LONDON -- What does it mean when a bell rings?
If you've seen Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, you'll know it means an Angel has just earned its wings.
Backstage Tuesday at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in London, more than 40 supermodels (known as Angels) and a multitude of people devoted to hair, makeup and production- without-a-snag were in the process of preparing for ascendance.
'It's about having a good time,' model Barbara Fialho, 26, from Brazil, said several hours ahead of the show's official kickoff. 'Deep breaths are what I am taking. It's my third year, so I'm a little more relaxed than I was in my first year,' she said.
The plush antechamber at Earl's Court Exhibition Center was filled with studious beauty-making. The room was decked out in Victoria's Secret's trademark boudour style, a kind of silky pink palace reminiscent of Victorian opulence.
Alessandra Ambrosio preps backstage(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris, (Credit too long, see caption))
The Angels, dressed in robes took turns hamming it up for the cameras. Sexy was the ambition.
This is the first time the catwalk fleshathon -- which tapes Tuesday, but does not air untilDec. 9 -- has descended on Britain. The lingerie world's most high-concept event (feathers and garters are just the start) is usually held in New York.
'We really wanted to do something bigger and better this year, and make it bigger and better,' said Monica Mitro, one of the show's executive producers, a veteran of 19 shows. '(In London), we're upping our game because everyone is always asking us how we're going to make it better than last year.'
Eniko Mihalik and Joan Smalls strike a pose backstage(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris, (Credit too long, see caption))
'By bringing this show to Europe, it really shows that Victoria's Secret is serious about broadening it's reach,' said Kate Ormrod, a retail analyst at London-based Verdict. The company is set to open its first store in China before the end of the year.
Before the show, Angel stalwarts Lily Aldridge and Alessandro Ambrosio spoke about preparing themselves for the catwalk and the competitive nature of securing a spot in the line-up. . There's hitting the gym, boxing, spinning, jump rope training, aerobics, yoga, eating right, ballet, lunges, running, step, sunshine, green juices, squats and more.
Aldridge said she was going to make time to visit family in London.
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