By and  on November 19, 2007

HOLLYWOOD — The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Kodak Theater here had a little bit of everything.

The event, taped Thursday night and set to air as a one-hour special Dec. 4 on CBS, showcased creative styling, and, of course, top models. And if the show didn't quite reach the frenzy of last year's Hollywood debut, it wasn't for lack of trying.

For entertainment, the company tapped the Spice Girls, performing onstage for the first time in 10 years, as well as Seal and, opening in place of Kanye West, who withdrew after his mother's death. Though the somewhat random celebrity crowd, from rocker Slash to Alexandra von Furstenberg, seemed curious about the Brit pop stars' carefully choreographed numbers, they weren't shimmying in their seats as they were last year with Justin Timberlake.

"Every year, it's got to be bigger and better," said Victoria's Secret executive producer Ed Razek. "You don't want to turn it into a variety show, but we have an obligation to make it an interesting television special and interesting for the VIP crowd in the theater."

The 27 models tried their best to get the crowd involved, though most of the men in the audience, including Jeremy Piven, Michael Vartan, Stavros Niarchos, Steven Bing, Dean Cain and Gerard Butler, remained silent in rapture. A duet by Seal and his wife, Heidi Klum, and a lip-synching gospel choir got more people clapping along.

The women in the crowd were more vocal, including Hayden Panettiere, who screamed so loudly when she saw Posh Spice that "she [Posh] looked at us like we were stalkers," said her seatmate, Gabrielle Union.

Stacy Keibler said she attended because she's a Klum fan. "I look at her stomach after having kids and it just gives me hope as a woman," she said.

While the statuesque actress already has a natural advantage, most Victoria's Secret customers can only dream of looking like Klum and fellow models such as Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima and Jessica Stam, so naturally, the show emphasized fantasy on all levels.

The six segments — Animal Attraction, Age of Elegance, Pink, Rome Antique, Surreally Sexy and Deck the Halls — featured over-the-top accessories from Jenny Manik Mercian, LeSage Paris, de Grisogono, Mouawad and Christian Louboutin, most of which outshone the actual undergarments.

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