Oh, Victoria’s Secret, you do know how to get a girl excited about lingerie. Well, actually, you know how to get the whole world excited about lingerie, from the family dog to the mistress of the household. The Annual Victoria’s Secret Show seems to be watched by everyone and their uncle these days, whether they are in the market for a great push-up bra or not. Well, this year the perfect panty circus has arrived in London and it’s business as usual – total organized chaos. When I talk about “chaos,” I’m not referring to the well oiled machine that is Victoria’s Secret. The VS show runs so smoothly now that you’ll be hard pressed to find a hair out of place or a journalist out of range.
My “session” with the angels backstage this season was set for 2:20pm, 1 hour and 40 minutes before the first show was set to go ahead (This year there are two shows taking place, one at 4pm and one at 8pm. I’m writing at home, while my hair is tonged, in preparation for attending the 8pm showing). I arrive at Earl’s Court to find hundreds of young girls already lined up behind a barrier between the entrance and the road. Actually, I spotted a few young men in there as well – not surprising, of course. The girls are mostly quiet, after all it’s just us journalists piling in at this point. We’re ushered in, group by group, most of us knowing full well what we’re about the encounter.
Backstage at the Victoria’s Secret show can make or break you, I’ll just say that now. You have to know what you’re getting into. There are Angels everywhere. I’m not joking. You turn a corner and you’re bumping into Karlie Kloss, look to see who’s elbowed you by accident and you’re face to face with Alessandra Ambrosio. And yes, they’re are all as polite as pie. They flash giant smiles, shake your hands and answer all your questions. What did you have for breakfast this morning, Angels? Eggs. How is it having the show on foreign soil this year? Absolutely fantastic. A great adventure. What’s your favourite thing about the show every year? The girls I get to see again and again. We’re like sisters. You want to hate these women with their cellulite free bodies, their perfect tanned limbs and hair that is so enviable you just can’t stop staring, but you can’t hate them because their personalities match the package. These ladies are well trained in both the art of grooming and working a crowd.
Now, what you might not know just from watching the show. The girls at the show do eat and drink. There’s a buffet of food that stretches the length of the room, but admittedly it’s mostly staff and assistants that are picking at the offering. You should also know that these girls do have to work to look beautiful. They talk at length about working out extensively, paying close attention to their skin and watching their diet. Actually, I did overhear one angel telling press that she had to put on weight to walk in the show. Queue the dagger eyes from surrounding women. It seems each Angel has her own trick at the end of the day and I’m writing notes furiously when I hear any of them. I’ll try and get back to you on what works!
At the end of 20 minutes with the girls, I feel as if I’m one of the Angels. As if! I say goodbye to a few familiar faces that I’ve met at shows before and wish them all luck on the massive runway later that afternoon. Then I come home, look at my closet, my lingerie drawer and my makeup bag and instantly wish I had a team of women that spent hours putting me together to look good enough for presentation. Maybe in another lifetime.
All pictures taken with the Olympus Pen. FFG is a UK Ambassador for Olympus.