Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2011: Backstage with the Angels

victoria's secret backstage

Photo: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

 Backstage at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2011

What could be more gorgeous than watching Angels get their wings?

The annual extravaganza that is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show rocked NYC's Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, but before the festivities, FashionEtc got a sneak peek at the hair, makeup, and general beautifying taking place backstage.

From the old pros—the 2011 show is Adriana Lima’s 11th!—to first-timers Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls, the Angels dished on their preparations, their nerves, and the first thing they’re going to do when it’s all over.

“I’ve worn a lot of crazy things: I’ve worn 10-inch McQueen heels, I’ve worn corsets, I’ve worn tight little dresses, long gowns, couture gowns—you name it, I’ve worn it,” Kloss told FashionEtc as a makeup artist swept mascara on her lashes. “But this is different because there’s not much to hide behind—even with those big wings!”

And while the showstopping wings are a highlight of the runway, they’re no cakewalk for the ladies. “I’m wearing the wings made out of real gold,” Alessandra Ambrosio told us. “They’re like 40 pounds—my body has never experienced something like that! But they sparkle so much. They’re so pretty. How could I say no?”

Lima may be the veteran of the group, but she admitted that she still gets the butterflies before it’s her time to strut her stuff. “I thought I would relax a little bit more over the years, but every year it’s different—different musicians, different celebrities, the whole world watching you on TV—so I always get anxious.” But the model, who’ll be making her first entrance with show performer Kanye West, says there’s nothing like the adrenaline rush. “From my heart, this is my passion,” she said. “I just love all this. I was made for this.”

To psych herself up for her big debut, Smalls said she’ll be repeating her runway mantra in her head. “Get out the way! I’m coming through!” she laughed. “That’s my determination to go right down the middle.”

backstage victoria's secret fashion show
Photo: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images
Behind the scenes: Alessandra Ambrosio really knows how to work that VS robe!

Candice Swanepoel, meanwhile, says she needs no help getting herself pumped up for the show. “The music starts and my heart starts beating so crazy,” she explained. “It’s a proud moment. You take it all in and think, ‘this is my moment!’”

Of course, no matter how amazing the show is—and with two million Swarovski crystals, a $2.5 million Fantasy bra, and performances by West, Maroon 5 and Nicki Minaj, it will be amazing—there are a few things the Angels just can’t wait to do when it’s all over. For Lima, it’s catching up with her won little angel: daughter Valentina. “The first thing is I will go and give a kiss to my daughter at home,” she said.

For others (the ones after our own heart), it’s indulging. After all, with the weeks of liquid diets and two-a-day workouts, they’re overdue. “Tomorrow [November 9] I’m going to make a big batch of chocolate chip cookies and I’m not going to share them with anyone!” laughed Kloss. No judgment here!

Catch the event when it airs on November 29 on CBS.

In the meantime, see the Angels in action with our Victoria's Secret Fashion Show photo gallery and get all the insider scoop from the big night.