Television

Holy Strollers

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show goes to church.

Angelic Tyra Banks stepping out
Angelic Tyra Banks stepping out

This is the Super Bowl of fashion shows—or so we were told, in one of the many quick-cut backstage montages that made last night’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (CBS) skim along so rapidly, clocking in at about 45 minutes. Some Super Bowl. The show stayed on the runway—with Gisele, Tyra, Daniela, et. al.—for only about 20 minutes. The lanky, long-haired girls came on so fast and furious, and looked so similar, that the lasting impression the show created was one of an army of skins approaching angrily and then retreating in haste.

The company’s new lingerie was hard to make out, since very few models paraded strictly in bras and underwear. Instead, they wore custom-made teddies, lamé, harnesses, trains, even armor—as well as the company’s trademark wings, each set of which designates a chosen model as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, whatever that means. The winged women topped off the night’s church motif, established when harps played, a choir sang, crucifixes appeared, and Destiny’s Child did a Christmas number. For contrast, a sprawling neon sign, something from a camp red-light district, instructed the girls, and the world, to “Be Sexy, Be Energetic, Be Glamorous.”

Mark McGrath and Heidi Klum (with her uncertain accent) served as merry hosts. Marc Anthony performed. Tyra Banks danced a little flamenco. Almost everyone else was a company representative—the show is a masterful infomercial, studded with actual commercials for VS—or a private in the model army.

Oh, and there was one more twinkly old angel: Phil Collins, who sang a song about love. He had to be introduced to the young audience. And thankfully, he wore jeans and a cashmere sweater.