Welcome back to my blog! As you have probably guessed by the title, this blog post will be all about my love/hate relationship with Victoria’s Secret, focusing mainly on the Catwalk Show that took place a few weeks ago, and aired last night. If you want to fins out more about my mixed view on the brand and it’s event, then please keep on reading.
VS Catwalk Show 2017
First, a little bit of background about the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion show; it is large scale event, costing an estimated $12 million, where Victoria’s Secret models such as Adriana Lima & Candice Swanepoel, walk the runway in VS underwear, often with extravagant props, for example the famous angel wings. Another added element to the show is the famous singers/musicians, who perform whilst the models are walking, in the past examples include Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and The Weeknd; this year Harry Styles performed on the runway. The hype around the show both before through the models own YouTube Channels, social media etc., and after is unbelievable; the show’s highest viewing is 9,700,000… an insane number if you ask me! So what are my personal thoughts about the show? Let’s start off with the positives…
The craftsmanship behind the catwalk show has to be acknowledged and applauded; the level of detail that goes into each look is extremely impressive. The time & effort it must take to sew each Swarovski crystal on to each bra, every feather on to each pair of wings, even the set up the of the stage itself is overwhelming, and there definitely has to be a level of aesthetic appreciation, even if you don’t like the show itself. Additionally, the work behind the event, specifically the ideas/concepts, are also well thought out and well achieved in my opinion; they have a theme and they go for it, which as an audience is captivating. Another positive about the show is the fact that it has a high level of ethnic diversity; the models are from every continent of the world (apart from Antarctica). In contrast to other brands who have only recently started to use models that have varied skin tones and ethnicities, VS began doing this a number of years ago, and continue to do so with each show that passes. Therefore, his allows me to think that as a brand they are genuinely diverse, rather than that they have simply joined the ‘band wagon’ due to pressure from the media, other brands, society etc. I understand that the overall concept of the show is a ‘fantasy’, which is further reinforced by the ‘fantasy bra’; an expensive one-off piece that one model per annual show gets to wear, these have been known to cost millions. The model’s themselves are clearly stunning, with amazing bodies, which thus ends up creating a fantasy like effect; they are meant to be ‘angels’ after all. However, I feel like this is wear the problem with the show begins…
I can appreciate the beauty of the models undoubtedly, and the hard work they put in to get the bodies they have, BUT, there is NO variation between the models on stage. Each one has to fall within a certain waist measurement, height etc. This is clearly not a representation of real life. Yes, there are women that look like the models in the world, who have slim figures, but there are also shorter girls, curvier girls etc. Therefore, I feel that as a watcher of the VS catwalk show, they are showing an idealised body shape that is simply unobtainable; as a young female I find it disheartening that I don’t look like they do in underwear. But, like I said I can appreciate their beauty. This is where the controversy lies; they are meant to be fantasy-like rather than obtainable goals. This to me almost suggests they are ‘higher’/ more prestigious than us ‘average’ (completely not average, absolutely amazing in own right) girls, and that we should look at them in awe. Would it not be better to change and have a variety of different body shapes on the catwalk? It might take away from their fantasy element, which they are so clearly hanging on to, but, would it not appeal to more people as a result? I think it would! Why do they have a variety of skin tones on the catwalk, but not a variety of body types? This suggests to me that they are only diverse to a certain extent. I feel as though that this year in particular VS missed a huge opportunity to change and update their mantra; they could of had a fully diverse range of models who have different skin tones, as well as different body shapes and sizes. But they stuck to their usually and expected body shape. This surprised me, especially considering the ever-growing popularity and acknowledgement that ‘plus size’ models are receiving right now, for example, I believe that Ashley Graham would have been a perfect choice to walk in the show. Why did they miss this? Was it because they thought the fantasy of the models would be taken away if they had a more varied and diverse casting? If they do decide to change for next year’s
show, personally, I think this will be too late; it will feel forced and insincere. But we shall see if this time next year if anything has changed. I believe that their failure to adapt to society’s new and improved beauty standard ideologies is a main reason for their fall in sales prices over the past years. Why won’t they change? That’s the big question. So many more girls would look at the models as similar to themselves, not as an out of reach ‘goal’ that only highlights one body type; it would prove to the world that everyBODY is beautiful. Why would they not want to promote that message?
Overall, it cannot be denied that there is an extreme level of craftsmanship, artistry and hard work that goes into the Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, however, it feels to me that the fantasy concept is now outdated; they need a update… Yesterday. Let me know what your views are on the VS show, do you love it ? Or do you hate it? I’ll be back soon with a trend related post, keep your eyes peeled!
Thanks for reading,