Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2015: Review

The curtain falls on the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, taped yesterday in New York City: as we wait for the official video, that will be broadcasted on December 8th on CBS, we believe it is time for a juicy review of the runway show… MsD’s style of course!

kendall jenner angel
If you have waited for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show as your own birthday party, then welcome: this post is for all of you, die-hard fans!
Since the official date was announced, we have never stopped daydreaming about it… Pretty much like this:
Me: OMG, the VS Fashion Show is just a couple of months away!!
The world: VS, what?
Me: I’m so nervous, and I don’t even have to walk in it! OMG the angles, they will be 15 this year! 
The world: I’m not sure what we are talking about…
Me: This means they have to pick one angel for the Fantasy Bra! Or two like last year… What if they make three? Oh and the music? Gosh the music is so crucial! (*anxiety approaching*)
The world: … Are you ok?
Me: Now look me in the eyes and swear to me that they are not going to pick Taylor Swift three times in a row!!?
The world: Ok, I’m leaving.
Crazy right?
But this is the allure of a runway show designed to bring fashion and entertainment to the masses (aka Victoria’s Secret potential clients), a show that every year tries to outdo itself to deliver to us the best possible visual experience. And since it is made for us, we wait for it like a Christmas present, that we cannot open until we are allowed to.
But you know, show after show, year after year, we have grown even more invested in it, we feel part of the family, we buy their products, we know their models (present, past and future. Amen)… We know how everything should look like, we feel entitled to speak our mind about the show, because… It is our show too, right?
So dear VS, have a sit: time for your first Reality Check by #TEB!
THE ANGELS

You gave the word ‘Angel’ a different, yet iconic meaning, as you began to name your ambassadors after it: models became household names thanks to that, allowing them to turn into real fashion legends like Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks or Miranda Kerr, just to name a few. Unique models, with equally unique personalities and yes…Unique genes.

2003 Victoria’s Secret fashion show with the former Angels: Karolina Kurkova, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and Gisele Bundchen
(Adriana Lima, on the right, is still an Angel)

Everybody loves the Angels, everybody wants to become an Angel.

You see, this does not really mean that you have to turn anybody into an Angel! Just keep it exclusive, like something you have to earn.
We don’t want to go there again, because we have already discussed it earlier, but what is the point of having 15 Angels, if you don’t have the time to give each one of them a star-moment?
Most of these girls are amazing top models, who proved their value on international prestigious runways and photography-sets, so nobody is questioning their curricula… Just how good are they for your brand?
Taylor Hill and Jasmine Tookes have pleasantly surprised us for their versatility and strong presence, so we understand the spark you have seen in them, but what about Stella Maxwell and Martha Hunt? Beautiful yes, but VS Angels? Next.
What about the amazing Kate Grigorieva, who could be as good as Taylor or Jasmine or Sara… If only you gave her the chance.
At the end of the day the final line up looks good all together, despite having a younger appeal, so I can resume my regrets in “when are you going to provide a stronger diversity in your Angels’ line up?”, because beauty comes is so many different ways.
THE FINAL CAST 

We’ll carry on speaking of the models: the final cast counted 47 models, for just 75 outfits and 46 wings (4 of them recycled… A new low for Victoria’s Secret). Sorry, we don’t get the strategy here: what’s the point of having 15 official ambassadors (10 brand new) if you don’t give them most of the outfits? Why would you hire 32 extra models, most of which are newcomers?

recycled wings
Candice Swanepoel 2011 vs Izabel Goulart 2015; Romee Strijd 2015 vs Adriana Lima 2013

Don’t get us wrong, we love to see new girls getting the chance to walk in the show, but if this means giving Candice Swanepoel (one of the most amazing bodies in the industry, the present and the future of your own brand) just 2 outfits out of 75, then you are doing it wrong! Thanks to this massive number of models, none of them got 3 outfits for the first time in recent years. Call me old fashioned, but I would never get tired of seeing Adriana Lima with 3 different outfits! In conclusion, there were way too many models and no hierarchy: the show was a hell of a mess!

Besides, most of the Angels have millions of followers on social media, so why not give them more space to ‘advertise’ the show?
Oh, yes… Because you hired social media it-girls: Gigi Hadid & Kendall Jenner.
To be honest our only issue with Gigi walking in the show is her casting… Ok, her walk could be better, but her casting bothered us more. Last year you broke our hearts by sharing footage of the models who DIDN’T pass the castings (why did you do that?), then this year you decide to share just the one of the girl that you already decided to pick regardelss of anything. I believe she went to the casting honeslty, but why was she told straight away that she was part of the show, while ALL the other girls had to wait days to get a confirmation through their agencies? Oh, yes, publicity.
She is gorgeous, we agree, but would you have picked her straight away if it wasn’t for her rich social media following? Or even better: would you have ever picked her, considering that many of the models who did the castings had a better walk than hers and had the body measurements that you require (which Gigi doesn’t achive)?
This leads us to the princess that apparently did not even attend the castings.
Who? Kendall, of course.
Actually she is decent on the runway as much as she is plain on editorials, but it seems impossible for the fashion world to separate her modeling skills from her fame. Usually when you are good at something you might become famous. With Kendall it’s the opposite: she’s famous, therefore she must be good at something.
Amen.
On the left: Kendall during the castings for the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Yup, she was in LA all the time, while the castings were happening in NYC!
On the right: Kendall posing during the Vcitoria’s Secret Fashion Show with a duck face. So high fashion!

We are shocked that top models like Izabel Goulart, who worked for the brand for years, still have to prove to deserve a place in show by training all year and attending the castings.

And what about those big names who were left out? Jourdan Dunn, Isabeli Fontana, Toni Garrn?

Toni Garrn and Jourdan Dunn

What about rising stars like Imaan Hammam or Kelly Gale?

Also Blanca Padilla didn’t get through the casting, even though she had proved her value at last year’s show and on VS recent photoshoots… So why wasn’t she casted? Because, if the reason has something to do with what she had said about Gigi’s statement on body shaming, this is bullying. Her response was an objective critic to the fashion industry’s double standards and rules, therefore we hope this is not the reason. (Even though you stopped casting Jessica Hart because she dared to say she did not like Taylor Swift’s music).

imaan hammam
Kelly Gale and Blanca Padilla


THE THEMATIC SEGMENTS

Models aside, what really makes the show are the thematic sequences where all the outfits actually come alive. But before starting with the review: Bravo to Brian Atwood who designed all the shoes featured on the runway… My wordrobe claims all the boots!

Boho Psychedelic (opening segment)
When we first heard about it, our brains started to be filled by thousands of question marks, like:
-is this going to be a Coachella inspired segment?
-could this be a hint on Behati Prinsloo wearing the Fantasy Bra, since she is the boho/rocker spirit of the brand?
Well, the first intuition was right as much the second was wrong… Even though she opened the show like last year.
Fringes, leather, chaotic prints and suede boots made their appereance on the runway, showing to the world what a love child between Victoria’s Secret and Coachella would look like.
This was not an easy subject, because the risk of delivering trashy outfits was really high… And in fact, aside from a few outfits, the rest was a mess.

Exotic Butterflies
The VS team tried to explore the world of butterflies in terms of colors, textures and shapes… Just like the Birds of Paradise segment back in 2013: few memorable pieces followed by many predictable ones. 

Ice Angels
Cristals’ applications, sheer pannels, furs, and snowflakes: I believe this is going to become a signature segment for Victoria’s Secret… It is either this or they are seriously running out of ideas.
They promised us a luxurious section with a sporty touch, and they nailed it: some models walked down the runway looking like snow queens!
Portrait Of An Angel
Another classic if you like: dusty colors for the most intimate yet feminine segment.
It would have been great to see all the 15 angels walk in it all togheter, but it’s difficult to invest in such intuitions if the main ambassadors have just 2 outfits each in the entire show.
Pink USA
Finally a decent theme for the youthful collection!
The VS team played the patriotic card this year, dressing the models as living American references: just like Miranda Kerr wore the Statue of Liberty’s crown during the 2007 Pink segment, this year we got Taylor Hill wearing the American flag, Josephine Skriver turning into a sexy police officer… Ok it is starting to look costumy, but way better than last year.
Fireworks
The most ambitious theme, where the execution of the outfits was really crucial: the VS team turned its segnature wings into Catherine wheels… Made of feathers, of course! They really focused on showcasing vivid colors and statement jewels: among the best looks Alessandra Ambrosio’s fuchsia-green number and Cindy Bruna’s insane catsuit. Maybe our favourite segment, if it wasn’t for the Fantasy Bra’s presentation…

fantasy bra



MUSIC ACTS

Performing at the show is something that every singer/artist looks forward to, because it allows them to reach a really wide public. The VS stage welcomed artists like Usher, Justin Timebrlake or The Black Eyed Peas just to name a few.
the weeknd victoria's secret fashion show 2015As we reported, this year the brand was expecting Rihanna, The Weeknd and Selena Gomez to take the stange with the models. Everything sounded promising (even though we were not sure to hear brand new songs from Rihanna) until, exactly one week before the recording date, Riri was cancelled from the show and no explanation was given: not very professional from either party. Our guess? Adele came back on the music scene and Riri decided to postpone her (still) upcoming 8th album and call off her performance at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Therefore Ellie Goulding became the last-minute replacment of the biggest star.
As much as we respect all of them, we questioned the overall effect of the line-up: do all their songs sound good togherer? Well, it seems like they all tried to do their best to fit into the show. Anyway we still believe that Tinashe and Jason Derulo could have been a stronger option.

We also didn’t like the choice of letting Ellie Goulding and Selena Gomez perform with normal outfits, that didn’t match the corrisponding theme. In the previous years, female artists like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, etc. had custom made outfits matching the show. It seemed like Victoria’s Secret didn’t pay much attention to detail this year!

FANTASY BRA
Honestly? Maybe the most insignificant piece they have ever made… And the price tag says $2 millions!
The 2013 Royal Fantasy Bra was beautiful, Candice was wearing it, but the final presentation was so lackluster that we were questioning the actual vaule of the piece.
It is good not to overdo the styling on a piece that has to stand out alone, but this is a fashion show after all: help the model shine for those precious seconds on the runway, otherwise why waste money making such exclusive pieces?
This year the VS team actually indulged in the styling, since the luxurious bra was expected to be featured in the Fireworks section… But nothing could have saved Lily Aldrige from a bra that:
-does not support the breast;
-has an awkard shape;
-needs a common lycra push-up to stay in place (was it custom-made for Lily or not?)

Why on earth would you spend $2 milions to create a display bra that doesn’t fit your model? That was already noticable in the promotion photos.

fantasy bra 2015
Dear Victoria’s Secret in case you need any kind of advice, please feel free to contact us.
We’ve got plenty of ideas to improve the show once and for all, because we have just set our expectations for next year… And they are high.
Don’t be mad at us, we just want to help.
xoxo
MsD

Fashion Columnist

When it comes to fashion, I'm the 'No' in front of 'Sugar'.

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