Bella Hadid Was “So Excited” to Walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Even Without Gigi

“It’s such a great experience for all of us, especially for the girls who have never been to China.”

by Philana Woo

2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show In Shanghai - Show
Theo Wargo

Exactly one year ago, Bella Hadid made her Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show—making history, no less, as she and sister Gigi became the first sibling-duo to walk the famous catwalk. This year, the younger Hadid had to go it alone, as Gigi unexpectedly announced that she would no longer be walking in the show (if rumors are to be believed, she was denied a visa to enter the country due to a controversial social media post from earlier in the year.)

But despite not having her sister by her side, Hadid was upbeat and all smiles backstage on Monday, as she settled in for hair and makeup ahead of the show. The model declined to comment on Gigi’s absence, choosing instead to focus on the bright side of things. “I’m so excited and I wish we had more time to go look around but we’ve been working and working out,” she said. “The energy has been so great here and the fans are amazing. To see their smiling faces was the best thing ever…”

Speaking on behalf of her fellow Angels, Hadid added: “It’s so exciting to be able to be here and it’s such a great experience for all of us, especially for the girls who have never been to China.”

As evidenced by her Instagram stories over the weekend, Hadid was not lying—it seems the majority of her stay in China involved hitting the hotel gym, an activity that had clearly paid off, as she took to the runway in two skin-baring ensembles.

Her first look was an angelic take on the Grecian goddess. She stormed the stage in a flurry of lilac kaftan that draped over her arms and onto the floor, like angel wings gliding seamlessly through the air. Underneath, she wore a cropped white and gold semi-sheer bustier and matching high-cut briefs. Sparkling accents such as gold-lining, a halo-esque crown of golden leaves and diamonds galore on her necklace and earrings added to the dreamy, otherworldly vibe.

Her second outfit was perhaps more in-tune with her edgy personal style, featuring a cutout black lace bra and carnival-inspired angel wings made of feathers in gorgeous shades of blue. The look was complimented by long white gloves and white boots featuring a delicate floral pattern.

Related: A Brief History of Bella Hadid at Paris Couture Week