What are the secrets behind Victoria’s feathered friends? - Times LIVE
Wed May 24 02:13:44 SAST 2017

What are the secrets behind Victoria’s feathered friends?

AGENCY STAFF | 2016-12-02 00:00:00.0
Models walk the runway at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016 in Paris, France.
Image by: Pascal Le Segretain

It took a fair bit of cheek on a freezing Paris night for the brash US lingerie brand Victoria's Secret to hold its first fashion show in the city that invented sexy underwear.

And, true to the brand's brazen style, the spectacle featured A-lister models, a jewel-encrusted multimillion-dollar "fantasy" bra, and the mandatory angel wings.

The show's models said they felt "goose bumps" - and not just because of the temperature. They were also stepping out under the hallowed dome of the Grand Palais, the Art Deco temple where the luxury French label Chanel holds its shows.

Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner from the Kardashian dynasty, were among the brand's "angels", so called because the models wear wings on the runway.

If you've ever wondered how those massive, glittering wings are made, designer Marian Hose spilled all of her secrets ahead of the show.

Although models only wore their wings for a few minutes, it takes 30 to 400 hours to craft the one-of-a-kind creations.

"We do five to six fittings per wing," said Hose. "We have the first fitting of wing mockups with our fit model, and we solidify all the materials. At the second fitting, we check to make sure the wings don't bounce and they aren't getting too heavy. At the third fitting, the design team matches Victoria's Secret product to the wings. Then we finally meet the model who will be wearing the wings. We have to make sure the wing works for each girl carrying it."

But before that happens, Hose, whose favourite wings include those worn by Behati Prinsloo in 2013 and Miranda Kerr in 2012, revealed that plenty of time goes into the planning process, too.

"We go through seven stages. At the first meeting, we blow up designs on a projector with our fit model to make sure that the scale is good. Next, at my studio, I pattern the wings, I build the backpack bases and understructures and I swatch decorative materials.

"Each of these wings probably weighs 7-8kg. Surprisingly, our largest wing in the Dark Angel Section only weighs 5.5kg. It's completely covered in black feathers. Often times, the jewelled wings weigh the most but this year, we kept them between 0.5 and 3.5kg."

This year some wings were made with glittering Swarovski crystals. "We made six wings for it," Hose said. "They're all playful and ready for a party."

Yesterday's show saw 35-year-old Brazilian Adriana Lima strike a blow for older models, walking her 15th show.

Another landmark was Jasmine Tookes becoming the first black woman in nine years, after Selita Ebanks and Tyra Banks, to sport the Victoria's Secret's $3-million Fantasy Bra covered in 9,000 gemstones.

- AFP/US Weekly


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