Hilary Rhoda prepped to walk the show for her very first time. To her, being part of this night is all about, "a celebration of just beautiful lingerie and beautiful women and it’s going to be a lot of fun." Will she be nervous? "It feels like a normal show right now, but I think once I’m dressed and ready to go I’ll be like 'OMG!'"
Backstage (really in the fifth-floor gym of the 69th Regiment Armory) at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, it was shoulder-to-shoulder with a sea of reporters, photographers, security guards, and PR folks trying their best to help ID the 38 leggy models—“Once they’re in hair and makeup, they really all start to look the same!” one admitted. And while most folks were dressed in de-rigueur New York black, some toting umbrellas, wearing galoshes, and sporting Nor’easter-dampened hair from the storm raging outside, the Angels, with their bright pink silk robes and flip-flops, perfect makeup, and signature VS-wavy (and very extended) hair, looked even more radiant by comparison.
Amidst all of the craziness, we managed to grab just a couple of minutes with the newly-minted Angel Hilary Rhoda after she finished a quick lunch (yes, there is a giant buffet, and all of the Angels seem to eat). The charming 25-year-old Rhoda, joins Cara Delevigne, Jessica Hart, and Jourdan Dunn as the latest additions to the Victoria’s Secret roster for tonight’s show, which airs Tuesday, December 4th on CBS.
Hi Hilary! Are you nervous at all for your first show? About the wings, or the six-inch heels?
Sorry…I don’t have anything in my teeth, do I? [Big teeth-baring grin]
Nope. You’re good!
My wings are not that big, which is good. I’m really excited right now, but I’m sure once I get dressed and I’m in the lineup I’m going to get nervous. But it will be an excited feeling. I can’t wait.
Everyone is chowing down. Were you expecting all of this food?
No! We’re eating all three meals here today. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Which is fun, you know. The food is really good. I mean, you have that nervous energy all day. You have to keep your energy up.
There’s another storm rolling in…is anything going to keep this show from happening?
Not here. You know, we’ve got all of the protection and backup. I think we’re in the safest place.
Is there anything you’ve done to prepare that’s different from your other shows?
I mean, I got some body treatments: a wrap and a massage from Great Jones Spa. Just to feel good. Because…we are in our underwear. But as far as exercising and stuff, I just make it a part of my daily routine to work out so there was no crazy crunch time dieting or anything like that. It’s just been maintenance.
The show and even this hair and makeup space has a bit of a “sororitastic”, girly feel. You went to an all-girls school—do you see any similarities?
I never actually thought about the comparison. Maybe I am just used to this feeling because I went to an all girls school. It’s really fun. All of the girls, we know each other from other jobs and from working together.
Any significant others in the picture who might be jealous that you’re on the runway today?
No! I’m sooo siiingllle! [laughs]
So do you think you’ll go to the after party? Based on last year, it’s a bit of a meat market.
Oh, I’ll be there.
Are you ready to fend off some of the advances?
My mom and my brother are coming to the show. So my brother can protect me. He’s older so he’s always been protective.
Throughout my career, I’ve kind of learned things as I go. I remember my first photo shoot with Bruce Weber: I was incredibly nervous and had no idea what to expect, but as soon as I got out there I just figured it out and listened to his direction. Same thing with [walking] runway shows: I just watched what the other girls did and mimicked it.
I never forget to take off my makeup at the end of the night. No matter what, I wash my face before bed. I put on extra moisturizer when I go to sleep to let the skin really soak it up. I use Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum, which makes the texture of my skin feel like velvet. In the morning I use Estée Lauder’s Hydrationist moisturizer which has some SPF in it.
The baguette [bag] was a gift from the design house after I hosted a party for them in New York to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the bag. It’s such an iconic bag and I love that they have some fun with it by adding cute little bugs all over!
Both dogs were total impulse buys. I got Chloe [the fawn coloured Chihuahua] in 2006. I was walking past a pet store uptown and saw her in the window and decided to go inside and play with the puppies. I fell in love with her and had to have her! I was flying to Tokyo the next day to do a CHANEL show, so I asked them to hold her for me when I returned. Winnie [the black and white Chihuahua] was a similar story. I was walking home from brunch with my mother and we saw her in the window. Twenty minutes later I had another dog running around the apartment! It’s a good thing they’re both small dogs, because I wasn’t about to buy a second Goyard bag!
Bag, Proenza Schouler
I bought this bag years ago and it was white. After much use, it had gotten so dirty that it probably wasn’t even possible to clean anymore. So after it sat in my closet unused for about a year, I decided to take it to my shoe repairman to have it dyed. I picked the color, and nowit’s like a brand new bag!