins and velvets. Concluding the show was “Angels in Bloom”, featuring flower blossomed wings, and bright greens and pinks, reminiscent of Tinker Bell. This years honoured Angel, Alessandra Ambrosio, confidently sauntered down the runway in the legendary 2.5 million dollar "fantasy bra", sparkling from the stage with a 20-carot diamond as the centrepiece.

Alessandra Abrosio, "Fantasy Bra"

“As soon as the glitter settles on the runway [at the end], we’re thinking of next years show,” sighed Monica Mitro, Victoria's Secret’s agent. “It’s a year long process.”
The procedure begins with conceptual brainstorming, and according to Sophie Neophitou, the infamous Creative Director of Victoria Secret, “the inspiration comes from films, music, and a lot of the time from the [retail] V.S. collections.” May is when the sketches begin to emerge, illustrating that years' mood and aesthetic. The lingerie then begins to materialize, slowly and meticulously. “We work with some of the best artisans in the world…the jewelers, the drapers, the patternmakers,” Collection Designer Todd Thomas stated proudly. “Each piece might have to pass through ten different hands.” Upon the arrival of September, fittings begin, and the team “really works out the nitty gritty.”

Candace Swanepoel, Victoria's Secret Angel

Candice Swanepoel, Victoria's Secret’s current “it girl” has come a long way from where she began. Raised in a large rural farm in South Africa, she “was shy, and in [her] own world.” One day, while shopping with her mother at the local flea market, she was scouted and flown off to New York City where her modeling career began. “I was in awe,”commented Swanepoel, “it was like another planet.” First featured in Victoria's Secret runway shows, she caught the intrigue of fashions toughest critics. “I don’t think I would be anywhere without Victoria's Secret,” she stated truthfully. Her portfolio has since developed to catalogue collaborations with the industry's best, including Testino, Lagerfeld and Prada. She has graced the covers of leading publications such as Vogue Italia and Elle Magazine, becoming known as “the most glamorous model of the decade,” expressed Neophitou.

 ~ Sienna Vittoria

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