A Look at Eight of the Most Talked About VS Fashion Shows Since Its Debut 20 Years Ago
by Nicole Blanco Ramos, Art by Alexandra Lara
Earlier this week, the VS Angels gathered for the viewing party of the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. After the long wait since the show at Lexington Armory in New York—with only the model lineup, behind-the-scenes snaps and runway stills to satisfy our curiosity—the telecast is finally here. Now you can watch every strut, every kiss blown at the camera and every lingerie-clad angel that will have you exclaiming: BODY GOALS.
Before you stream the 2015 show, indulge yourself in a fashion history lesson. This year marks the show’s 20th anniversary and it’s been a colorful two decades for the brand. Highlights include the million dollar Fantasy Bra, that ambush encounter by PETA in 2002, rockstar boyfriends in the audience cheering on their runway model girlfriends, Ariana Grande getting smacked in the head by Elsa Hosk’s angel wings and who could forget all the electrifying musical performances?
From Victoria’s Secret’s humble beginnings to the worldwide affair it is today, scroll through to watch the evolution of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show as we highlight the best shows in its history.
The first annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Models don silky slip dresses and shiny bras making use of minimal but unexpected accessories.
The runway at the second annual fashion show is shared by some of the original supermodels: Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Helena Christensen, Tyra Banks (who makes her runway debut), Rebecca Romijn and Claudia Schiffer.
1998: The Victoria’s Secret Angels get their wings, with Tyra Banks being one of the models to wear the first set.
Gisele Bundchen makes her Victoria’s Secret debut at 19 years old. Model-turned-actress Jaime King sashays down the runway as well. Everything is bigger this time around: from the audience size and the stage to the show production and the angel wings.
The show moves to Bryant Park in New York where models like Alek Wek and Molly Sims appear on the runway. Heidi Klum wears the very first fantasy Bra called “the Heavenly Star Bra” worth $12.5 million.
This is (unofficially) the golden age of Victoria’s Secret: Naomi Campbell returns to the show in a surprise move, Gisele models the most expensive fantasy bra worth $15 million (still the most expensive to date) and the strongest lineup of angels is assembled. Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Adriana Lima, Karolina Kurkova, Gisele Bundchen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Izabel Goulart, Miranda Kerr and Isabeli Fontana all share the runway.
Candice Swanepoel makes her Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show debut, a big break for her since starting her career at Victoria’s Secret as a fit model for their merchandise. Seal tops his 2005 performance by returning for a duet with his then-wife Heidi Klum.
10.3 million viewers tune in. The most elaborately designed wings come down the runway—they’re also bigger than ever—with larger-than-life props. Karolina Kurkova wears the iconic, gigantic angel wings made of real peacock feathers. The 15th year featured some promising newcomers and returning angels.
This is technically the biggest show so far as 40 models (the most there has ever been) get cast. The looks for the grand evening require 26 makeup artists, more than 70 fully styled outfits and a total of 30 pairs of angel wings. Candice Swanepoel’s journey comes full circle as she gets tapped to model the Royal Fantasy Bra worth $10 million, too.
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