The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is an event that is not to be missed. Unlike a lot of fashion shows, it isn’t a super serious affair. There are great performers, supermodels, and head-turning looks. If you thought your Halloween angel wings were fancy, they are nothing compared to the ones at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. One of the highlights of the show is always seeing the Fantasy Bra come down the runway. The Fantasy Bra steals the show from even the most intricate lingerie looks. It’s hard not to when the bra has millions of dollars worth of jewels on it.
The 2015 Fireworks Fantasy Bra was worn by Lily Aldridge and was designed exclusively by Mouawad. The bra and coordinating belt had a staggering value of $2 million.
It took more than 685 hours of labor to be handset with 6,808 precious gems, including diamonds and strings of blue topaz, yellow sapphires, and pink quartz, all set in 18-karat gold. It is an understatement to say that you would ever find something a thousandth as fancy as this in the actual store.
We get to appreciate the bra in photos on television in all its dazzling glory, but we don’t get to fully understand what goes into creating it. Luckily, we were able to talk to Pascal Mouawad, one of the 4th generation co-guardians of Mouawad, to find out more about the design process.
Tell us about how you ended up working with Victoria’s Secret.
Pascal Mouawad: I met the Victoria’s Secret team in 2000 at the Cannes Film Festival. Mouawad was sponsoring an event there, and we hosted a party on our family yacht. I got to meet their senior management team and the models at that time. We then started a friendly relationship, and Mouawad was then asked to design and build the 2001 Fantasy Bra worn by Heidi Klum.
Who came up with the fireworks concept?
Victoria’s Secret came up with the concept that tied it into the theme of one section of their show.
Did you have any restrictions for the final design you had to keep in mind?
They gave us an inspiration board, including the theme fireworks, which was a very clear brief. They also provided some high-level sketches based on the design they were looking for, and then my team was able to take it from there.
Where do you begin in the design process? Tell us about it.
After we get the mood board, our designers get to work with putting together renderings to fit what they are looking for. There is a back-and-forth process of approvals between our team and Victoria’s Secret before coming down to the final design.
How many people worked on the bra?
There is a head designer and two assistants for design, and for the actual manufacturing, there is a team of 12 craftsmen for a period of four months.
How did you choose the stones for the bra?
Based on the theme of fireworks, we went for a series of multicolored gemstones to create the true firework theme.
How are they attached?
They are attached with gold prongs to keep them in place.
What would people be surprised to know about designing the Fantasy Bra?
It is a very unique bra, and a very skilled team of designers and craftsmen are needed to create such an intricate item made out of colored gemstones and diamonds set in gold.
Do you take part in the angel wings design too? Are they designed before or after the bra?
We do not get involved with wing design. The bra is created first, and then the angel wings are designed based on our design.
(Photos: Getty Images)