By Christine Lau
When I met Victoria’s Secret models Alessandra Ambrosio and Lily Aldridge, I expected larger-than-life glamazons who would tower over me like giraffes and make me feel as curvaceous as a ruler. Instead, I was surprised to find they were so normal. Alessandra scooted over on the couch so I didn’t have to walk all the way to the other side, and Lily touched up her lip gloss by herself. There was no cell phone throwing at all.
Here’s how it went down: I arrived at the Thompson Hotel and was escorted to a 9th floor corner suite. I was whisked through the tall, dark door flanked by burly security guards. And there in front of me, lounging daintily in the centre of the room, were the two girls and the infamous $2 million Fantasy Bra (34B, in case you’re interested). I cozied up to chat with the Angels, who turned out to be really friendly and down-to-earth.
How did I get so lucky? The models flew in by helicopter last week for the opening of the Victoria’s Secret store in the Toronto Eaton Centre . The 142 carat, jeweled Fantasy Bra by Damiani was on a nationwide tour for the annual VS Fashion Show airing November 30. And guess who got to hang out with the beauties at the media preview? All 5-foot-2 (plus 4 inches of heels) of moi. Here’s the scoop on Alessandra and Lily:
What’s your definition of sexy?
A: Sexy is all about the attitude, about being confident.
What’s your favourite Victoria’s Secret bra?
A: The Fantasy Bra. You know, it’s only 2 million dollars. I could wear it every day!
Right now my favourite is the Swarovski crystal Miraculous bra, that adds two cup sizes. When you put it on, your boyfriend’s gonna be like ‘Wow!’.
How many bras do you own?
A: Who knows! I’ve been collecting Victoria’s Secret bras for 10 years. I definitely own every style bra that Victoria’s Secret has, and every colour from white to black, and every different fabric, so…definitely more than a few hundred.
What’s it like backstage at a Victoria’s Secret show?
A: It’s like a huge party. There’s so much energy and people and press, and we’re trying to do makeup and hair and people are asking us questions all the time. All the girls are together having fun and we all have these crazy huge outfits. The music is always super alive, so we’re always dancing backstage and we can’t wait to get out on the runway. It’s the best show you could be at backstage.
What is one thing you learned from working for Victoria’s Secret that you would pass onto your daughter?
A: Being confident in your own skin. We’re all different shapes and sizes, but there’s always something unique about each of us. We all have something special. Everybody does.
What’s the secret to feeling comfortable in your own skin?
A: For me it’s to just have a great attitude. I love to be confident. I love to have energy to enjoy my life. And of course a great piece of lingerie makes me feel pretty good. Or a swimsuit. I just love to be in a swimsuit. When I feel good, I feel like myself.
How did you feel the first time you modeled in only a bra and panties?
L: I think you have to become a certain age to feel comfortable. When I was younger and they put me in lingerie I was like ‘Oh gosh!’ But now I feel confident and sexy and proud.
Which bra are you going to wear to your wedding (with Caleb Followill from Kings of Leon)?
L: I don’t know yet but I’m sure Victoria’s Secret will give me something very lovely to wear!
If it’s strapless, there’s an amazing bra – the BioFit 7-way. You can make it into a normal bra, a halter, one strap, you can make it go across your back. It’s also really comfortable and I think that’s important.
What’s your beauty regimen?
L: I love the Crème de la Mer Hydrating Facial. I always curl my eyelashes and Victoria’s Secret has a highlighter that I wear on my cheeks and nose even when I’m not wearing makeup because I like my skin to always look fresh and glowy. And I love their lip glosses – I have like 20 in my purse. The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – it’s amazing for pimples. I get a Vitamin E and beeswax stick from Whole Foods and I put it around my eyes at night.
Where’s one of your favourite places to go to in (your hometown of) Los Angeles?
L: There’s a Mexican restaurant that I think about all the time called Cactus, on Vine. If anyone wants to go there and send me some to New York, I’d be stoked. It’s the best Mexican food, it’s just this little stand.
Is there something outrageous that a guy has done to get your attention on the street?
L: I hate when guys yell at you on the street. I don’t know what they think you’re gonna do. Guys, don’t yell at girls on the street! It’s like the worst thing. It’s just not cool. All of a sudden you feel like you just wanna have a hoodie on and hide.
How do you feel about Heidi Klum leaving Victoria’s Secret?
L: It’s so sad. She was so sweet to all the girls and really funny and made you feel really comfortable. It was just so nice having her around and she’s such an icon for Victoria’s Secret, so she will definitely be missed.
What tips do you have for models just starting out?
L: Don’t let people put you in situations you aren’t comfortable with, and always say no if you need to. Don’t let people take advantage of you. I always wanted to write a book for models about the stuff you should do, like the flights you should be taking, how to take care of yourself. Because when you’re young and you’re starting out, people will totally take advantage of you…overwork them or whatever it is. I think you just need to be strong and confident and comfortable with yourself and enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, you shouldn’t do it.