Adriana Lima retiring & 9 other things that happened at the Victoria's Secret show 2018

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Rex)

I've always watched the Victoria's Secret Angels show on TV, but this year, I got invited to watch it IRL, and needless to say I was pretty excited, especially as the show was returning to New York for the first time since 2015 (the shows first started here in 1995, but they have had a few different locations over the years).

The show may sometimes get a bad rep, but I've always loved it. It's fun, fabulous and the Angels clearly have an epic time. Seeing it live is a completely different experience though, and it was fascinating. Here's a little look behind the scenes of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2018.

The security was legit tighter than at the airport

Good luck if you're trying to get into the show without credentials, they take security very seriously. To get credentials for the show, I had to have a background check a couple weeks before arriving in New York, and then on the day, I queued up with my passport to get my press pass. And if you don't have it with you at all times, you won't get in, and that includes the show.

Backstage was mental (but fun)

On the day of the show, I got to go backstage to interview some of the Angels. Me and about another hundred magazines/media outlets as well as influencers. Needless to say, it's busy. The models arrive at the venue at 10am, and get their hair and makeup done, all whilst answering questions. We all had about 20 minutes to interview as many models as we could, and I managed to chat to Kendall Jenner, Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel, Martha Hunt, Stella Maxwell and Romjee Strijd, which I was pretty happy with.

The models were all about the sisterhood

You might think it's bitchy, but it's the opposite. I asked several Angels to tell me one thing no one knew about the show, and they all said that they supported the sisterhood, and in fact that's the message they started the show with.

Behati Prinsloo told me, 'People don’t know how close we all are and how we support each other. We always like to make the new girls feel welcome. A lot of times they think it’s catty but the Angels always try and invite everyone in. '

Kendall Jenner said, 'It’s a super positive uplifting atmosphere, we’re all so supportive of each other, I think people assume it gets weird but everyone’s so happy,' and Candice Swanepoel added, 'I love being around all my friends and being able to catch up.'

There show happened twice

This blew my mind a little bit. They basically do the entire show twice during the day, once at 4pm and the second at 8pm. They film it twice, just in case something goes wrong, like a wardrobe malfunction, as they want it to be perfect for when it airs. Which is a month later. Weird.

You can't buy a ticket

The VS show is one of the only shows that gives models tickets to invite their friends and family. The rest of the audience is made up of press, influencers and commercial partners. No tickets go up for sale, though there have been some for sale on the black market for £19,000 in the past, though that probably didn't work.

The show is mainly watched by women

Yep, you might think that lots of lingerie-clad women is every man's dream, but the show is very much made by women, for women (70% of viewers are female). Other fun fact: the VS show is the most viewed on earth, and has over 250 billion social media impressions.

Adriana Lima retired

Today, on the day of the show, Adriana Lima announced she was hanging up her wings, after almost 20 years as an Angel (she started in 1999). It all got a bit emotional when she walked down the runway, as we gave her a standing ovation and she broke down in tears.

Rita Ora made it rain

Rita was one of several artists performing at the show, and in classic Rita style, she made it literally rain, with water pouring on set.

Kendall Jenner and her mum Kris had a special moment

Kris was the classic proud mum at the show. When she saw Kendall walking down the runway, she filmed her with her phone and waved. Side note: Kris also took a selfie with Valentino on the front row, which you would totally do, wouldn't you?

The costumes were off the charts

Pictures don't do the lingerie and props justice. Gigi Hadid showed off the Mary Katrantzou collab with a sort of flowing parachute/train on her back, Adriana at one point had a moon and stars on her back, while of course there were plenty of feathers, and actual wings. And let's discuss that diamond-encrusted fantasy bra too.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.