How the Victoria's Secret Idea of Sexy Has Evolved
Angels will fly down the runway next month at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which airs Dec. 8 on CBS. Visually pleasing underwear became popular at the end of the 19th century, but it took until the 1990s for Victoria's Secret to celebrate lingerie with its annual fashion show. The brand's spectacle of scantily clad models was initially held before Valentine's Day, but in 2001, the show was televised and moved to the start of the holiday shopping season. That's not the only thing that's changed over the years. The lingerie modeled has evolved from high-waisted and shiny to made-for-TV costumes straight from a feathery fantasy.
Some have complained about the show's indecency, and it was canceled in 2004 after America was scandalized by Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl. But since then, the show has gone on, giving us at least one take on what's considered sexy through the years. Before the Angels walk in this year's show, take a look back at the styles they've worn in past shows.
— Additional reporting by Macy Williams
1996: In Black and White
The 1996 runway gave women no reason to be creative with color; the black and white options were sexy enough.
1997: Be a Sweetheart
Hearts got the romantic message across loud and clear in 1997, as the models dared women to be a little cliché with their lingerie choices.
1998: Get High (Waisted)
The underwear almost reached the belly button in the late '90s.
1999: Something Shiny
Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum sold shiny underwear to women in 1999.
2000: Cover Up
In 2000, models showed off various cover-up options for the bedroom.
2001: Classic Seduction
Victoria's Secret went with red nighties, structured corsets, and lots of lace in 2001. You can't go wrong with that.
2002: Simply Sexy
Compared to the years that followed, the items showed in 2002 looked more like pieces women can actually wear and less like elaborate costumes.
2003: Bling Bling
The Angels brought some over-the-top luxe in 2003, encouraging women to wear the diamonds into the bedroom.
2005: Modesty Is in
Boy shorts rivaled thongs on the 2005 runway, which was more modest than other years following 2004's cancellation. And I believe that's Gisele wearing some nude stockings!
2006: Accentuate Your Assets
2006's runway encouraged women to highlight their assets with feathers, plaid creations, or sparkly materials.
2007: Hot and Cold
With a giant snowflake attached to her and a crown on her head, Heidi Klum channeled an ice queen in 2007's Winter wonderland. That's one way to get in the holiday spirit!
2008: Sweet Femininity
With lots of pink and soft details, 2008's show sent the message that innocent femininity can also be naughty.
2009: Fairy Tale Fantasy
2009's show was a feathery fairy tale fantasy. The Angels looked like they were flying through an enchanted forest.
2010: Strong Is Sexy
2010's show was all about showing strength, as models lifted dumbbells, threw punches, and suited up in sports-inspired gear.
2011: Super Angels
Supermodels turned into super angels at 2011's runway show. There's been a wave of superhero movies, from Iron Man to The Amazing Spider-Man, the past few years, so it's no surprise the angels channeled the trend.
2012: Playing Dress-Up
Since the 2012 show was split into six themes — Circus, Dangerous Liaisons, Calendar Girls, Pink Is Us, Silver Screen Angels, and Angels in Bloom — its costumes felt even more over-the-top and costume-y than usual. Role play, anyone?
2013: Keep It Neutral
On 2013's runway, if the angels weren't wearing sparkly creams and whites, they were rocking classic deep black hues. The show was all about showing off the details of the incredible lingerie. Can't wait to see what this year brings us!
2014: Accessorize Everything
During last year's show, the lingerie was simply an element of what the models were wearing. Cool jackets, sweeping capes, and lots of jewelry topped the looks off.