What was looking set to be the biggest and most awesome Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to date, is crumbling like a Primark lace thong in a tumble dryer. Scheduled to take place in just a matter of days, the whole spectacle is looking a little, well, shaky.
The post “What We Know So Far” all the way back in September pitched a big change for the lingerie brand. Bringing the annual show to Shanghai to appeal to a whole new market and adding a fashion segment in collaboration with none other than Balmain hinted at the brand’s intention to move closer to the fashion arena. A whole new set of rookies and some familiar faces made the grade and we got to see the Champagne Nights Fantasy Bra costing a cool $2 million which has been assigned to Lais Ribeiro for 2017. All very promising and all minor shifts to keep up with and ultimately exceed trends and expectations. So how then did it unravel?
The first very minor rumbling happened after it was reported that Taylor Swift *might* perform at the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show; this was quickly set right when it was confirmed that whilst Swift will not perform, she’ll have a front row seat for her BFF Karlie Kloss‘ return to the VS runway, and any associated drama that might inspire a song.
After that, the internet reminded us of an unfortunate video of Gigi Hadid, posted by Bella Hadid to Instagram and SnapChat of the model posing with a buddha shaped cookie and squinting her eyes – effectively mocking Chinese culture. The video was swiftly deleted but as we know, nothing ever really disappears once it’s appeared online. The result? Gigi ejected. That’s right Voyeurs, she’s outta there and that was just the start of the trouble for the 2017 Victoria’s Secret fashion Show….
There are a whole raft of visa issues for models and one particular performer. Let me back up a little, every artist or model wishing to perform in China is vetted in advance, social media is drilled and posts are combed for any potentially offensive content, and these officials are shit hot. Models Irina Sharipova, Julia Belyakova, Kate Grigorieva, and Dasha Khlystun have all been denied entry to the country and it’s reportedly down to posts on their personal social media accounts. Adriana Lima’s position in the show hangs in the balance too as her visa application is delayed due to an “ongoing diplomatic problem”. Ouch, losing a veteran Angel will hurt the brand, especially one as well known and hotly anticipated as Lima.
Performer-wise it looks pretty certain that Harry Styles will play the show, in terms of scandal he’s pretty boring and non-controversial, unless you count that “sticky fingers” post he tweeted a few years ago of course, but it looks like there’s two spots vacant on that glittering stage. Katy Perry was rumoured to be making her second appearance as a performer at the runway show however after having her visa granted initially pending validation, it looks as though those Chinese officials found out just how shit her music is and put a stop to that immediately.
Actually, it’s a little more serious than that as Perry has been banned from performing in Shanghai “indefinitely”. According to reports it all stems back to a performance on the singers Prismatic tour in Taipei in 2015 which was crammed with sunflowers. From the sunflowers on her hideous frock to the microphone stand weirdly shaped like a giant sunflower, Perry clearly hadn’t done her research as the sunflower is used as the motif of the ‘Sunflower Student Movement’, a resistance group who opposed what they perceived to be mainland China’s overreach in Taiwan. Total… face… palm… The singer did send a lighthearted letter to the Chinese government promising to behave however even they didn’t see through her thinly veiled bullshit. Banned. Forever. Imagine that, free of Katy Perry and her music forever? Shrewd move Shanghai.
With media outlets struggling to arrange access to the show venue and the show’s stalwart models appearances hanging in the balance, maybe there will be a spot for Swift to swoop in like some kind of super annoying, shrill, tall and wingless Angel to save the day. Or maybe Ed Razek will opt for someone cooler like Pink or Drake, or more current like Dua Lipa. One thing’s for sure though, with only two days to go, there’s everything to play for.