Angels rule the runway in Shanghai

On the runway in Shanghai: Brazil-born model Lais Ribeiro (above), wearing the Champagne Night Fantasy Bra that is decked out with nearly 6,000 gemstones.
On the runway in Shanghai: Brazil-born model Lais Ribeiro (above), wearing the Champagne Night Fantasy Bra that is decked out with nearly 6,000 gemstones.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, EPA-EFE, REUTERS
On the runway in Shanghai: Angolan model Maria Borges.
On the runway in Shanghai: Angolan model Maria Borges.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, EPA-EFE, REUTERS
On the runway in Shanghai: Chinese model Sui He.
On the runway in Shanghai: Chinese model Sui He.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, EPA-EFE, REUTERS
It was a night of glitz, glamour and drama as South African Angel Candice Swanepoel opened the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, celebrity model Bella Hadid strutted on the runway and Shanghai native Ming Xi (above) fell on stage but maintained her p
It was a night of glitz, glamour and drama as South African Angel Candice Swanepoel opened the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, celebrity model Bella Hadid strutted on the runway and Shanghai native Ming Xi (above) fell on stage but maintained her poise. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, EPA-EFE, REUTERS

All eyes were glued to the catwalk at the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai on Monday night, the first time the glamorous event was being held in Asia.

Last year's show was held in Paris.

An estimated 2,500 invited guests from around the globe - including Singapore-based Kishin R.K., chief executive of RB Capital, and real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid, the father of models Gigi and Bella Hadid - attended the highly anticipated show that featured about 50 models from more than 15 countries.

Opening this year's 45-minute show, held in Shanghai's premier entertainment venue, the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Pudong, was South African Angel Candice Swanepoel, who strutted down the U-shaped runway to upbeat song Kiwi, sung by One Direction's Harry Styles.

The lingerie brand's "Angels" are the faces of the brand. Several danced, waved and blew kisses at the crowd, each showcasing her own style and personality.

The runway performances were accompanied by other musical performances, including numbers by American R&B singer Miguel, Chinese singer-songwriter Jane Zhang and Tony Award-winning actor and singer Leslie Odom Jr.

Midway, however, there was a hiccup, when Chinese model Ming Xi, a Shanghai native, fell down. However, she quickly picked herself up with effortless poise, helped by a fellow model, and the show went on.


It was a night of glitz, glamour and drama as South African Angel Candice Swanepoel (above left) opened the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, celebrity model Bella Hadid (above right) strutted on the runway and Shanghai native Ming Xi fell on stage but maintained her poise. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, EPA-EFE, REUTERS

The fall quickly became one of the top trending topics on Weibo, said Agence France-Presse.

"I'm sorry to let everyone down. Thanks for everyone's concern," Xi, 28, said on the social media platform. "As a model for seven years, I have fallen on this road many times, but I know no matter how painful it is, I must stand and finish."

Chinese netizens praised Xi for finishing her walk.

Wearing the coveted Fantasy Bra this year was Brazil-born model Lais Ribeiro. The Champagne Night Fantasy Bra, which was custom-made to fit, is valued at US$2 million (S$2.71 million) and is decked out with nearly 6,000 gemstones, including diamonds and yellow sapphires.

The show featured six collections, including the much-anticipated VS x Balmain collaboration.

Designed by the French luxury fashion house's creative director Olivier Rousteing, the collaboration is Victoria's Secret's first.

The models started preparing for the 8pm show - which started about 30 minutes late - at 9am on Monday, taking turns to get their hair and make-up done.

Speaking to The Straits Times during a behind-the-scenes session earlier in the day, Angel Lily Aldridge, when asked about what goes through her head on the runway, said: "It's all about your personality, making sure people can see your inner beauty, your inner shine."

The show will be broadcast at 10pm Eastern Standard Time next Tuesday on US network CBS.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2017, with the headline 'Angels rule the runway in Shanghai'. Print Edition | Subscribe