When the curtain goes up on this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, a lot of eyes will be trained on Adriana Lima‘s bejewelled body.
Nothing new about that, right? Under normal circumstances, the playful Brazilian bombshell (above right) commands attention wherever she’s seen. But this year it’s for a different reason.
Adriana, the longest-serving member of the VS Angels, gave birth to daughter Sienna on Sept. 11, a mere 55 days before parading down the world’s best-known catwalk in her underwear and wings. (The show is being taped before a live audience in New York on Wednesday, and will be broadcast on CBS-TV on Dec. 4.)
And she’s not the only new mom on the Victoria’s Secret runway. Five members of the company’s elite supermodel squad have delivered babies in the past two years, including three in the past six months alone.
Lily Aldridge and rockstar husband Caleb Followill had a baby girl on June 21, while Brazilian Alessandra Ambrosio and partner Jamie Mazur welcomed a son, their second child, on May 6. Both models are scheduled to appear in this year’s VSFS, with Ale (above left) being given the honor of wearing the company’s $2.5-million Floral Fantasy bra.
Miranda Kerr and Doutzen Kroes each delivered their first child in January of last year, and both returned to modeling assignments with Victoria’s Secret in less than three months.
The post-baby bodies of the fashion world’s most visible modeling crew have been the subject of endless fascination — and a bit of controversy for Victoria’s Secret. Some women have complained the Angels’ rapid post-partum weight loss is unhealthy and sets ridiculously unrealistic standards for average women.
On the other hand, this year’s parade of supermommies fits nicely with Victoria’s Secret’s growing promotion of healthy lifestyles and fitness — again this year it produced a series of backstage videos showing the models’ intense gym workout regimens, partly timed to promote the company’s popular VSX line of athletic wear.
And, ironically, Victoria’s Secret sometimes goes overboard trying to make its models appear less super-human. This summer, for example, VS was caught in another photoshopping scandal when it removed visible ab lines from images of Doutzen Kroes, ostensibly to make the super-fit model and new mom appear more ‘average’.
So far, Victoria’s Secret has released only a single pre-show image (Candice Swanepoel, above) showing models rehearsing for this year’s show, which is shrouded in even more secrecy than is usual for the tight-lipped company. But that’s probably meant to protect the show’s guest stars rather than the Angels themselves: the appearance of musical guests Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Bruno Mars — in the same building at the same time! — will require a military-style security lockdown at the Lexington Armory where the show is being taped.
Based on insider reports and industry speculation, though, the format for this year’s Fashion Show will likely resemble last year’s massively successful spectacle, which drew more than 10 million TV viewers.
Six themed segments are planned, with extravagant costumes inspired by the circus, sexy warriors and golden goddesses. There’s also a “floral fairy tale” segment which will showcase Ale and her $2.5-million diamond fantasy bra.
Fashionistas, meanwhile, will be less interested in the Angels’ rock-hard abs than in the new faces in the show’s parade of 30+ models.
At least half a dozen first-timers are expected to walk the VSFS runway, including Britain’s ‘it-girl’ Cara Delevingne, Angolan stunner Sharam Diniz and slinky Dutch 19-year-old Maud Welzen.
Only one of the core group of active Victoria’s Secret Angels is expected to miss the big show: Chanel Iman, who has spent much of her time recently lending some high-profile campaign help to U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.