Loathe: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Anne Vyalitsyna wearing badly, hand-made wings, a quilt as a train, and clunky brown boots.

I just don’t understand the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. I am aware that it is pretty much a big marketing campaign used to generate brand awareness, and I know that is why they use amazing models and have famous singers perform, etc…, but I just don’t get the outfits. They are ridiculous!

Behati Prinsloo in ruffled sleeves (I hate sleeves when they aren't attached to a top), tacky plastic wings, and childish socks, all in rainbow tones. Plus the most ugly aqua suede boots I have ever seen.

Lingerie fashion shows are bad news, it is close to impossible to get models who look perfect in lingerie. They can’t be too thin, or too fat. They need to have a bum and boobs, but not too much of either. No cellulite, at all. Perfect skin. Some body parts can wobble a teensy bit, other parts need to be rock hard. The list goes on… I’ve been to lingerie tradeshows and seen stunning girls walk down a brightly lit catwalk and suddenly they look like cellulite-ridden monsters. It is VERY difficult to find girls who look good on a stage in lingerie. But if one brand can pull it off, it is Victoria’s Secret. They have the resources to be able to recruit some of the best bodies in the business, who look great strutting down a catwalk in a thong.

Emanuela de Paula in the stereotype situation of "stick the darker model in the tribal-themed look with a bunch of 'cavemen' accompanying her down the catwalk."

I don’t have a problem with Victoria’s Secret as a brand. If they sold in Vancouver, I might even go in a buy some of their underwear. I think their models are amongst the most beautiful in the world, and they promote a much healthier body image (although totally unattainable to most mere mortals) than most of the designer catwalks. But I just don’t get the heinous outfits they insist on parading down the catwalk. It is not about lingerie, it seems to be about making fools of these gorgeous women. These girls have to give up carbs, diet like crazy, and exercise like madwomen to be ready for the show, only to be shoved into some ridiculous fantastical outfit and parade down a catwalk with a forced smile. Thank god they get paid well.

Chanel Iman, playing baseball, I guess.

And speaking of healthy body image, Chanel Iman was the only exception in this show. She looks scarily thin.

It took some time to edit down these photos, as each look was more cringe-worthy than the last, but here are, in my opinion, the twelve worst looks of the Victoria’s Secret 2010 catwalk show.

Erin Heatherton in peacock wings. Did Victoria's Secret not know that only the male peacocks have the fancy feathers?

Izabel Goulart in some sort of cheerleader-gymnast-ribbon dancing outfit fiasco.

I guess Jessica Stam is slim enough to fit into a nine-year old's rainbow raincoat, but it doesn't mean it looks good.

Introducing Karolina Kurkova as...The Wrestler!

Maryna Linchuk aka Rainbow Brite on drugs.

Poor Maryna Linchuk! Another horrible outfit, this time an ugly denim corset with tacky thigh high boots. Looks like something a stripper would wear. Although strippers usually dress better than that.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in a painful metal cut out bra cup. And you can tell by her face it isn't comfortable.

Images from Fashionologie.

  • http://www.imtheitgirl.com anya

    Hahaha. The look on Rosie's face cracks me up!

    Truly awful.

  • http://www.imtheitgirl.com anya

    Hahaha. The look on Rosie's face cracks me up!

    Truly awful.

  • http://www.imtheitgirl.com anya

    Hahaha. The look on Rosie's face cracks me up!

    Truly awful.

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  • http://mayabeus.blogspot.com/ Maya Beus

    You have a point, but I think the point is mostly to entertain. It is very much american, and this is an important point… You would never see such parade of kitch in Europe… But even though i agree this is nothing fabulous ( what most people seem to agree on, without even thinking) i do think it is fun. I have a feeling they play mostly on mens fantasies ( and most men are just boys in these metters… so you have women in my pretty pony land).

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  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    You have some very good points, but I don't think men fantasize about women

    in wrestling jumpsuits…

  • http://melinabee.blogspot.com melina bee

    they look like tacky parade floats . There is a way to create ultimate fantasy that is sexy to men, but doesn't disregard the fact that the line is intended for women. Honestly, I'm not very pleased with this brand's quality to price ratio so I'm not surprised.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    They are definitely more about the brand and the hype than the product


  • Chloe

    Haha, ridiculous is right! The styling is just wacky and not in a good way. I'm surprised they haven't received more backlash for the Emanuela de Paula number- yikes!

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  • Anabelle

    The outfits are supposed to be crazy–its a visual show meant to entertain! And every one of those girls looked damn amazing–I think some of y’all may have hopped on board the jealous train…just saying..

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I’m definitely jealous of those girls bodies, who isn’t? But the outfits are heinous and stupid. Women that beautiful don’t need to be costumed up like Rainbow Brites and wrestlers!

  • Anabelle

    Neither do Madonna, Lady Gaga, Cher, Janet Jackson, but if they just wore jeans and a t shirt their production value and appeal would plummet. If these models walked out in regular bras and panties it really wouldn’t be much of a show. The whole point is to see what crazy/outlandish/sexy outfit is going to come out next–It’s fun! It’s a marketing tool to bring awareness to the company–Theyre not trying to sell metal breast plates and wings to consumers lol…. And the costumes are fantastic!

  • Anonymous

    They can make outlandish costumes that aren’t completely ridiculous, for example outfits similar to what Rio Carnival showgirls wear, or incredible burleque outfits. Instead, VS chooses ridiculous “themed” outfits. But if you like it, then that is your opinion and that’s totally fine. I am definitely not VS’s target audience. However, I have to disagree about your point on Madonna, Lady Gaga, Cher, Janet Jackson. First of all, they are musicians, not models, so they are not only about a look. Secondly, none of those women are nearly as “conventionally” beautiful as the VS models. It may not be everyone’s ideal, but those women are drop dead gorgeous with or without tacky outfits. Whereas Lady Gaga or Cher would not look like much in a plain underwear set. Lady Gaga is known for her outfits and her musical talent, not her beauty.

  • Anabelle

    The show is an hour long–They need different themes to fill each segment. It would get monotonous if it were all Burlesque outfits. And personally I don’t see how these outfits are “so ridiculous” or any more ridiculous than Carnival costumes or burlesque costumes. It’s a visual presentation–The brighter and crazier the better (in my opinion). And of course Cher, Madonna, etc. aren’t only about a look, but they’re crazy wacky image is what helped make them Stars (Although insanely talented, they can’t solely rely on their voices like Whitney or Celine to sell albums and fill stadiums). Also, I don’t get your last point–Are you saying b/c they’re beautiful they shouldn’t wear crazy outfits but the mentioned singers should b/c they’re not jaw dropping to look at? Those crazy outfits just make those models even more of a spectacle (in a good way) to look at. I mean, at the end of the day they’re job is to stand out from the average woman and so why not go all the way? America is ADD when it comes to these shows and the crazier it is the more audiences will respond. (I’m also a high fashion/swimsuit model so I guess i am coming from a different point of view, who knows heh!)

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I definitely think we are coming from a different point of view. I
    think those outfits are incredibly tacky and stupid, and no fashion show
    should last an hour long, it is boring (fashion shows should last 30
    minutes, maximum, I have been to enough of them to confidently say this.)
    And I think Céline Dion is an embarrassment to all of Canada, so we
    obviously don’t share music tastes either. Like I said, I am not the target
    market for the Victoria Secret show, but I think that dressing up super
    models in ridiculous wrestling outfits is an embarrassment for them (the
    models.) If you think that is cool/pretty/exciting, then let’s agree to
    disagree. And with regards to my last point, singers dress up as part of
    their persona, whereas models are body and faces, that is it. Some of them
    inject a bit of personality into their look, but most of them are clothes
    horses, that is their sole purpose. Only a handful (and I mean twenty or so)
    ever get remembered for more than ten years. So they aren’t comparable to
    someone like Madonna or Lady Gaga, who are way more than a look.

  • Anabelle

    Embarrassment for them? You must be kidding–My two close girlfriends Anne (the first photo) and Lily walked in the show and each made well over $50k for that “embarrassing” hour (the main contract girls made far more). I can personally tell you that none of them were embarrassed having the entire nation drool over them and getting the exposure to land them future jobs that could earn them hundreds of thousands if not million of dollars. Landing the VS fashion show is one of single biggest jobs any model could hope for (hundreds upon hundreds of TOP models are submitted and only 30 are chosen) And the actual fashion show isnt an hour (its more like 30 minutes) without the intros and performances (once again it’s a TV event, not a fashion show meant to sell a clothing collection to buyers etc). This isn’t new york fashion week. And your correct in your assesment that most models remain nameless but those 20 or so that u mentioned all walked in the show and are now household names (adriana, alessandra, carolina, rosie, candice, chanel, etc.). The models are NOT supposed to be vapid mannequins for this show as they are for most other fashion shows. They are meant to take on personas and create a sexy, flirtatious event. Let me repeat, it’s not meant to be a traditional fashion show–it’s a marketing tool to bring in advertising $ for CBS and promote the billion dollar company that is victoria’s secret which is why it’s the largest lingerie company in the world (i think you’re looking a little too deep into it). And I don’t personally listen to Celine Dion but that wasnt my point. To say shes an embarrassment to an entire nation is just stupid. She’s the single most successful recording artist from Canada and one of the biggest in the world (whether we like her or not). Now you just sound ignorant.

  • Nazreen

    I don’t know if you remember, of if you know that Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow was at your graduating fashion show. They sat opposite us across the catwalk. That was an amazing show. Nazreen

  • Maire

    I agree with you that most of the fashion show is tacky…
    Though the peacock outfit is sex-wise wrong..I think the vivid colors are an attraction…
    Most of the outfits are kinda odd.. I only had seven favorites..Including Adriana Lima in that 2 million dollar bra. I agree the brand is pricy but for woman like me who are large in the chest it’s hard to feel beautiful in most kohls bras made for d-dd that make me look and feel like a grandma..and don’t support

  • Anonymous

    There are tons of brands that made DD bras in beautiful cuts and
    well-supported. Look at Marks and Spencer (they DO make nice stuff) and

  • Elkemadler

    I absolutely love love love the outfits but I am super irritated that they have a fashion show of fashion that cant be purchased anywhere, cause none of these outfits are in the stores. So whats the point????

  • Joseph

    You are clearly insanely jealous and hateful. The VS fashion show is a spectacle, it’s not about trying to sell the outfits. Instead of looking at it in a negative way, get over yourself and realize that it’s fun to watch! Plus it benefits everyone involved. The models get paid, the brand gets tons of recognition, and millions of people all over the world get to watch the show!

  • http://www.facebook.com/brooks.coleman1 Brooks Coleman

    Gotta wonder how a metal bra compares to the torture of walking in 6 inch heels shoving the toes into a tiny point? I was told she was fine with the bra…..I made for her stylist.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Awesome! I’d love to see where you plan on wearing that :-)