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The Victorias Secret Show

The Victorias Secret Show

Victoria’s Secret show this year was an extravaganza! Complete with a light-up forest, string orchestra and Andrea Bocelli performing Mascagni while models walked down the runway? it truly was spectacular. But what about its predecessor VS show back in 1997? Back then was quite different.


Victoria’s Secret has expanded into a global lingerie retailer since its establishment in 1977, boasting more than 350 stores and billions in annual sales. 


Renowned for being exclusive and seductive, Victoria’s Secret shows feature Angels wearing various provocative outfits while walking down a catwalk before an audience of millions? Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5 among many other entertainment performers have graced these shows over time.


Success of the show led to its adaptation as a television program, first airing in the US in 1995 on network TV and initially scheduled in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day; however, due to competition with other televised lingerie shows the date was moved later to avoid competing shows.


But in 2019, VS decided to cancel its show following L Brands’ connection to convicted sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein and subsequent scandals involving models, models’ agents and executive Ed Razek who oversaw shows for them. 


At this time, calls for more diversity on the runway were increasing exponentially – creating quite a task for VS CEO Mark Mehas in trying to turn around L Brands while evolving fashion show format in ways inclusive of different female bodies.


The Victoria’s Secret Show Has Changed

Victoria’s Secret fashion shows were long an amalgam of model parade, beauty pageant, musical variety show and documentary. But after 2018, this lingerie brand was forced to recognize how far out-of-sync it had become with women’s ideas of femininity.


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Now, with The Tour, the company has an opportunity to do right by those women – but will it be enough?


Angels

Victoria’s Secret held an annual fashion show from 2009 until 2019, where models signed to its contract – known as Angels – would demonstrate its lingerie. This event became a key draw for Victoria’s Secret and helped launch Gisele Bundchen, Tyra Banks, Alessandra Ambrosio and Heidi Klum into household names. 


Furthermore, Victoria’s Secret introduced chart-topping singers while pushing broadcasting boundaries with its seductive display.


However, the show hasn’t been without controversy. In 2018, former CEO Ed Razek made controversial comments regarding transgender models that caused backlash within the company and galvanized models into demanding action from executives following an expose published by New York Times that detailed misogyny and harassment at their workplace.


Lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret announced in 2022 that they intended to revive their fashion show without using Angel models as part of its lineup, drawing both positive and negative responses on social media – some users likening the move to an end of an “Barnum & Bailey”-esque circus, while others demanded greater diversity within the show lineup.


Lingerie giant L. Brands has made efforts to refresh its image and appeal to a younger audience with the launch of its PINK line and three-part documentary series on Hulu exploring its history. 


For its 2023 fashion show, they recruited models with diverse backgrounds for its lineup; these models will join an “Oldies” troupe composed of former Angels as well as some fresh faces.


Lingerie

Victoria’s Secret shows have long featured an abundance of angelic models wearing Victoria’s Secret lingerie. Hosted in New York City, performances by popular musicians like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Selena Gomez were often part of this event. 


Furthermore, models would often wear elaborate costumes complete with angel wings for added spectacle and aura of mystery.


Doja Cat, Jenny Fax and Michaela Stark were renowned fashion designers responsible for the lingerie featured at this year’s show, while special performances by Ellie Goulding was shared by Halsey model-singer-songwriter who performed alongside Ellie in concert.


Models showcased an assortment of colors, styles and patterns within the lingerie on display; from classic black lace pieces to colorful printed ones.


Victoria’s Secret first started broadcasting their annual extravaganza show on network television in 2001 and since then has become an annual tradition that is an unforgettable spectacle.


Early shows were often shown prior to Valentine’s Day as part of its romantic theme; later however, more extravagant shows became part of its repertoire with company introducing more exotic locations for hosting purposes.


In 2021, Victoria’s Secret introduced a revamped format for their fashion show known as The Tour and committed to celebrating women’s voices, perspectives and experiences. 


This show can now be found streaming live on Amazon Prime until September 26th with global trailblazers from various artistic disciplines and aims to help women reclaim the narrative about what constitutes seduction for them personally; while also overhauling its purchasing practices to guarantee garment workers receive living wages.


Performances

After facing much criticism and ratings drops in 2019, Victoria’s Secret decided to cancel their annual fashion show, however L Brands revived it as an Amazon Prime Video special called The Tour and features different types of artists such as photographers, filmmakers and designers instead of grand spectacles that once were held.


The segments consist of interviews and footage featuring creatives, their work and the cities in which they reside (Bogota, Lagos, London and Tokyo were featured in this film). 


There are musical performances by Doja Cat and Afro-Colombian singer Goyo as well as Doja Cat and Goyo themselves performing songs about queerness, body autonomy and protest.


There are some very sexy scenes but others that explore more sensitive subjects like queerness body autonomy protest and body positivity; it’s rare to witness such raw, open dialogue about issues normally off limits in something purporting as fashion show sponsored by lingerie brand!


Many famous faces can also be found here, such as model Adriana Lima who narrates the film and Hailey Bieber, Emily Ratajkowski and Quannah Chasinghorse (models themselves) each of whom models one piece in turn. The finale is particularly eye-catching when designers bring Angels to life through an amazing acrobatic dance sequence!


It’s an intriguing idea, yet the short films don’t feel cohesive or engaging. Even with promises of diversity, more enjoyable music, and a new concept in place, The Tour fails to recapture the magic of old Victoria’s Secret shows without elaborate wings, stunning outfits and exciting music – instead it seems more like an inert fashion documentary compared to an engaging visual experience. We hope Victoria’s Secret learns from its mistakes next time around.


Music

When we think of Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, our minds may picture an evening full of seductive models in lingerie showcasing their bodies for all to see. What sets this show apart though, is its music – Victoria’s Secret uses this medium as an emotional connecting mechanism and uses well-known and popular artists so their audiences feel connected with them and feel compelled by them emotionally.


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Music at Victoria’s Secret shows can dramatically transform the atmosphere, from girl power anthems to romantic pop tracks. One of the most unforgettable performances was by Maroon 5 in 2011.


Adam Levine brought an electric energy that had the audience laughing out loud; their songs fit seamlessly with the tone of the show; Moves Like Jagger and Sexy Back were two highlights that stood out, making for an unforgettable performance.


Recently, Victoria’s Secret runway shows have featured stars like Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars as performers. Furthermore, these runway shows often air just before Valentine’s Day tying the brand directly to this romantic holiday.


This year’s VS show aired on December 2, and featured an all-star lineup of musical performers, such as Shawn Mendes, Halsey, The Chainsmokers with Kelsea Ballerini, Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha, and The Struts.


As it was held for the first time ever in London, bringing with it an added sexy and romantic atmosphere, this show made headlines for an outfit worn by model Karlie Klost which many believed resembled Native American clothing and violated cultural norms – an issue raised during an interview following this event.


Film

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has long been an annual cultural phenomenon, but recently it has experienced an extraordinary evolution. 


Victoria’s Secret has changed from featuring only top models clad in over-the-top lingerie to one that strives for more diverse representation of women; this transition was in part spurred by #MeToo movement as well as several scandals including CEO and founder Leslie Wexner’s connections to disgraced sexual assault survivor Jeffrey Epstein.


On Tuesday, a documentary called VS 20 premiered: an intriguing documentary which showcases the intimate stories and behind-the-scenes craft of women around the globe. Fashion designers, artists, musicians and other creatives were selected by a company as participants and given free rein to create projects of their own and share experiences from around the globe.


Each segment in this film takes place in a different city – including Tokyo, London, Bogota and Lagos – highlighting each woman’s work within a larger theme of women’s empowerment. 


The result is an intriguing look at their creativity ranging from gossamer silver knitwear designer in London to an artist creating corsetry that forces viewers to confront body parts they are often taught to hide away.

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