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Inside The World Of A Victoria’s Secret Wingmaker

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IF you haven’t witnessed a Victoria’s Secret present earlier than, the clue is within the title of the honed, toned and beautified model ambassadors: the Angels, who stroll the runway in wings. Not elasticated, glitter-strewn pairs shrugged on for childhood events, however artistic endeavors that take some 500 hours to make. Forward of the 2017 Shanghai spectacular, Vogue spoke to wingmaker Marian Hose, often known as “Killer”, about discovering inspiration in tattoos, making every pair as gentle as an empty backpack and why match fashions are the crucial a part of the artistic course of.

How do you make a pair of Victoria’s Secret wings?

I flat sample my wings off of a blown-up sketch that has been projected over a match mannequin. We make a sturdy backpack base after which I connect wires, foam, material or regardless of the design requires. Because the model don’t assign the wings to a mannequin till the final two weeks of manufacturing, we attempt to make the wings adjustable by way of detachable straps and padding. Outfits can change on the final minute, and so can the wings. The entire course of takes between 30-500 hours.


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What number of fittings are required?

As soon as a mannequin will get assigned her wings, which occurs one-to-two weeks earlier than the present, they might be match as much as 3 times. Earlier than this, we now have match fashions who could strive a pair of wings on as many as eight occasions. Match fashions are a vital a part of the method as a result of they assist us resolve stability and building issues earlier than the ultimate mannequin will get assigned her wings. A match mannequin can finally get her personal wings, I’ve been privileged to make wings for 2 of our match fashions, who work very laborious to assist make all of the fashions look their greatest.

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How do you’re employed out scale and weight of the wings in relation to every particular person mannequin?

We don’t know who will put on the wings, so we attempt to scale every pair to a mannequin that’s 5’10 to five’11 plus heels, however some wings are simply meant to be larger and a few are supposed to be smaller. The design staff often units the dimensions with us, in order that we will speak about weight or materials concerns through the artistic course of. My wings can weigh between two and 22lbs. There are heavier wings within the present, however I take delight in holding mine gentle, so that they match like a good backpack and solely take one particular person to assist put them on.


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The place do you look to for inspiration?

My background is in opera, TV and Broadway costume design, however throughout my 9 years at Victoria’s Secret it’s at all times been a collaborative course of with the design staff. They offer me sketches and inspirational analysis for every section of the present, in order that I can see the general imaginative and prescient. The analysis could be clothes, artwork, artefacts, tattoos, work, sculptures, color, something that evokes the temper of a bit. They inform me what sort of supplies they’re interested by and as we meet all through the season I modify the design. I’ve created extra wings for the present on the last-minute and for these I attempt to go off the identical inspirational boards. Supplies and time can dictate these wings. Generally I solely have two days to make a final minute pair.

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How have you ever reinvented your designs for 2017?

This yr I’ve designed wings for 3 themes set by the design staff. The 4 pairs within the “Nomadic” part are all about feathers, beading and weaving. I spent nearly 400 hours weaving a wing out of plastic coated wire. The “Punk” wing is made out of hundreds of security pins. It’s powerful, however nonetheless female and attractive. And within the “Goddess” part I made the wings that can accompany the Champagne Night time’s Fantasy Bra. The wing has been gilded in a mix of gold leaf and silver.


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What does it imply to see your designs worn by the world’s prime fashions?

Who doesn’t need their work represented by one of the best? The highest fashions have their very own creativity that they convey to the entire course of. Then, they’re photographed and filmed by one of the best of their respective fields. My favorite second is seeing the behind the scenes pictures. What did every style photographer see and take an image of that night time? Did one of many fashions provide you with the proper second on the finish of the runway or backstage? This artistic cycle retains me impressed as a designer.


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