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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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No Bombs, Only Bombshells, Plus a $2 Million Bra, at the Victoria's Secret Show

Renata Espinosa
November 11th, 2010 @ 1:55 PM - New York

It’s the highly coveted invitation that few people receive, but everyone wants: the taping of the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Held in the Lexington Armory in New York on Wednesday night, Nov. 10, it was literally bombs and bombshells in the building, and a whole lot of voyeurs in between.

Well, maybe not literally bombs - there were dogs sniffing purses for explosives to prevent that - but military memorabilia in glass cases lined the hallway as guests entered the custom-built space that rivaled a Paris couture show in scale.

Plush, red padded stadium-style seating looked down onto a very glittery gold runway, with seats towering some 30 feet up. Though the main attraction was a bevy of the most beautiful women in the world clad in Victoria’s Secret underwear and the show’s signature angel wings, if you forgot your opera glasses that night or weren’t sitting in the VIP sections, you were more likely to get an up-close-and-personal look at the backs of the heads of business men in suits, who, not surprisingly, made up a good majority of the audience.

But if the custom bra and panty sets were hard to see, there was plenty more visible accoutrement on display, from the aforementioned wings in a wide range of styles, from peacock feathers to sharp metal spikes, as well as sports-themed costumes and cowgirl-inspired get-ups. It was Halloween and “sexy” costumes-in-a-bag all over again on the runway.

And there was glitter, lots and lots of it. A hundred pounds, to be exact, along with 30 bottles of Victoria’s Secret “Shimmer Mist” and 40 cans of hairspray. No one said being beautiful was easy, or natural.

Despite the pounds of glitter, makeup artist Tom Pechaux said the look was inspired by the California girl, one of the most natural female archetypes around.

“This season we are playing with bronzer,” he said as he applied makeup to Alessandra Ambrosio some eight hours before showtime. “It’s more healthy, it’s more dewy, more glow-y.”

Adding to the spectacle, and cementing the “California Girls” theme, was a live performance by Katy Perry, as well as a little auto-tune crooning by R&B recording star Akon. They played to a far more subdued audience than the usual screaming arena crowds they’re likely used to, which might explain the canned applause that followed their respective performances. However, Vin Diesel put in a good show of support as he cheered them on, fist-pumping and clapping wildly from his front row seat.

The fashion star of the night, however, was the big ticket $2 million “Bombshell Fantasy Bra” worn by Adriana Lima, covered with 60 carats of diamonds and 82 carats of sapphires and topaz stones with a pattern meant to evoke a swirling constellation, perfect for an "Angel." And who might be lining up to buy this VIP bra?

“You know, it’s a very special piece, and the kind of person that would eventually buy it is not that easy to find,” said Sylvia Damiani, vice president of Damiani, the jeweler who created the bra, before the show. “I was thinking that the right person for it would be like a singer, a stage person. I see it more as a kind of piece that is something that you wear when you are a performer. Like Lady Gaga, or Katy Perry!”

For the Victoria’s Secret models walking in the show, it was as much about performing as it was about modeling clothes - or lack thereof - on the runway. For even the most seasoned models, that meant even more pressure.

Chanel Iman, who closed the show in an elaborate bubble-wing ensemble, said that this show was definitely a different experience from her usual jobs during fashion week.

“It’s a little bit stressful, just because you want to be amazing, and you want to just feel good in lingerie,” she said. “It takes a lot to walk in front of a lot of people.”

And even these top models had to follow strict diet and exercise routines in the days leading up to the show, like Behati Prinsloo.

“I saw my trainer every day for the last week just to do different things. I did Pilates, I did some boxing, and just drank loads of water, kept healthy, and slept.”

But once the show was done, she had some big food-related plans: “I’m going to have a huge steak, and a chocolate mousse cake. Devour everything that I want, and not work out for about two weeks!”

The televised version of the show airs on Tuesday, Nov. 30 on CBS at 10 p.m. EST, 11 p.m. PST.

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