Since 1995, Victoria’s Secret has been staging annual runway shows to present its new collections—a common practice among fashion brands. But by 2001, the shows had become spectacles that were broadcast nationally: the day’s most famous supermodels (former and current Victoria’s Secret Angels include Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, Liu Wen and Gisele Bundchen) clamping down glitter-covered runways, while notable musicians played against an elaborate backdrop.
This year’s show took place Wednesday afternoon in New York City, though it won’t be broadcast for another few weeks. By now, the yearly Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show has become a part of pop culture—a flashy and fabulous alternative to the serious shows of the international fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris. From the unveil of its annual “Fantasy Bra,” a custom, blinged-out piece worn by one model each season (the 2012 version, worn by Alessandra Ambrosio, costs $2.5 million) to the famous names who take the stage alongside the supermodels—Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars performed yesterday—here’s a glimpse into this year’s show.