CHANGE UNIVERSE: Magazine Jewels
New York | DesignersNovember 7, 2012

2012 Victoria Secret Fashion Show and Diamonds

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Rihanna wooed, Justin Bieber wowed and Bruno Mars turned the Victoria’s Secret fashion extravaganza into a big party.

Victoria’s Secret staged one of its best fashion shows in recent years Wednesday at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan. This year’s multimillion-dollar talent headlining the show hit the trifecta, especially with Rihanna who — dressed in a long black gown with a high-cut slit that exposed sexy black garters and stockings — shimmied her hips and thighs in come-hither fashion in the Dangerous Liaisons segment as she sang her single, “Diamonds.”

The singer later performed “Phresh Out the Runway,’’a sultry number for which she wore a see-through pink chemise with a burn-out floral pattern, wrapped with a knit activewear top around her hips. For the Angels in Bloom venue, Rihanna also wore what appeared to be a soft, custom-made sports bra underneath the peekaboo silhouette and pale pink suede ankle boots.

At the preshow fitting earlier this week at the Victoria’s Secret offices in New York, a designer told WWD that Rihanna would be wearing her personal wardrobe while performing at the show.

Meanwhile, Bieber, decked out in a white zip-front plastic vest, shimmery silver tank and white zouave pants, struck a chord with young girls — and grown women — in the audience with his “As Long as You Love Me” ballad. This was followed by one of his frenetic routines as he danced in sync with about a dozen dancers, singing “Beauty and the Beat,” as Angels pranced by in the collegiate Pink Is Me segment.

Like Rihanna and Mars, Bieber also sang at the afternoon show, where it was apparent a few kinks needed to be worked out before the evening session. A cushion prop in the Pink segment almost toppled as Bieber was mounting it, and a gymnast in the Circus opener — which featured acrobats and Cirque du Soleil-inspired aerialists and oversize scorpions and spiders on stilts — cut his head while performing with a large metal ring. (WWD)

Costume-shop artisans Jamie Filippelli and Mary Shaffer were working feverishly on a costume commemorating the 10th anniversary of Swarovski Elements’ partnership with the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, a fantasy concoction of Swarovski crystals and beads sewn onto nude-tone netting. The idea is to “make it look like the crystals and beads are floating in the air,” explained Filippelli of the star piece, which will be shown in the Silver Screen Angels segment.The entire show features Swarovski crystals, but several other key pieces stood out, such as the exotic Snake Charmer piece in the show’s opener, Circus.Jewelry designer David Mandel was creating a four-foot Diamond Back python in a myriad of brightly colored Swarovski crystals and vintage crystals from his personal collection. Key accessories were snake eyes, comprised of plastic, crystal and gold-plated metal, from a taxidermist. “Metal doesn’t drape....I’m literally sculpting with stones, and sometimes I have to solder pieces in midair to get the right angle,” said Mandel, as he popped a snake eye into its socket. He turned around to show another costume for the Angels in Bloom segment, which will feature scores of hothouse flowers such as an oversized hibiscus embedded on a lavish multicolor costume.In another area, Armando Farfan, a costume specialist from Las Vegas, was piercing narrow monofilament tubing to be sewn into costume hems.“The models have to be able to walk, and you have to have a piece that stands up to the motion and look great as the lights are flashing…monofilament along the hems adds body,” said Farfan.

Miranda Kerr had just finished her fitting in an emerald-green velvet bodysuit encrusted with Swarovski crystals and dyed-to-match feathers for the Circus segment. Cameron Russell stepped out in the Swarovski anniversary piece in fantasy platforms by Nicholas Kirkwood. She wore what appeared to be well more than $5 million in jewels by London Jewelers, including a 16-carat diamond ring.

Todd Thomas, collection designer, described this year’s show as “magical.”

“This year’s show will open with a spectacular theme that sets the tone for the entire show....There will be nostalgic romance, historical fashion and epic references to pop culture,” said Thomas, who works with Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou. She serves as collection creative director.

The show, which will present 65 costumes and 28 pairs of Angel Wings, will also headline three major entertainers: Rihanna, who will perform during the Dangerous Liaisons segment; Justin Bieber, who will sing in the collegiate Pink is Me session, and Bruno Mars, who will croon in the Calender Girls venue.

In other developments, the location of the after party has been changed to Lavo, a Midtown club.

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