Michaela Stark is a designer and model who is known for her unconventional and provocative approach to lingerie. She creates garments that challenge the norms of beauty and sexuality, often using her own body as a canvas. Her work has been featured in publications such as Vogue, Dazed, and i-D, as well as exhibited in galleries and museums around the world.
Stark was one of the 20 artists selected by Victoria’s Secret to participate in their World Tour 2023, a global event that aimed to reinvent the iconic fashion show with more diversity and creativity. The World Tour 2023 featured four different cities: Tokyo, Lagos, Bogotá, and London, where Stark is based. Each city showcased the work of five local artists who were given access to Victoria’s Secret’s archive of lingerie and wings, as well as the opportunity to create their own custom pieces.
Stark’s segment was filmed at the Royal Botanic Gardens in London, where she and two other models, Jade O’Belle and Ceval, transformed into whimsical fairies wearing Stark’s signature corsets, panties, and accessories. The corsets were designed to accentuate the curves and flesh of the models, creating a contrast between the delicate lace and ribbons and the overflowing breasts and stomachs. The panties were embellished with beads, flowers, and butterflies, adding a touch of fantasy and femininity. The wings were made from recycled materials from previous Victoria’s Secret shows, such as feathers, tulle, and crystals. Stark’s wings were also shaped like a giant bow, adding a playful element to her look.
Stark said that working with Victoria’s Secret was initially a skeptical but ultimately therapeutic experience for her, as she was able to use the lingerie brand’s symbols of beauty standards to liberate her own body and express her vision. She also said that she wanted to celebrate the diversity and individuality of women’s bodies, as well as their power and sensuality.
Stark’s fairy-inspired looks were a refreshing and radical departure from the traditional Victoria’s Secret aesthetic, which has been criticized for being outdated, unrealistic, and exclusive. By embracing her own body and style, Stark showed that there is more than one way to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. She also proved that lingerie can be a form of art and empowerment, rather than just a tool for seduction.