Victoria's Secret model gets tech upgrade with 3-D printed wings

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, the lingerie brand's annual fete of feathers and sparkle, was broadcast Tuesday on CBS and gave viewers up-close and personal interviews with its Angels supermodels.

Well, they do wear a flurry of wings throughout, one of which was realized using 3-D printing technology.


Enviously fit supermodels Adriana Lima, Behati Prinsloo, Lily Aldridge, Candice Swanepoel, Karlie Kloss, Doutzen Kroes, Alessandra Ambrosio, Joan Smalls and Cara Delevingne took to the runway in various stages of undress to model haute couture bras, panties, bustiers, riding crops and other accouterments.

The 18th annual show took place at the Lexington Avenue Armory in Manhattan on Nov. 13 in advance of its hourlong, televised presentation. British Invasion, Snow Angels, Shipwrecked, Parisian Nights, Pink Network and Birds of Paradise were among the themed presentations between packaged interviews with the models — who talked about what they'd take if they were stranded on an island, their use of social media and a behind-the-scenes look at their chilly photoshoot at midnight in Paris.

Musical guests Fallout Boy opened the show with crossover crooner Taylor Swift in a joint rendition of "Light 'Em Up," and new acts A Great Big World and Neon Jungle also performed on the glittering runway as gamine models swept across the stage. It was the first Fashion Show appearance for each of the musicians.

The brand's $10-million Royal Fantasy bra, modeled by Swanepoel, may have opened the 2013 Fashion Show, but there's another look that generated quite a bit of buzz: Model Lindsay Ellingson's 3-D-printed wings.

It's the second time Victoria's Secret has used the 3-D technology on the runway. In 2012, fashion designer Asher Levine used Makerbot's 3-D printers to print multicolored glasses for the models, CNN reported.

This year, the brand teamed up with Shapeways, a 3-D printing service, to create the snowflake-like wings, which were designed by Bradley Rothenberg.

"It's perfect because in fashion and jewelry, there are seasons -- every season there's something new, and with 3-D printing you can do something very new in a short period of time," Shapeways designer "evangelist" Duann Scott told CNN. "Because everything's on demand ... with 3-D printing supply exactly meets demand."

The 29-year-old California model was pretty thrilled about her techie getup too.

"Science meets Fashion in this year's #vsfashionshow! I'll be wearing the first ever #3Dprinted @official_swarovski look designed by architect #BradleyRothenberg, printed by @shapeways and covered in sparkling #swarovskielements!" she captioned a photo collage of the look on Instagram.

Ellingson's body was scanned by the 3-D scanner and the delicate white wings were printed with nylon plastic, layer-by-layer, then embellished with a bevy of Swarovski crystals. Another model, Barbara Fialho, stood in for Ellingson at some of the fittings since her measurements matched those of Ellingson, the cable news outlet said.

The whole thing -- wings and bustier -- weighed about a pound, Duann told Wired, unlike the extremely heavy feathered wings usually worn by the models.

"The 3-D printed nylon used in the outfit is surprisingly strong for how visually delicate the design is," he said. "When the models first wear the outfit, they move very carefully but soon realize just how durable the material is and forget they are wearing it at all."

Somehow, we find that hard to believe. But, hey, we're not the ones strutting down the runway nearly naked. And thank goodness for that. 


Follow Ministry of Gossip @LATcelebs.