NEW YORK — Welcome to heaven. OK, maybe not exactly, but if you go backstage to the hair and makeup prep area for the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, you'll be surrounded by angels. (That's what the supermodels are called.)
They'll tape two run-throughs of the catwalk strutfest, parading to the music of Taylor Swift and Fall Out Boy, at Manhattan's 69th Regiment Armory on Wednesday. Those two shows will be edited into a one-hour special airing Dec. 10 on CBS at 10 p.m ET.
In years past, this has been Heidi Klum's turf. This year, there are other big model names sitting in director's chairs and getting hair, nails and makeup done: Alessandra Ambrosio flashes a peace sign and kisses for cameras in between dabs to her lips. Erin Heatherton, who dated Leonardo DiCaprio for 10 months until they broke up last year, has earphones in and eyes closed while she gets her makeup done.
Behati Prinsloo, who is engaged to Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, doesn't want to talk because she is about to grab some lunch. And Candice Swanepoel, who will be wearing the special $10 million Fantasy Bra, isn't anywhere to be found, but her bra is on display for all to see.
"It's really crazy," says French-born model Constance Jablonski, who struggles to keep her head exactly straight while two people work on her hair.
All of the models are wearing short, silky Victoria's Secret robes. Most are wearing flip-flops, while black and white bras are visible on many, peeking out from the robes. Press crews roam from station to station chatting up the angels, who all say they are excited and a little nervous.
But not Jourdan Dunn, who will featured in the "British Invasion" part of the show. "At this precise moment, I'm pretty calm, actually. I'm not nervous yet, but I will be," the British model says.
Even though it will be her second time on the VS catwalk, she does have some fears. "I hope I don't show my nipple. I hope I don't fall. I hope I'm an angel gliding on the runway."
So what did she do to prepare for the show? "Absolutely nothing."
What about working out? "No."
Did she stop eating weeks ago? "No. I had big, fat burrito the other night. So, no, I haven't done anything," she says with a laugh.
She's just naturally beautiful and ready to go? "Something like that."
At the end of the long room, a buffet table offers chicken, beef, fruit, shrimp and various salads. Some of the models sit and eat. Chocolate-chip cookies are strewn about the tables.
Supermodel Adriana Lima has seen it all many times. "It's been 13 years I've been doing this," she says, her hair up in big curlers. The secret to surviving the day, she says, is to enjoy it. "I'm just having fun with this. That's how I roll."
Lima, who is a mother of two, revealed in 2011 to The Daily Telegraph that she had eaten nothing but protein shakes for nine days leading up to the show. But this year, she insists she hasn't done anything strict to get in shape.
"I'm eating whatever I want, just watching portions." And she didn't do any particularly intense workouts, either, she says. "Because I have been working, I didn't work out as much as I wanted. Also because of the kids. But I did a little boxing."
But she's not sweating it. The show isn't about long legs, amazing bodies and sexy lingerie, to hear her tell it. "It's all about personality," she says. "That's what the Victoria's Secret show is all about — enjoying yourself. I'm not worried. We're all going to do a good job."
Lima adds, "I'm about to go have lunch now. You are more than welcome to join me if you want."