Victoria's Secret Exclusive Fitting
StyleList stopped by the Victoria's Secret headquarters in New York City for an exclusive look at model Alessandra Ambrosio's lingerie fitting for the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
It was an especially exciting session since the Brazilian beauty had just learned that she was one of the Angels selected to wear the coveted wings on the 2010 runway.
Strutting in the giant, black-and-white feathered creations, Ambrosio broke into a sunny grin. "They're fantastic!" she enthused, calling the look one of her all-time favorites. "I could easily wear this in Carnival in Brazil."
Along with the wings, the heavenly creature wore thigh-high, chain-trimmed boots, and a monokini hand-painted in dark olive and gold.
"Tribal graphics, savage, sultry," chanted costume designer Todd Thomas as she sashayed.
"We've been waiting for a whole year to see [the outfits]," Ambrosio explained.
Ambrosio is slated to open the Wild Things portion of the show in her wings. She will also appear in the Country Girl and Tough Love chapters.
Her Tough Love outfit includes studded scanties and an off-the-shoulder corset. The stylists matter-of-factly adjusted her bits and pieces, making her cleavage even more dramatic.
"Having a baby opened my ribs and this [corset] is squishing them back," Ambrosio laughed.
The Country Girl ensemble is sweeter, with a violet gingham bra, sleeves with tiered ruffles, and lace-up white booties. Throughout, the towering heels are by Giuseppe Zanotti.
Once back in her jeans, Ambrosio opened up to StyleList about the Angel experience and how motherhood changed her body image.
She describes the fashion show's backstage as a frenzied blur, as all that bare skin gets an extra glow with self-tanner and lots of shimmer.
"I just have to remember how to breathe. You get nervous and then...." She mimics a deer-in-headlights face. Her other pre-show ritual? "Pray before getting to the runway!"
Even with her flawless body and her catwalk skills, Ambrosio has one personal hurdle. "I don't want to wear a G-string, trust me! That's the one thing I fear; I don't want to wear [one]," she confesses.
"But they're very flexible here. If they see that you're uncomfortable with something they'll definitely change your outfit around."
If anything, Ambrosio may be in even better physical condition now that she's a mother. "I definitely respect my body more now... for me, it changed for the better. I got more toned."
Ambrosio believes exercise is key to feeling good, no matter what your body type. "It hurts but it feels good; it makes you feel confident," she says. Like many celebs, she's a fan of Pilates. For the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, she worked with a trainer for about a month to prepare.
Not surprisingly, she also recommends the right underwear to lift your spirits as well as your bust.
"A great piece of lingerie... it builds up your confidence, and your attitude toward the world changes," she asserts. "People won't see [your knickers] but you can see [confidence] through the eyes." (Click here to find which lingerie style suits you best.)
The Dream Angels bra is her go-to. "It's very comfy and it has a little lace in it, so it's very sexy. It gives a little of that romantic feeling and has a bit of push-up. I wear it everywhere."
As for those wings? Ambrosio breathes a sigh of relief at this year's relatively lightweight version. "Every time you have feathers on the wings, that's the best because it doesn't weigh much," she says. "You can be more playful on the runway.
"Four years ago, I had these enormous wings made of some different material and [they were] so heavy I could barely breathe. I was pulled back; I almost fell off the runway when I got to the end."
Thomas pipes up with a behind-the-scenes secret: he has slipped into the wings more than once himself. "There are a lot of try-ons for entertainment purposes, to keep up the morale," he chuckles. "Any Polaroids won't see the light of day."
The models hit the runway Nov. 10, with the fashion show airing on CBS on Nov. 30. Besides the flock of bodacious Angels, Katy Perry and Akon are set to perform.
Will Ambrosio rise to head angel, now that Heidi Klum has stepped down? Tune in to see!
Meanwhile, check out Adriana Lima in the diamond-encrusted Bombshell Fantasy Bra.
And find out what the Victoria's Secret casting director looks for in a lingerie model.