PARIS - AP
The laciest, if not raciest, catwalk event of the year - the Victoria’s Secret fashion show - took place on Nov. 30 in Paris. Among the takeaways: Performances by Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars, sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid joining forces, as well as a $3 million fantasy bra modelled by Jasmine Tookes.
Guests shuffled into the huge steel-and-glass atrium of Paris’ Grand Palais to the sound of a string orchestra playing softly from a huge Arc de Triomphe decor.
The calm lasted only a few seconds, however, and was broken by the flash of red neon lights and bold rock music blasting out to announce the start of the 40-minute presentation, which infected the cheering guests.
Swedish model Elsa Hosk strutted out fittingly with electric energy in a cropped bustier - enveloped in a huge, three-dimensional red Chinese dragon; Kendall Jenner - in blood red - wore thigh-high boots, a long-line plunging bra and suede angel wing and Gigi Hadid looked like she would take off in flight, sporting a hand-painted cape with an Aztec-pattern that billowed as she walked.
The high-octane show was divided into six thematic sections, reflected in the colorful styles that bore inches of bare skin: Road Ahead, Mountain Romance, Pink Nation, Secret Angel, Dark Angel and Bright Night Angel.
The signature wings fluttered throughout - in feather, silk, gold gild, suede and Swarovski crystal.
“Not only do the wings get bigger but we tap into new artisans and people who do things with 3-D printing ... that’s always the wonderful thing about working on the show,” said Victoria’s Secret Executive Producer Monica Mitro.
As the show ended, a million pieces of glittered ribbon fell on the angels and the adoring crowds.
Gaga, Mars, The Weeknd
With a retro bleached hairstyle, Lady Gaga gave a rousing and gutsy live performance of “Million Reasons” to the crowd, and appeared again for “A-YO.” Victoria’s Secret models danced with her and crisscrossed the runway rhythmically to the beat.
Bruno Mars also performed several times, ramping up the energy and using the catwalk as his stage - in signature shades, with tuxedo-wearing backing dancers jiving behind him.
singer had guests jumping up and down for funky performances of “24K Magic” and “Chunky.” But it was perhaps The Weeknd that got the most cheers of the night. The singer serenaded Bella Hadid - with whom he has been romantically linked - with his hit song “Starboy,” and almost followed her up the catwalk as she walked in a lace gown with silk organza corset.
$3 million fantasy bra
The Victoria’s Secret Fantasy bra the 25-year-old Jasmine Tookes was selected to wear is considered the piece de resistance of the brand’s runway display.
The bra, glimmering with thousands of gemstones, was presented like crown jewels ahead of the show. An incredible work of art, it was designed by Eddie Borgo and hand-crafted over 700 hours with gems from jeweler AWMouzannar.
“It is so beautiful. It’s covered in white diamonds and emeralds and it has about 9,000 gemstones. It cost $3 million - so stunning,” gushed Tookes backstage while she was having her hair done.
It’s the third time a black model has been chosen to model the Fantasy Bra.
Hours before the show began, hundreds of meters in the area around Paris’ Grand Palais and the Champs Elysies avenue were in near lock-down, barricaded with passing tourists and fashionistas alike getting frisked.
Bomb squad dogs sniffed out every single bag that entered the Grand Palais where the fashion show took place.
Paris remains in a state of emergency following last November’s Paris
attacks at a concert hall and various spots around the capital.