Last year, on the night the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show aired, I sat with a handful of girlfriends in my teeny-tiny New York City apartment, sipping on wine and taking in the spectacle like someone else might watch the Super Bowl. This year, I watched the show in a very different way: sitting in the audience in Paris.
When asked if I wanted to travel to Paris to see the show in person, I immediately said yes. Not only would I have a front-row seat to see the models take the runway, but I would also get a look at what it’s like behind the scenes when the cameras aren’t rolling. From the moment our plane left New York, there was a buzz of excitement from both the models and those who would be attending (we were headed to Paris after all).
On TV, the show glides seemingly effortlessly from start to finish, but in real life, there’s a lot of work that goes into pulling off the big event. As I was given the chance to check it all out, I wanted to know every detail, from Bella Hadid's day-of agenda to the hours it takes to make those seriously sparkly bodysuits.
After a whirlwind four days, I learned some seriously unexpected, behind-the-scenes secrets, and I even enlisted a few of the show's models to share what surprised them most about the show.
Read on to learn 22 things you never knew about the VS fashion show!
- The models flew together on a plane from New York to Paris, spending the seven-hour trip doing interviews, reading, watching movies, and, of course, sleeping.
- We spent the flight snacking, and attendants even whipped out two fan favorites: Smart Pop and dark chocolate from.
-rented out the entire Mandarin Oriental hotel in Paris—138 rooms in total.
- Surprise! The models still ate burgers the day before the show, but they also snuck in last-minute workouts with Dogpound trainer and founder Kirk Myers.
- It takes an army. Backstage, PR teams, producers, hairstylists, makeup artists, and more crowded the space to pull everything off.
- The stage was built inside the Grand Palais, a huge venue whereshows are also held during Paris Fashion Week.
- The runway was covered in glitter, and a string orchestra played before the show kicked off.
- At the after-party, Kendall Jenner took a turn at DJ'ing, and there was crêpe station for a late-night snack.
- Camille Rowe: "The one thing that surprised me the most is how short the runway actually is. In my mind, it was so much longer, and I was very nervous about that, so that was a huge relief."
- Cindy Bruna: "It’s a big family, and you don’t really see that from the outside. But when you’re part of the team, you can feel that. It’s not just fashion. It’s not just lingerie. It’s a lot about the lifestyle, and it’s just healthy. It’s really healthy to be part of it."
- Martha Hunt: "We do the show twice just in case something goes wrong, and we can edit out the bad parts. But sometimes you want to keep some of the bad parts and add a bit to the drama."
- Joan Smalls: "We always try to find a good place to hide backstage."
By the Numbers:
- This is the 21stFashion Show.
- The average model height is 5 feet 10 1/2 inches.
- 43 pairs of wings and 82 pairs of shoes go down the runway.
- In total, there are 51 models walking in the show.
- Lily Donaldson’s outfit in the Modern Romance section took over 300 hours to complete and has over 2,500 stones set by hand.
- The Bright Night Angellook worn by Josephine Skriver has over 450,000 Swarovski crystals on it.
- The sleeves, made of crystals, each weighed 8–10 pounds.
- The Angels walking in this year’s show have a combined total of over 164 million Instagram followers.
- The show is watched in 190 countries.
-Tookes wears the $3 Million Fireworks Fantasy Bra.
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