Federica Mazzini explores the 2017 Victoria Fashion runway, as a celebration of fashion alongside a series of mishaps and controversy.
The Victoria Secret fashion show is a yearly event that is surrounded by speculation each year by both the audience and those in the fashion industry as to who will take the catwalk as well as which astounding location will be selected. This year, Shanghai was the chosen city where the models immersed themselves in a different culture once again, which is what makes the show so unique.
Supermodel regulars such as Candice Swanepoel, Sara Sampaio and Josephine Skiver were among the many models that made an appearance. However, it was Brazilian beauty Lais Ribeiro who had the honour to wear this year’s $2 million themed fantasy bra entitled ‘Champagne Nights’. The fantasy bra featured layers of Mouawad jewelry in gold, diamond, yellow sapphire and blue topaz.
Lais described this experience as “you just feel so powerful wearing it—like all the hard work has paid off,” in a video interview for Vogue.
Aside from the famed fantasy bra, the collection included a collaboration with Balmain that will launch in stores on the 6th of December. Oliver Rousteing told Vogue the inspiration for this punk style line as being mainly tartan and netting, with his favourite piece being the “Michael Jackson-inspired jacket [that] Romee Strijd will wear in the show”. This will be one of the many looks that we will be on the hunt for! However, my favourite designs had to be Romee Strijd’s lace up corset with hints of gold and the matching coconut-white lingerie, and Taylor Hill’s tribal feather look. Not to forget the dazzling pastel pink and flower embroidered silk robes backstage inspired by traditional Chinese silk painting!
The show also featured musical appearances from the likes of Harry Styles, Miguel, Jane Zhang, Leslie Odom Jr, and Yundi Li. Though it was not only these performances that made the night memorable, as there were also a few runway accidents that were only visible from the front-row seats, such as Bella Hadid’s double nip slip and Ming Xi’s fall during the ‘Winter’s Tale’ part of the walk; both models were quick to laugh it off nonetheless and continued modelling with the crowd cheering them on.
This year’s show waved goodbye to Victoria Secret angel Alessandra Ambrosio, who has been with the brand for 17 years. Although she will be missed as she has become an icon for the brand itself, this has also caused some controversy. It is argued that the Victoria Secret brand and the famous catwalk lacks body diversity and leaves little space for new faces to be discovered, as it is continuously the same angels who walk the catwalk each year. This noticeable issue has led model Ashley Graham to publicly slam the brand on her Instagram account to show the absence of plus sized models for the brand.
Another case showed two sisters who organised an ‘Anti-Victoria’s Secret’ fashion show with cancer survivors and girls on wheelchairs, accusing the brand of not having “real” women like the women on their catwalk. Because of this, it begs the question- is Victoria Secret really creating an illusion for realistic body ideals?
Everyone is diverse and each body, despite its shape and size, should be celebrated.
Fortunately, this perception is gradually altering the fashion industry, with the introduction of plus sized models and petite models, as well as beauty Jillian Mercado who is one of the few successful models to have a physical disability. Could this move forward also implicate a change in Victoria’s Secret shows in the future? The audience will simply have to wait and see, but for now we all secretly wish it could be us wearing wings down that runway!
The Victoria Secret fashion show will air in the US on CBS on November 28, and can be watched in the UK the following day from the streaming app HayU.