NEW YORK – Down in New York, the wake of Hurricane Sandy couldn’t stop supermodels from hitting the runway Nov. 7,
With the floors flourished in pink and walls covered in hearts, 18 makeup artists, 22 hair stylists and seven manicurists turned supermodels into heavenly angels backstage before strutting their costumes at the 17th annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Armory.
Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek of Victoria’s Secret said that after Hurricane Sandy, putting the show together was a monumental effort and success. Victoria’s Secret provided the National Guard with generators and forklifts to help during the turmoil.
“Victoria’s Secret and CBS has donated $1 million to victims of Hurricane Sandy,” Razek said.
He added that Victoria’s Secret has an obligation to fulfill.
“Our show was the number one TV show for adults in the U.S. last year for people 18 to 49 years old, and the number one TV show for adult women ages 18 to 34. That’s the target audience for a lot of advertisers,” Razek said.
This year, the show features some of the leading supermodels, such as Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Candice Swanepoel. During hair and makeup rotations, the Angels prepared themselves for millions of viewers in the 185 countries that will televise the event on Dec. 4.
“The girls have a glowy, healthy look this year,” Lead Makeup Artist Tom Pecheux, said. “It’s all about how every woman would like to look.”
On top of the pressures of preparation, the Angels were dashing through thousands of reporters, photographers and TV crews in pink satin robes amid the chaos.
Models like Miranda Kerr and Izabel Goulart said though there are pressures to look one’s best, they didn’t bother with dieting and they even snacked during hair and make up.
“We wake up very early in the morning and have a nice breakfast before we start getting ready for rehearsals,” Goulart said. “We eat while they do our hair since we’re limited on time.”
After 80 applications of VS Makeup mascara, 120 applications of VS Color Drama lipstick, 50 cans of hairspray and empty food dishes, models go into bronzer then suit up.
“There’s a lot you’re going to see and it just gets better every year,” Victoria’s Secret model Lindsay Ellingson, said as she was coiffed by her hairstylist. “Lingerie used to be boring before Victoria’s Secret and now look what it has turned into, one of the biggest events in the century.”
The girls go through several spray tan applications for lighting and television cameras. Once body makeup has been processed, the Angels slip into their heels, which average six inches in height, provided by Nicholas Kirkwood.
The models were fitted from a slew of designs ranging from feathers, sequins, and flowers for the “Circus,” “Angels in Bloom” and “Dangerous Liaisons” sections before the hour-long spectacle.
“We get into our outfits and into our wings and some of them are bigger than us,” Goulart said. “You got the most beautiful women on earth, right here in this very room.”
For the 2012 “Angels in Bloom” section, Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio wore a staggering $2.5 million Fantasy Bra, covered with crystalized flowers made out of 5,200 precious stones.
“It’s truly an honor to wear this piece of art,” Ambrosio said.
Backstage, musical sounds from Rihanna, Justin Beiber and Bruno Mars played while models slid on their angel wings before hitting the runway.
“Lingerie and Victoria’s Secret represents confidence, powerful women, curves and it’s all about celebrating women,” Ellingson said. “Our lingerie has done all of that.”
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show airs on CBS Dec. 4.