If you’ve ever wondered how those massive, glittering wings worn by the Victoria’s Secret Angels are made, you’re in luck. Marian Hose, the designer who heads up the process, spilled all of her secrets ahead of the 2016 fashion show in Paris on Wednesday, November 30.
Although models like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner will only wear their runway wings for a few minutes, it takes 30 to 400 hours to craft the one-of-kind creations. “Very few of our wings take 30 hours,” Hose told Teen Vogue. “We do five to six fittings per wing. We have the first fitting of actual wing mockups with our fit model, and we solidify all the materials. At the second fitting, we check to make sure the wings don’t bounce and they aren't getting too heavy. At the third fitting, the design team matches Victoria’s Secret product to the wings. Then, we finally meet the model who will be wearing the wings! We have to make sure the wing works for each girl carrying it.”
But before that happens, Hose, whose favorite wings include ones worn by Behati Prinsloo in 2013 and Miranda Kerr in 2012, revealed that plenty of time goes into the planning process, too. “After meeting with the design team, we're assigned wings by the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show staff,” she said. “We then go through seven stages. At the first meeting, we blow up designs on a projector with our fit model to make sure that the scale is good. Next, at my studio, I pattern the wings, I build the backpack bases and understructures and I swatch decorative materials.”
Even though the wings look heavenly, they can be hell to tote around. “Our heaviest wings are the Pink Large Bow Wing, the Secret Angel Fishnet Wing, and the Road Ahead Woven Feather Disc,” Hose reminisced. “Each of these wings probably weigh 15 to 18 pounds. Surprisingly, our largest wing in the Dark Angel Section only weighs 12 pounds. It's completely covered in black feathers. Often times, the jeweled wings weigh the most but this year, we kept them between 1 to 8 pounds.”
This year, some of those jeweled wings are made with glittering Swarovski crystals, as seen in the Bright Nights series (Jasmine Tookes is modeling the $3 million Fantasy Bra covered in 9,000 gemstones from that collection). “We made six wings for it, and I find it so hard to pick which one I like most,” Hose said. “They're all playful and ready for a party.”
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