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Hello all,

This thread is to discuss, via digressions, the increasingly surreal outfits of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - which culminated in this year's 'Surreally Sexy' segment.

I wanted to begin by making sure it's understood that this is not a critique on any of the respective models featured. Rather it is about the outfits and the themes.

You watch the earlier VSFS's and they are essentially women walking in underwear - of that in itself, I have no complaints - but the behemoth this show has become seems to have strayed drastically from this simple premise.

Models model, yes? (I'm talking proper models here - not 'models' who spend their time losing their clothes and bending over in increasingly gynaecological poses as per the magazine covers here in Buenos Aires!) And as such they sell us products - clothing, accessories, make-up. I'm sure, even in 2000 had I been inclined, I could have gone and bought some of the items I saw on the catwalk in Cannes. But today? These outfits are designed as spectacle. To provoke interest in the brand. To be fantasy.

This is fantastical lingerie, as opposed to functional underwear. It's a worthy cause, certainly - but it begs that perennial question of theirs: What Is Sexy?

Take one of this year's outfits:



Now I'm a big fan of Rene Magritte. I have reproductions of his work, books even (of which I shall possibly bore you with later). His thoughts and subsequent art have inspired me in the past - but is it sexy? No. This is just shoving together a few of Magritte's themes (along with another recurring motif in his art - the umbrella), and hoping for the best. I like the idea, and the general theme - I just think it was poorly executed.

Like this:

I guess it was an homage to Salvador Dali's 'Mae West Sofa' - but for me it's simply "Isabeli, run! Mick Jagger's hungry."

Perhaps a movement such as this, although very pre-occupied with sex, is just not sexy enough in itself. Victoria's Secret had another episode like this a few years ago with it's advert featuring Bob Dylan. Dylan, again, is another hero of sorts, but he really is not sexy. To see him juxtaposed with Adriana in that advert was akin to - well - a sexy young woman being next to a slightly ailing old man. Then he had his CD's for sale 'in store'. Ah, marketing...

I don't wish to steal any thunder from the excellent Strange/Unique thread - but I am interested in other's thoughts of surrealism in regards to modelling. VSFS can do this. Take this for instance:

It's at once (obviously to one's own taste) sexy and surreal. Why is she wearing a gate? If you break it down it makes (surreal) sense. The bars, the key, the lock - it's corsetry, but with connotations of chastity and even mild bondage. Why is it in a fashion show, can you buy it? Probably not, but subliminally it works.

And then there's this:

What is sexy? Patently not dressing up as a bell.

You'd have to be a serious campanologist to get your kicks here (Stam notwithstanding). Even the divine Helena Christensen circa 1991 (my awakening) couldn't have pulled that off. And this wasn't (as far as I can tell without having seen the full show) even in the surreal segment. Possibly because it goes way beyond that in to the realms of bizarre.

Magritte himself talked about the power of concealment and it's effect on the human mind. Surrealism - at least in his case - was about "rendering the invisible visible" and he painted with that in mind. I know he wasn't referring to the VSFS per se(!), or even lingerie - but maybe he had a point here:

"Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see but it is impossible..."

Now that is sexy, that tantalising glimpse of flesh - the promise of what's underneath...

Or, just perhaps, he simply meant this:

Well, that's my sermon. Please add your thoughts. Like I said, surreal photos and fashion shoots already have a brilliant thread - as does that self-same "What Is Sexy?" question. I simply want to know if you think the VSFS has gone too far from simply showcasing their products, or not far enough.

Or if this has any business being dissected on a fashion forum!

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I totally agree!!

I was just watching the 2000 VS SHOW and I noticed the huge difference that has taken place.

In the previous years, the outfits were more simple and much more sexier than what they have evolved into. I also want to go one step further by saying that the bodies of the models were far sexier back in 2000 than they are now. I liked some of the parts that I have seen so far of this year's VS show, but certain other parts left me saying WTF were they thinking??? It seems certain outfits were done at the last minute, why even attempt something like that.

Just watch this clip from VS 2000, such simplicity, such sexiness, where has this gone VS??????? VS started out with these simple and sexy outfits and this is what the people want to see. I feel they have turned it into a circus and no wonder the ratings have fallen drastically over the years. Go back to your roots VS.

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Those are deep, Baron. I think it's pretty cool people actually sit down and analyze an outfit. As for a sucker like me, i would only watch and wonder why there's such a weird walking thing on the runway.... ? The rest doesn't matter. And if i'm sucker to surrealism, everybody is (There might be a few exception, teeheehee...).

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(Sigh), you are probably right - I read far too much into it, damn Art History and Philosophy! I should just appreciate the ladies. But after watching Sam12's video of the 2000 show again it reinforced my opinion. The sheer change in tone is astonishing.

I suppose, as with any spectacle, you have to trump what came previous - witness Olympic opening ceremonies, or New Year firework displays. Sometimes that can go horribly wrong and become an overblown farce. Therefore, on occasion, it's wise to start again - 'year zero' or 'back to basics'. The James Bond franchise chose this approach with "Casino Royale", no gadgets or ludicrous villain's lairs. Once you've had an invisible car in an ice palace where else can you go?

Of course you make it a 'show'. You need general themes. But this is still about lingerie - and by association sex.

This costume is at least logical, from 2005:

It's candy. It has connotations of Valentines, terms of endearment, and supposed aphrodisiac effects. Maybe don't spend too long reading into the whole lollipop thing! And the sweet wrapper is just a tad OTT.

But this:


Now I'm not an American, so maybe I'm missing something - but is the Statue of Liberty cross-pollinated with a New York cab sexy? Infact that whole segment looks (from the photos so far) a bit too contrived. I know PINK is supposed to be more playful and young, but to me it just looked garish and messy - and decidedly half-arsed.

Perhaps I'm being the anti-Joker here, too bloody serious! But they started it. They asked "What Is Sexy?"

And then they gave us a woman disguised as a Christmas tree. :wacko:

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Actually no, Baron. On the contrary, i absolutely agree with you, i just don't go that far. Perhaps you should read one of my old post...

Okay i'll be a dork for once in a life time. :shifty:

Sensitive crying fans, please try to skip this very post. Your effort is my 5 minutes cussing-free. Thank you. :flower:

1. Which theme overall did you like the most?

- Blade Runner. It's cool.

2. Which five models looked the best?

- Andi Muise, Heidi Klum, Morgane Dubled, Karolina Kurkova and Inguna. (Izabel comes really close with that red outfit, YUM!!!).

3. Which theme{s} didn't you like?

- The shitty pink theme. Why the hell did everygirl have to carry a ....a...thigh plate again ?! I once heard the plate said " Hippie chick". :confused: Pshh, it looked more like bandaged chick to me. <_< Moving on!!!

4. Which five models could of looked a lot better?

- Jessica Stam : After forcing her at gunpoint to put on those amazingly creepy outfits, i bet the Victoria's Secret chief has also voodooed her for that stumble. Seriously....

- Selita Ebanks : She could have looked a million times better if she didn't exist. Enough said. High fiiiive!!!!

- Eugenia V : *yawns*

The rest looked pretty good so they're off my hook. :whistle:

5. Is there anything you would of changed about this years show?

- I would so f*cking replace Seal's diamond encrusted pajama outfit with anything of the human wear. His old halloween costume looked so much better.


- The music sucks big ass. We all have different taste i know but whoever picked those tracks must be the spawn of Hitler. DIEEEE... <_<

- I'd warn the girls before the show : anyone throwing your hands in the air will be fired.

6. What were your overall fav outfits of the show..

Adriana, Isabeli, Karolina, Alessandra, Izabel and Andi's.

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7. What outfits do you hate the most?


- As if she hasn't looked like sh*t already, VS threw in more yellow crap on her. Poor Selita, she even had to carry 2 zombie hands touching her shit around.


- Lemme guess, hippie lady liberty chick ?!! Awww, how bullshitalicious. NEXT!!!!


- I don't know what were they thinking but ninja turtle outfit was NOT made to be sexy.


- This is the contest winner right ?!! I think whoever won that contest has to make their own outfit also. Poor girl. At least she caught up on that shitty "hippie chick'' bandage.


- This is exactly what George Bush should equip our soldiers with. Think of how many soldiers we could have saved in the Irag war with that cuirass. Oh man....


- Maybe VS is promoting their new recyled lingeries line. That's why instead of tossing all those left over ties and bows away, they had Marisa carry them.

There're more shitty outfits to talk about but i'm so freaking tired so blah.....

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Yes, that was a great post! I'd completely forgotten the appalling "ninja turtle outfit" - but I'll take that, and raise you this:

Bad 80's sci-fi? Post-apocalyptic scavenger?

Maybe they're taking surrealism to it's extreme and simply shoving every automatic idea together. And then sitting back and laughing at us on a big pile of money..?

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That, irenistiQ, is where the budget went!

I've got to bloody wait until December 17th to see the show. That said I've read the reviews, and those whose opinions I care about (I'm sure you know who you are - pretty much the only one's who have replied to this thread anyway!!!) have damned the whole thing.

Oh 2008, come quickly - we NEED you. We need that redemption. And it seems to be prevalent to this thread - the whole change in tone, the "outfits" and gimmicry etc.

Perhaps it's more about PIP'ing, or whatever the correct vernacular may be.

Yours, jadedly...

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I liked the much simpler shows of the past. Where lingerie was actually lingerie and the models didn't wave their arms around and the crowd didn't cheer. I'm sorry, you're not at a damn pep rally, ladies put your arms down, and the crowd zip your f-ing lips!

I do love the ornate, gorgeous wings, but they've gone way over the top now. Bring back simple, sexy lingerie, VS! Not circus costumes!

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You guys don't watch enough porn. lol.

Some people get off on watching cartoons getting raped by tentacle monsters.


How do you have a threesome but still remain monogamous?


Statue of liberty + Taxi cab = Symbol of patriotism/the american way/power + Who doesn't have a taxi cab fantasy?


Animal prints have always been hot.


Cameltoe. Enough said. Seriously though... wetsuits or whatever they're called follow the contours of the body but still cover it up. You can see it but you can't touch it kind of thing. This one is actualy sexy on more levels than that.


Honestly, you haven't had a fantasy with a ski instructor?


How would you react if you opened a box on christmas and it was Marisa inside?

I agree with you that these outfits suck though... Whether or not the thought process of creating them was sexy is a different thing altogether. EXECUTION WAS HORRIBLE. Those outfits don't even fit most of them properly.

but honestly... this is being over analyzed. I agree with you completely though.

Sadly however, VS has turned into a megabusiness. The goal of the show is not to provoke thought or anything of that sort. VS sells to the general public and unfortunately, the general public doesn't like to think deep thoughts. The general public is concerned with the superficial, materialism, and not being the only one left out of the cool thing. The show IS about the hype and it IS about marketing. What makes sense is that the show evolved into a spectacle and millions of people watch it. Those millions of people are now aware of the VS brand and how popular it is. They then are curious to see what's actually in the store or catalogue... that's when they'll see something they like and they buy stuff for either themselves or a loved one.

There aren't many businesses that have made it big that also care about the culture of their products anymore though. Off the top of my head, Harley Davidson is the only one I can come up with. When you go to their showroom, they still feel like a small business. VS has lost that a long time ago. It is completely and utterly about the hype and how they can use that to sell things.

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