The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is one of the year’s most anticipated fashion events. From the announcement of the model line-up to who will get to wear the coveted Fantasy Bra, we obsess over every detail.
But there’s actually so much more to this annual extravaganza. Here’s some Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show trivia you may not have known.
1. The show is filmed twice.
In order to create the best version of the show possible, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is filmed twice, and then footage from both is edited together from different angles for the final TV version.
2. Some of the outfits are very heavy.
If you think strutting down a catwalk in lingerie is no big deal (ha!), think about the added weight the embellished wings add—some weigh more than 20kg. (In 2011, Alessandra Ambrosio wore a set of jewel-encrusted wings that weighed approx. 27kg. She was also four months pregnant at the time.) When you see all the models intensifying their workouts pre-show, it’s not just to look good—it’s so they’re strong enough for their looks.
3. There is a lot of security involved.
A journalist for Cosmopolitan US documented his experience of going to the show, and said there were sniffer dogs checking bags.
4. There is a strict no-phone policy.
Guests at the 2015 show were given little plastic bags for their phones, and they weren’t allowed to take pictures, video, or use social media while the show was being taped. Though it’s obviously different for the models, and famous front row guests…
5. The first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was held in 1995.
It was staged at the Plaza Hotel in NYC in August 1995, and wasn’t broadcast on TV. It was literally models walking around in nightgowns—completely different to the extravaganza it has become today.
6. Wings made their first appearance in 1998.
Before Victoria’s Secret models graduated to Angel status, the brand carried a line of lingerie called the ‘Angel’ collection. This is why some of the models wore angel wings in the 1998 show.
7. The first broadcast was actually a webcast in 1999.
For the first four years, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show wasn’t filmed. Then, in 1999, it was streamed live on Broadcast.com, and now it has become one of the most anticipated TV events of the year.
8. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show didn’t tape or air in 2004.
Blame Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake—there was so much backlash from THAT controversial Super Bowl half-time show that year that all TV networks became worried about “suggestive programming.” In its place, Victoria’s Secret hosted an ‘Angels Across America’ event, which saw models Gisele Bündchen, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio driving around in a bus to NYC, Miami, Las Vegas and LA to meet fans. Lima described it as a “very humbling experience.”
9. The models get competitive over costumes.
Seasoned VS Fashion Show walker Adriana Lima told BuzzFeed in 2014, “During fittings, we fight over who gets the biggest wings.” She added, “But we actually really like one another.”
10. The first Fantasy Bra was made and worn in 1996.
Dubbed ‘The Million Dollar Miracle Bra,’ it was covered in $1.3 million worth of diamonds, and was worn by Claudia Schiffer.
11. The most expensive Fantasy Bra ever was worth $19 million.
Named the ‘Red Hot Fantasy Bra,’ it was worn by Gisele Bündchen in 2000.
12. It takes hours for the models to prep backstage for the show.
It takes around five hours of hair and makeup, according to Adriana Lima. This includes spray tans, hair extensions and lash extensions.
13. The makeup artists will go through 150 tubes of lip gloss for the show.
If a show features around 50 models, that’s three tubes per model.
14. The models eat pizza and cupcakes backstage before the show.
Despite months of dieting and intense workouts, right before the show starts filming the girls are spoiled with treats, according to Adriana Lima.
15. Outlander star Caitriona Balfe used to be a Victoria’s Secret model.
The Irish actress, who’s currently best known for playing Claire Fraser on Outlander, walked the show in 2002! She’s also done plenty of editorial work as a model in the past.
16. The 2017 show will feature a record number of Chinese models.
Considering the show is taking place in Shanghai, China, this is apt. Liu Wen was the first Chinese model to ever walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, in 2009. This year, out of the 55 models hitting the runway, eight of them will be Chinese.
Roll on 28 November!