Paris (AFP) - It took a fair bit of cheek for brash American lingerie brand Victoria's Secret to hold its first-ever fashion show in Paris, the city that invented sexy underwear.
And true to the brand's brazen style, the spectacle featured a slightly wounded megastar, awed A-list models - and a jewel-encrusted multi-million-dollar "fantasy" bra.
Lady Gaga, the star draw at the annual extragavanza, picked up a "couple of bruises from dance rehearsal", she told her 64 million Twitter followers.
The show's mostly American models said they felt "goosebumps" - and not just because it was a freezing night. They were also stepping out under the hallowed dome of the Grand Palais, the art deco temple where French luxury label Chanel holds its couture shows.
Three of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld's favourite models - Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner - were among the brand's "angels" wearing wings on the runway.
Brazilian beauty Adriana Lima, 35, struck a blow for older models, walking her 15th show.
Another landmark was Jasmine Tookes, 25, becoming the "first black woman to sport the Victoria's Secrets Fantasy Bra in nine years", after Selita Ebanks and Tyra Banks.
The American closed the show modelling the emerald- and diamond-encrusted "Bright Night Fantasy Bra", which costs US$3 million.
She had earlier batted away allegations that she had bleached her skin for the show. "Are you kidding me! Who in the world does that?" she wrote on Instagram. "Lighting is everything...not to mention I'm way darker in the summer and much lighter towards the winter. My skin tone changes all the time just like everyone else."
Former Swedish professional basketball player Elsa Hosk also made her debut to promote the brand's new sportswear range.
Although Victoria's Secret has nearly 1,000 shops in the United States with US$7.6 billion in sales last year, it is almost unknown in France, which has a long tradition of high-quality lingerie.
Among French fashion figures who attended the show was Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing, a favourite of singers Rihanna and Beyonce.
And in stark contrast to the usual Paris fashion shows, the models were wearing smiles, if not much else.
"It was very much an America-style fireworks show that shouldn't be taken too seriously," one not overly impressed guest said.
The star-studded show, which will be broadcast in 190 countries from Dec 5, is seen as an attempt by the label to break into the lucrative European market.
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