Remember the days when Victoria’s Secret shoots took place in your Grandmother’s living room, right beside the indoor potplants and floral chaise lounge? The same days when the Angels wore their hair in fluffy ringlets and spent less time at the beach and more time doing traditional feminine activities like making tapestries and pretending to read from leather-bound books, all the while threatening to transcend into some restrained yet erotic activity?
Neither do we. But as much as Victoria’s Secret’s branding doesn’t much feel like it evolves on a season-to-season basis – bar for the odd replacement of one ultra-fit Brazillian bombshell with another – it’s easy to forget that the brand has come a long way over time. A very long way.
This 1979 catalogue is documentary evidence. Brimming with fluffy slippers, lace negligees, and school-mistress piled-up hairdos, it’s not just interesting how fashion has changed but how marketing has changed. In fact many of the pieces here would still sell well today. But the overall aesthetic lends itself to a different kind of glamour. The unnatural poses, the settings (are those fake, painted clouds outside your grandma’s window?) and the general mood are vastly different to what we see today. Back then Victoria’s Secret were selling lingerie. Now days they’re selling perfection, a lifestyle, dreams.
That’s why you they’re now in the business of also manufacturing superstars. You probably wouldn’t have known these three beauties by name even back then, but Alessandra Ambrosio, Doutzen Kroes or Candice Swanepoel? Models with both wings and celebrity-status.
Indulge in the 1979 Victoria’s Secret catalogue by clicking on the gallery above.