NEW YORK – The angels are back in town for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
The annual show landed back in New York City after spending two years abroad, with international romps in Paris (2016) and Shanghai (2017).
The night marked the end of an era for one Victoria’s Secret Angel: Adriana Lima. The supermodel hung up her wings with an emotional tribute, retiring from the fashion show that made her a household name.
“The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Holiday Special” airs Sunday, Dec. 2 (10 EDT/PDT) on ABC, but we got a seat at the show Thursday at Pier 94. Here are the five biggest moments from the 2018 event:
Adriana Lima teared up during tribute
The show paid a special tribute to Lima, featuring a video montage of clips from her past iconic Victoria’s Secret moments. The video ended with a “thank you” message to Lima before the catwalk darkened and the model herself came out.
Lima, 37, strutted solo down the runway, visibly tearing up when she reached the end of the runway while the crowd rose to their feet to cheer for the supermodel as she walked in her 19th and final VS show.
Lima also shared her gratitude in an Instagram post Wednesday.
“Dear Victoria, Thank you for showing me the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me wings but teaching me to fly,” she wrote in the caption of the post.
The top supermodels continued their reign
Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Lima, Elsa Hosk, Candice Swanepoel, Jasmine Tookes and Behati Prinsloo returned to the Victoria’s Secret runway, continuing to flex their top model status.
Hosk was tapped to wear the coveted, diamond-encrusted Fantasy Bra, worth $1 million. Jenner and Gigi skipped out on the Shanghai show, but they strutted in their angel wings and long trains as if they’d never missed a beat.
Shawn Mendes and Co. rocked out
The star power was not what it has been over the past decade – think Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga in 2016, The Weeknd in 2016 and 2015, Taylor Swift in 2013 and 2014 and Katy Perry in 2010.
This year, Shawn Mendes, The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Kelsea Ballerini, Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha, Leela James and The Struts were on the lineup as performers, and although their appeal might not be as high-wattage as their predecessors’, they put on a lively show with strong vocals and good energy.
Behati Prinsloo returns to the catwalk post-baby
That’s one hot mama! Prinsloo walked the runway just months after giving birth to her second child with husband and “The Voice” star Adam Levine.
The 30-year-old model is back after a three-year hiatus from the show to focus on her children with the Maroon 5 front man, 2-year-old Dusty Rose and 7-month-old Gio Grace. She gave birth in February, last walking the show back in November 2015.
Prinsloo posted about her triumphant return on Wednesday, writing on Instagram: “Felt like i never left, i love my @victoriassecret family so much, my first show was 2007 it’s crazy to think about how time flies. I’m nervous and more grateful for all of it then ever. LETS DO THIS.”
Size diversity took a backseat – again
Despite lingerie brands like Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty – which closed out New York Fashion Week with a diverse cast of women of all shapes, colors and sizes – and designers like Christian Siriano – who frequently dresses stars other designers refuse to outfit because of their size – Victoria’s Secret still hasn’t moved past its one-(small)-size-fits-all mentality when it comes to casting models.
The show billed itself as being one of the most competitive castings in the industry, but it seems clear that the competition only applies to long and lean models that we’ve seen for the past 23 years of the show’s existence.