By Mario McKellop

The 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which was taped at Shanghai, China’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, was the most enjoyable presentation the lingerie maker has put on in years. It featured a slew of excellent musical performances from a quartet of very talented recording artists, a heartfelt goodbye from a legendary supermodel, and lots and lots of elegant lingerie. Here’s a rundown of this very enjoyable and glamorous special.

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What Makes You Beautiful

The show started with an appropriately epic opening wherein the first group of Victoria’s Secret Angels took the stage while Harry Styles performed his hit single “Kiwi.” The ladies were led by Candice Swanepoel, who made a return to the Victoria’s Secret runway for the first time since giving birth to her son Anacã in October of 2016. The South African beauty looked absolutely stunning in a black and red plaid outfit designed by French fashion house Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing.

A Winter’s Tale

Next, R&B superstar Miguel and Chinese pianist Li Yundi collaborated on a performance of the former’s new track “Pineapple Skies.” As they performed, models wearing pieces from the Victoria’s Secret’s “Porcelain Angel” collection walked the runway. Inspired by the ornamental aesthetics of the Ming Dynasty, this collection featured pieces in various gorgeous blue and white hues. Despite its stated inspirations, the whole thing kind of came off like the world’s sexiest winter solstice party.

The Angels Protect Us

The winter party was followed by a taped segment in which two Victoria’s Secret Angels learned some martial arts moves from a Shanghai-based fight choreographer and Kung Fu practitioner. While Angels Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver didn’t look competition-ready after the training was done, they could probably make the cut as assassins in the next Taylor Swift video.

The Story of the Night

Returning to the actual show, “Hamilton’s” Leslie Odom, Jr. performed a sublime mashup of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” and Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michelson’s “Winter Song.” Sadly, this portion of the show was marred when model Ming Xi slipped and fell on her way down the runway. This was unfortunate incident for Xi, as she is a hometown girl and her parents were in the audience. But as Odom rightly noted, it’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you get back up again.

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Dust My Shoulders Off

Moving on to happier events, Chinese singer Jane Zhang was absolutely amazing during her performance of her songs “Celebrate” and “808.” The singer has an energetic stage presence and angelic singing voice (pun definitely intended). It’s easy to her being a massive crossover star in the US. Also, the Victoria’s Secret’s PINK Millennial Nation athleisure wear collection, which was modeled while Zhang performed, looked both sexy and comfortable so it’ll likely do incredibly well.

City of Angels

Next up, Victor Secret’s “Nomadic Angels” line was presented while Miguel performed his “Told You So.” This collection was designed with the intent of celebrating multiculturalism and that mandate could be seen in the very stylish line’s various African, Asian Native American, South American and European influences. This portion of the show also featured some backstage interviews with various Angels who earnestly explained how proud they were to represent their nations through the Victoria’s Secret brand.

Despedida, Alessandra!

The “Nomadic Angels” presentation was a bit bittersweet as it featured the last Victoria’s Secret runway appearance of supermodel Alessandra Ambrósio. Long associated with the brand, Ambrósio is a veteran of 17 Victoria’s Secret shows. Some of her VS highlights include being the first spokesmodel for the PINK line, appearing on a fashion show only three months after giving birth to her first child and previously modeling the $2.5 million jewel-encrusted Dream Fantasy Bra. During her last walk down the runaway, Ambrósio blew her fans a grateful kiss goodbye.

Sign of the Times

Finally, Harry Styles closed out the show with a performance of his single “Only Angel.”  This final presentation was definitely the most fun of this year’s show. Abandoning their normal composure, the Angels cut loose during their final walk down the runway, giggling, cheering and pointing to friends and family in the audience. The models were clearly having a lot of fun and their joy was infectious. Lastly, the entire Victoria’s Secret 2017 Fashion Show class gathered together and took a bow. It was a very enjoyable ending to a very enjoyable show.

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