Big Trouble in Leviathan China
Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show faces Orwellian obstructionists in Shanghai.
The big kahunas at L Brands — the company that oversees the much hyped Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows — are probably feeling pretty bad about their decision to hold this year’s event in Shanghai, China. Yeah, China has a ginormous audience with a gazillion eyeballs and an appetite for bad fashion. And yeah, China’s consumers represent a huge opp for L Brands going forward. But rumors are swirling that Shanghai’s procrustean overlords, who delight at thwarting all things foreign and fun, are obstructing the event on many levels. You could say that L Brands got Shanghai’d this time around. Bigly.
For instance, Chinese government officials are refusing to work with the show’s producers and grant the necessary visas to fashion editors, bloggers and other media critics who’re supposed to fly to Shanghai and cover the shiny shindig. Even a few models have been put in a holding pattern. And believe it or not, Katy Perry and Gigi Hadid have been banned from attending altogether (Katy was scheduled to perform there next Monday and Gigi was gonna walk in the show)! According to the handlers and bookers, heavy-handed bureaucrats have also stubbornly resisted other seemingly routine requests, like approving locations for TV and magazine crews, video bloggers, stylists and art directors.
Fashion critics who are supposed to cover the glitzy soiree are canceling their trips now because the PRC government won’t issue visas; TV producers are battling with Commie bureaucrats over permission to shoot outside the Mercedes-Benz Arena, the designated venue in Pudong; and Victoria’s Secret staffers and PRs in China can’t send out press releases because they have to be censored/approved by the Ministry of Information (and even if they get approval the internet in China is very iffy, even in swanky hotels with IPVANISH VPNs).
“It’s just a nightmare for all the media trying to cover [the show],” said a jet-setting fashionista. “These TV companies are spending a fortune on it, and they don’t even know what they can shoot when they get there.” The show, which will be broadcast on CBS, has mostly been held in the US since 2001, but the risqué lingerie brand has had a stroke of shitty luck recently trying to create an overseas platform. Last year’s show (which was held in Paris) was also plagued with production issues caused by a terror attack, Kim Kardashian’s high-profile stick-up and multiple bureaucratic layers.
Evidently every journalist and publicist covering the event had to undergo background checks and provide government IDs, and security was so tight that cars dropping off guests were only permitted to stop for a hot second thereby hampering red carpet appearances and paparazzi pics.
So maybe the bosses at L Brands should consider not showcasing their ho-hum fashion show in socialist backwater countries like China and France. Anyway, we still hope to see our faves Sui He, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Romee Strijd in skimpy lingerie and kooky corsets amidst a berserk backdrop of campy stage props and redonkulous state-sanctioned Chinese celebs in the wings. Gongxi, gongxi, girls! Oh, btw, we really, really miss Magdalena Frackowiak, Natasha Poly and the dreamiest angel of them all ⇝ Abbey-Lee Kershaw!
VIVISXN MEDIA – Fashion + China + Pop Culture + Authoritarian Politics