I cannot think of a better time of the year for a Victoria’s Secret Grand Opening than during the week of Chicago’s 2009 Fashion Focus. And, in what better location than downtown’s Magnificent Mile? But you know what would be even better, given the spirit of Halloween? If an angel flew in from up above—wings and all—to celebrate with guests. Wait a minute. That did happen! Well, almost.
While Victoria’s Secret Angel, Supermodel Marisa Miller, wasn’t wearing her wings, but instead, a pair of tight black jeans, platform heels and a pink t-shirt with the words, "Victoria’s Secret Chicago,” it still felt like our prayers—whatever they may be—were answered. Despite the wet weather, both men and women lined-up around Michigan Avenue anxiously awaiting autographs, and decked out with the pink VS striped umbrellas the store provided.
At first, I was taken aback, annoyed even. Not just by the angry crowds, ‘He told us to wait out there, so why do they get to wait in here?’, but by the bodyguards wearing earpieces. ‘Surely Obama is not back for fashion week, and surely Marisa does not think she’s the President, does she?’ I thought. But, the moment Marisa floated out, everyone—myself included—praised the lord (or maybe cursed him).
Her nose was so perfect and tiny, her forearms so skinny and toned; even her dirty-blonde hair looked like a halo rose high above her head (someone must have handed her ten of those umbrellas this morning). The women wished they’d worn heels today and the men wished they’d either worn heels too or done 500 crunches. At least some of us remembered to wear our Body-By-Victoria’s Secret push-up bras (shhhh…it’s a secret).
As Marisa sat down to sign autographs and we all did back flips with each of her hair flips, there was too much Grand Opening action to ignore. Make-up artists not only painted faces but gave cheekbone consultations, sales women handed out gift cards in excess of $500, and orange juice in champagne glasses danced around waitresses’ heads. Hmmm…perhaps they were really mimosas – I never got my hands on one so I can’t be sure.
To continue the spirit of the season, the place was decorated like a scantily-clad Halloween—but better. Golden wings in the sky, flying bras, tassels, fringes, and translucent corsets. I even spotted baggy mom pajamas for the evening’s end; a perfect opposition to transition from hours of suffocating breast-pushing and stomach-squeezing.
But, as with all of Victoria’s Secrets, the experience is never quite complete without the creepy guy. Typically, he’s someone else’s boyfriend sitting in the only chair that happens to be right outside YOUR dressing room. It was my cue to leave when I asked creepy guy, ‘Here with the wife, ha?’ and he naively responded with, ‘Yea. Shopping with my wife and daughter.’ Gross. I’ve never ever gone underwear shopping with my dad. Not even while running errands at Wal-Mart as he’s in the automotive section.
Although the spirit of this holiday was over for me, I long to use my gift card another day, but mostly, for smaller forearms and a nose that does not move left to right while making facial expressions.