In 2012, awkward-looking highschool Isiah fell deeply in love with dreamy wings, glitter runways and beautiful statuesque women. Opening that year’s show in a ringleader costume, Adriana Lima led the pack of supermodels in a circus-themed segment, with blonde bombshell Candice Swanepoel and doe-like Karlie Kloss following.
At this point in time, Victoria’s Secret still had a grip on entertaining musical performers, having stars such as Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber and Rihanna grace the runway show. Rihanna even made her debut as a fashion model, closing the entire show in a strut down the runway with an unmatched swagger that put many of the casted models to shame.
After the first transcending experience, I was hooked. I obsessed over past shows and Angels such as Rosie Huntington and Gisele Bundchen. The Victoria’s Secret Angels were the epitome of everything I aspired to be: sensual, smart, regal and confident.
I owe a lot of my interests in fashion to the show, as my obsession with the models introduced me to the industry. My obsession even brought me to show up to a Halloween party the next year in a quirky speedo and angel wings strapped on my back (this eventcan be viewed somewhere on Twitter and Facebook).
But, since 2012, there are only three moments that stick out to me from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (VSFS). First, Candice Swanepoel wearing the $10 million “Royal Fantasy Bra” in 2013.
Second, Adriana Lima (no surprise) opening the Parisian Nights segment in 2013, wearing a crimson lingerie set paired with crimson feathered wings. Lastly, Hozier’s performance during the Fairytale segment in 2014. Point being, it’s 2018 and the VSFS has had its wings snipped off.
Coming off of this year’s show that aired last Sunday, I’ve come to the conclusion that the show has become utterly dull and tacky. Supermodel Taylor Hill was chosen to open the segment, and though extremely beautiful, the moment was boring. Any word used instead of ‘boring’ would probably give too much credit to the girl. Honestly, Hill was probably one of the better part of the show.
What really gnaws at my skin is that the VSFS 2018 was filled with wannabe Adriana Limas, swearing that pointing into the crowd as they walk down the glitter runway works for them. It doesn’t. It’s great that these models landed a highly coveted spot to walk the show, but are they more than another newbie ‘pink’ model if they are only here to attempt to emulate an icon?
Speaking of Adriana, it is even sadder that the true Queen of Victoria’s Secret is finally hanging up her wings after eighteen years of ruling. The only part of the show that did not want to make me shut ot off and finish watching Life of Pi was the tribute video to Lima that played in between the Golden Angel and Flights of Fancy segments. The video captured all of Adriana’s moments from her start in 1999 and was followed by Adriana walking down the runway solo and in silver peacock wings. It was the only thing to save the show from completely sinking.
Aside from the poor choice of performers and question as to why there were so many (usually 3 performers, this year 5), let us talk about the outfits. I think the designers this year may have been confused with what the VSFS is: a lingerie brand meant to show off powerful, confident women.
This year’s show was plagued with plaid, biker shorts and jumpsuits. Why? Seeing Candice Swanepoel walk out in a plain white t-shirt was probably the lowest I’ve felt while watching any VSFS because of how plain and easy the outfit was. I dreamed of 2009’s star trooper and 2011’s ballerina costumes, as this year’s show lacked the costume element that made VSFS interesting.
Aside from the dull elements and lack of creativity, it was exciting to finally see racial diversity in the VSFS. Since my obsession began in 2012, the amounts of diversity with the models within the show has greatly increased. I was excited to watch Sudanese model Duckie Thot and Filipina model Kelsey Merritt walk down the glitter runway and see representation from all over the world.
In conclusion, my rant comes from a place of love and disappointment. The VSFS has had a special place in my heart for a long time; however, there needs to be some sort of rebranding in order to prevent the iconic show from becoming irrelevant.
Following the distasteful comments on the transgender community and plus-size models by Ed Razek, the show’s performance this year could not have been worst; having record-low viewership according to Harper’s Bazaar and Fox News.
For Ed Razek and the rest of the creative team at Victoria’s Secret: maybe it’s time to put glamour, quality and creativity back into your show.
By: Isiah Magsino