Walking down the street without tripping can be challenge enough for most people. Add to the mix an audience of thousands (in person, millions if you count television and social media viewers), a runway hundreds of feet long, clothes where the fashion factor is multiplied and function is foregone, and you’ve got the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
For the first time in Shanghai, the annual lingerie show took place Monday evening at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. This year’s costumes (you’d be hard-pressed to find any other way to describe the looks) were as intricate as ever, which proved treacherous for at least one model.
Model Ming Xi, a veteran on the VS runway, wore chrome-colored lingerie, styled with a billowing ice blue chiffon train, back-strapped floral attachment, and thigh-high gladiator heels. Just before she hit the end of the runway to pose for photographers, the model tripped on her train and fell onto her knees. After a collective gasp, the audience quickly cheered for Ming Xi to rally, and she stood with the help of another VS model who had caught up to her.
It’s a wonder no other models stumbled during their walks. Lui Wen, another Chinese model cast in this year’s show, wore the same shoes as Ming Xi, and users on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform, pointed out that it looked as though Wen had walked the runway sans heel. Of course, her heel was still attached to the shoe itself, easily missed in a photograph but apparent through the reflection from the stage.
The Victoria’s Secret show is known for its elaborate, occasionally appropriating costumes as much as it’s known for its handful of awkward show moments (Karolina Kurkova lost a shoe during the 2006 show and managed to continue walking).
As for Ming Xi, the Shanghai native has walked every VS runway since 2013. She is now joined by six other Chinese models, part of Victoria’s Secret’s strategy to appeal to the Asian market.
The show will broadcast in the United States on Nov. 28.