08 Nov

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion show started in the mid-’90s as a way for the brand to showcase its merchandise with live models, but over the decades the show has evolved into a high-profile glittering spectacle. From Angel’s wings to Fantasy Bras, you’ll see that there are tons of elements that go into creating one of the most-talked-about fashion events of the year. This isn’t just a simple fashion show—it’s a full-on art show (with a couple scandals here and there). Just wait until you see what Heidi Klum wore on the runway in 2003!

It Started Out As A Way To Sell The Lingerie

It Started Out As A Way To Sell The Lingerie

Ron Galella/WireImage via Getty Images

The very first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show debuted in 1995 at New York City’s Plaza Hotel. The fashion show was introduced by model Stephanie Seymour and also featured Beverly Peele and Frederique van der Wal. The show was initially put on to showcase Victoria’s Secret merchandise which is why most runway looks for the early shows were very minimal. The lingerie is put into full focus in these shows, with just shoes and perhaps a purse or a light sweater to complement them. Here, model Angelika Kallio’s minimal accessories really showcase the bra and pajama bottoms that she is wearing.

The Simplicity Of Early Shows Put Emphasis On The Merchandise

The Simplicity Of Early Shows Put Emphasis On The Merchandise

Ron Galella/WireImage via Getty Images

With this look from 1997, worn here by model Rebecca Romijn, you can see that there is still a huge emphasis on the merchandise itself. For the first few years after the show’s conception, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was held at the Plaza Hotel and was not broadcast to the public with the exception of the 1999 and 2000 shows, when the public was invited to peek in on the annual event via webcast. Of course, the Internet during the new millennium wasn’t quite what it is today, so the video quality was deplorable. Still, millions of people tuned in since the event was given tons of publicity leading up to it.

Intricate Stage Design Became An Aspect Of The Show

Intricate Stage Design Became An Aspect Of The Show

Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

By the fourth show in 1998, Victoria’s Secret shifted away from simplicity and became a little more elaborate with the presentation of their shows. The stage design had become a very important aspect of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and the designs only continued to get more intricate and detailed depending on the theme of that year’s show. While the runway looks here still appear to be focused on the lingerie, one of the models in this picture is displaying another very important aspect of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show: the Angel wings. Wait until you see the biggest wings that have ever graced the Victoria’s Secret runway!

The Angels Get Their First Sets Of Wings

The Angels Get Their First Sets Of Wings

Ron Galella/WireImage via Getty Images

This is Tyra Banks rocking one of the first sets of Angel wings to ever grace the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway in 1998. The tradition caught on, with the heavy-hitter models working the show being dubbed “Victoria’s Secret Angels.” The first group of models that helped Victoria’s Secret popularize the concept included Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio. These models are considered veterans of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway and have since left the show, with the exception of Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. These wings are pretty straightforward compared to how far the concept is taken today!

The Heaviest Set Of Wings Weighed 30 Pounds

The Heaviest Set Of Wings Weighed 30 Pounds

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

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