Victoria’s Secret China show struts on despite controversy

Brazilian model Adriana Lima gestures as she is made up at backstage before the Victoria’s Secret fashion show inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. (AP)
Updated 21 November 2017
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Victoria’s Secret China show struts on despite controversy

SHANGHAI: Gigi Hadid and Katy Perry didn’t make it but the Victoria’s Secret show in Shanghai managed to strut on Monday without them, surviving a controversy over visa issues and a model who slipped and fell during the show.
Fifty-five models walked the catwalk inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena, serenaded by Harry Styles, R&B star Miguel, Tony Award-winner Leslie Odom Jr. and Chinese singer Jane Zhang. Styles sang “Only Angel” and later “Kiwi.”
Chinese media reported that Hadid and Perry were denied visas.
Bella Hadid, Gigi’s sister, appeared in the second act of the show, donning blue feather wings, a black high-neck, push-up bra and topped off with hand painted leather gloves.
In a show segment titled “Goddess,” Victoria’s Secret models donned massive floor-sweeping silk wings with gold and silver sequined lingerie — and plenty of bling.
Model Lais Ribeiro was charged with the task of carrying 300 carats down the catwalk while sporting the Champagne Nights Fantasy Bra studded with 6,000 gemstones.
Designed by Mouawad, organizers said the bra valued at $2 million took nearly 350 hours to create. It features diamonds, yellow sapphires and blue topaz.

55 models. 20 countries. One EPIC #VSFashionShow. Get your look in time for Nov. 28 via link in bio!

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The show ended with a tribute to lingerie designs based on various ethnic and native origins — with models donning rainbow colored feathers and beaded jewelry.
Shanghai-native Ming Xi slipped and fell to her knees, saying afterward she felt “so disappointed with myself.” A nearby model helped her up and she said many of the others asked if she was OK. “That’s what Victoria’s Secret is — everyone loves each other and we have the most beautiful family in the world.”
In addition to Hadid, Xi and Ribeiro, the models included Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Candice Swanepoel, Karlie Kloss, Lily Aldridge, Elsa Hosk, Jasmine Tookes, Taylor Hill and Martha Hunt.
Hadid and Perry were scheduled to take part but bowed out just days before the show.

On Mondays we wear pink #regram @karliekloss #VSFashionShow

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Hadid’s no-show came a few months after Chinese Internet users accused her of racist behavior. She had been seen squinting her eyes on an Instagram video.
Observers said Perry caused some controversy in China in 2015 for wearing a sunflower-adorned dress while performing in Taiwan. The flower is an emblem of the island’s anti-China movement.
It is not uncommon for entertainers to be denied visas by Chinese authorities for political reasons.
The Global Times, an official newspaper of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, published a commentary on Monday titled “Victoria’s Secret models’ visa denial is of their own making.”
The story named Hadid and Perry and said celebrities who want a piece of the booming Chinese market need to respect what it said were Chinese values.
“They are lifting a stone only to drop on their own feet due to their ignorance of these issues. Payback was unavoidable. Those who are serious about developing careers in the Chinese market can draw lessons from this case and learn to abide by the rules in China,” the newspaper said.


Beyoncé wears Tunisian-French design in viral video

Updated 20 June 2018
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Beyoncé wears Tunisian-French design in viral video

DUBAI: Beyoncé and Jay-Z stunned fans by dropping a surprise joint album this week, and the artistic video for the lead track, “Apes***,” sees the Grammy-winning queen of pop wearing a turban by French-Tunisian milliner Donia Allegue.

The nine-track album “Everything Is Love” dropped Saturday on the Tidal music streaming service that Jay-Z partially owns, before the couple released it on Spotify on Monday.
The pop diva and hip-hop superstar announced the album from the stage in London as they wrapped up the British leg that opened a global tour.

The couple also put out an elaborately choreographed video that takes place inside the Louvre museum in Paris for “Apes***,” AFP reported.

The video opens with the couple standing regally in front of the “Mona Lisa” — Jay-Z in a light green double-breasted suit, Beyoncé in a lavender pantsuit — and features a squad of scantily clad dancers moving sensually in front of Jacques Louis David’s “The Coronation of Napoleon.”

In a later scene, Beyoncé dons a floor-length black turban by Donia Allegue with a nude-colored bodysuit by French design house Cadolle. According to Vogue Arabia, Allegue revealed that the headpiece took eight hours to create and is made of six meters of tulle.

“Honored and proud to have adorned Queen @beyonce (with) an exceptional headpiece for her grandiose clip,” the design house posted on its Instagram page this week.

The video is a veritable treasure trove of sartorial high points chosen by stylist Zerina Akers, who scored the latest designs from international runways, as well as custom pieces from various high-end brands.

Fashion aside, the album, driven by warm, sultry soul with a largely hip-hop cadence, marries the styles of the two artists but is more consistent with the recent direction of Jay-Z.
The two stars have recorded together previously, notably on the Beyoncé-led single “Drunk in Love,” but the album comes after an especially public window into their marriage.
Beyonce on her last solo album “Lemonade” in 2016 revealed infidelity on the part of Jay-Z, who a year later asked forgiveness on his own album “4:44.”

This year, as the title of “Everything is Love” implies, their relationship is apparently swell.

On the final track, the joyously brassy “Lovehappy,” the two acknowledge past pain but also their efforts to reconcile.

“We’re flawed / But we’re still perfect for each other,” Beyoncé sings.

As two of the most prominent African Americans in pop culture Jay-Z and Beyoncé have played increasingly visible political roles, from campaigning for former president Barack Obama to championing the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Everything is Love” offers a paean to African American identity in “Black Effect,” which opens in Beyoncé fashion with a monologue about self-love before a haunting soul sample.
Jay-Z on the song name-checks Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American shot dead in 2012 by a neighborhood watchman in a Florida gated community, and raps, in a twist on performers’ rote calls for crowd gesticulation, “Get your hands up high like a false arrest.”