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On the scene: The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show rehearsals

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Victoria Secrets Fashion Show Rehearsal
Heather Wines/CBS

It’s always been a dream of mine to attend the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. I watch it on TV every year, and have always wanted to experience it first-hand. You know, instead of watching it on my couch while consuming a pint of ice cream.

Yesterday, I came close to realizing that dream when I covered rehearsals for the annual event. The actual show — which will be filmed for the annual CBS special that will air Dec. 10 at 10 p.m — takes place tonight, but for those of you who don’t have tickets, here’s some behind-the-scenes intel on what the Angels have planned for this year’s lingerie extravaganza.  During rehearsals, the 39 models who will walk in the show — a new record — took a test lap down the catwalk. Since it wasn’t a full-dress run-through, the girls wore their own clothes underneath their Angel wings. While it looked a little odd to see them traipsing down the runway in their everyday attire and wings, it suddenly made sense when one model caught the tip of her gossamer appendage on her heel and almost went down.

This year’s show features six acts, each with a fun theme and a live musical performance. Here’s the run of show:


The scene opens with a special performance by the Rutgers University drum line, which leads into the first musical guests of the night, Fall Out Boy. With assistance from the percussionists, Fall Out Boy belts out “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” the first single from their album Save Rock and Roll. British flags will be draped from the ceiling, and other Brit-inspired iconography will flash across a big screen where the runway begins. If all goes according to plan, Candance Swanepoel (above) will wear the $10 million Royal Fantasy Bra during this segment.

The musical guests had soundchecks later in the day, so during the model run-through the show’s production staff stood in for Pete Wentz and co., making the most of the opportunity to lip-synch, dance and play air guitar as the Angels did their thing.


Inspired by… you guessed it, birds. Fall Out Boy performs “The Phoenix,” and the audience will see lots of wings and feathers. Couture designer Serkan Cula, who works mostly with feathers and crystals, told me he created 11 avian-inspired looks for the show, many of which will appear in this segment. Put a bird on it, indeed.


Anchors hang from the ceiling and, as the title of this scene suggests, a grounded ship is perched at the top of the runway. While A Great Big World performs “Say Something,” yellow lights will make the glitter-covered runway look like sand. Not only is it a cool effect, but one publicist told me the models prefer this carpeted runway over the more treacherous catwalks used for past shows. (Like the time they had to walk down a path of Swarovski crystals.)


Pink is the Victoria’s Secret collection targeted at younger women, so naturally this is the most playful segment of the show. As Neon Jungle performs “Trouble,” the runway transforms into one big texting-themed party. Speech bubbles come down from the rafters, Internet acronyms pop up on a giant screen (LOL! OMG!), and the iconic Pink dog makes a cameo. During rehearsals, each of the girls pretended to hold something as she came down the runway, and I was told that they’d be carrying some sort of three-dimensional emoji in the show. They’ll also pass out pink flashlights to encourage some sort of audience participation.


Bonsoir, France! Lamp posts drop come down from overhead and the Eiffel Tower lights up the big screen. At rehearsals, Miley Cyrus’ “FU” — to borrow a term from the previous segment, OMG! does that mean Miley’s performing tonight? — blasted from the speakers while Adriana Lima took the stage to walk while practicing some precise arm swooping. That’s really the only way to describe the way she moved her arms. Also, there’s a smoke machine! 


Taylor Swift won’t be causing any trouble. During the country princess’ performance of “I Knew You Were Trouble,” the angels walk through a winter wonderland, complete with fake falling snow. This song seemed to strike a chord with the Angels, who danced with Swift’s stand-in. 


If you aren’t sure what the appropriate reaction is to the end of a runway show, just listen to the closing track — Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” which plays as the models are sprinkled with confetti as they take their final walk.