To be honest, I didn’t think much. Mind you, I don’t think ‘thinking’ is what the producers had in mind.
And because I am a person who quite likes to think, I confess that despite the best (one could almost say desperate) efforts of the models, costume designers, lighting designers, set decorators, Bruno Mars, The Weeknd and even Lady Gaga, I was bored sobless.
My boredom was not helped by the stupendously annoying way the show was shot.
Clearly the producers think that we all suffer from attention deficit disorder and that any shot lasting more than a few seconds will fail to hold our attention.
The editors must have had RSI by the time they finished cutting this thing. The producers were just as dismissive about the idea of any narrative, theme or attention to the actual lingerie.
And, despite this being an underwear fashion parade, there was nothing scanty about the way these young women were clad.
They were weighed down with jewels, feathers, Austrian dirndls, lederhosen (I kid you not), Chinese dragons, raincoats, wings, head-dresses, ribbons, bags, activewear, jumpers, thigh-high boots, fake flowers, pompoms, spiky things I couldn’t identify, belts and bindings.
Whoever the backstage dressers were, they deserved a stiff drink.
Frankly, it was one of the most garish and tasteless things my eyes have ever darted distractedly around.
The light show alone was enough to make you feel seasick and the cacophony of colours gave me a headache. Haute couture it was not.
In fact, what it reminded me most of was a rather frantic version of burlesque, without the tease.
There is absolutely nothing erotic about this show. Nothing is hidden or slowly revealed. There is no attempt to entice, seduce or intrigue. Everything is literally in the shop window and on display.
It was Vegas showgirls on crack.
It was Vegas showgirls on crack with no understanding of the power of the hidden or the hinted at.
There was an attempt to get us to relate to the models and their excitement at being ‘angels’.
We were even asked to empathise with how hard they work out to keep their figures as if there is a moral virtue in looking as they do. I neither related nor empathised.
I felt a little sorry for the young women, truth be told, even as they breathlessly, tearfully exulted in their moment of triumph (whoops that’s a competitor).
Their moment in the fake, high-energy, striving-for-effect sun will be so brief (and I bet those man-made fibre wings are highly flammable). I hope they invest their pay cheques wisely.
Watch Bruno Mars’ ‘dull and overdressed’ appearance
Even Bruno Mars was dull and overdressed. Only Lady Gaga managed to shake jaded palates out of their stupor (mine I mean), though she clearly wasn’t wearing any of the lingerie.
Perhaps not coincidentally, she was also the only well-dressed person in the place. Moreover, she knows how to hold an audience. No one else involved had a clue.
Watch Lady Gaga’s standout performance
Jane Caro is a social commentator, writer and lecturer.