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Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Readies for the Runway

An exclusive look at the glam, glitz and show-biz drama that will be unveiled Wednesday at the 69th Regiment Armory.

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Victorias Secret Swarovski

NEW YORK — An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show revealed the glam, glitz and show-biz drama that will be unveiled Wednesday at the 69th Regiment Armory.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Victoria’s Secret offices in Manhattan were packed Monday with a slew of designers, costumers, beaders, stylists, and hair and makeup artists, as well as several Angels, such as Miranda Kerr and Adriana Lima, who came in for fittings — even as the costumes were being constructed and sewn together for Wednesday’s shows.

There will be two fashion shows — one at 4 p.m. and a second at 8 p.m. — at the Armory, where generators and forklifts rented by Victoria’s Secret were loaned to the National Guard during the disaster. Throughout the hurricane emergency, the lingerie retailer provided hotel rooms in New York City for creative talent to continue working on costumes as well as show and stage props.

Costume-shop artisans Jamie Filippelli and Mary Shaffer were working feverishly on a costume commemorating the 10th anniversary of Swarovski Elements’ partnership with the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, a fantasy concoction of Swarovski crystals and beads sewn onto nude-tone netting. The idea is to “make it look like the crystals and beads are floating in the air,” explained Filippelli of the star piece, which will be shown in the Silver Screen Angels segment.

The entire show features Swarovski crystals, but several other key pieces stood out, such as the exotic Snake Charmer piece in the show’s opener, Circus.

Jewelry designer David Mandel was creating a four-foot Diamond Back python in a myriad of brightly colored Swarovski crystals and vintage crystals from his personal collection. Key accessories were snake eyes, comprised of plastic, crystal and gold-plated metal, from a taxidermist. “Metal doesn’t drape....I’m literally sculpting with stones, and sometimes I have to solder pieces in midair to get the right angle,” said Mandel, as he popped a snake eye into its socket. He turned around to show another costume for the Angels in Bloom segment, which will feature scores of hothouse flowers such as an oversized hibiscus embedded on a lavish multicolor costume.

In another area, Armando Farfan, a costume specialist from Las Vegas, was piercing narrow monofilament tubing to be sewn into costume hems.

“The models have to be able to walk, and you have to have a piece that stands up to the motion and look great as the lights are flashing…monofilament along the hems adds body,” said Farfan.

Miranda Kerr had just finished her fitting in an emerald-green velvet bodysuit encrusted with Swarovski crystals and dyed-to-match feathers for the Circus segment. Cameron Russell stepped out in the Swarovski anniversary piece in fantasy platforms by Nicholas Kirkwood. She wore what appeared to be well more than $5 million in jewels by London Jewelers, including a 16-carat diamond ring.

Todd Thomas, collection designer, described this year’s show as “magical.”

“This year’s show will open with a spectacular theme that sets the tone for the entire show....There will be nostalgic romance, historical fashion and epic references to pop culture,” said Thomas, who works with Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou. She serves as collection creative director.

The show, which will present 65 costumes and 28 pairs of Angel Wings, will also headline three major entertainers: Rihanna, who will perform during the Dangerous Liaisons segment; Justin Bieber, who will sing in the collegiate Pink is Me session, and Bruno Mars, who will croon in the Calender Girls venue.

In other developments, the location of the after party has been changed to Lavo, a Midtown club.