Bella Hadid is a 26-year-old model with an audacious fashion sense.
She’s worn see-through lingerie, latex corsets, and plunging necklines throughout her career.
Hadid has also shared what it’s like to wear such bold outfits.
The 2016 Cannes Film Festival was a big moment for Bella Hadid. But she later admitted she was embarrassed by the red gown she wore there.
Her Alexandre Vauthier gown was sleeveless and backless with a plunging neckline. It also had a deep slit in its skirt that reached her hip.
As the model told Vogue in 2021, it “apparently” became “a very iconic red dress moment.” Still, she said she felt “nervous” while wearing it.
“I look very sexual and all these things,” Hadid told Vogue. “I was still nervous about cameras and nervous about having a lot of makeup on.”
She went on to say the dress didn’t exactly match her style, and gave people a false perception of who she was.
“I kind of get embarrassed of this moment still, even though the dress is gorgeous,” she said. “It just, again, doesn’t feel so much like me, and I think that this was the start of the ‘Bella’ persona that everyone sees of me. That’s my alter ego. That’s Belinda.”
“I’m just so the opposite of her,” she continued. “She’s very va-va-voom. You know, bless her. Love her. She was very nervous.”
Then in 2017, she walked the Victoria’s Secret runway in a black lingerie set and blue Angel wings. She said the outfit was “meant to be.”
She wrote in an Instagram post after the show that walking the runway felt like her “first year all over again.”
“Emotionally, physically, mentally, in my health I feel so much stronger in so many ways and I am so grateful to all who have supported me, believed in me, and stood by me,” she said.
And one of her Victoria’s Secret outfits seemed to be the icing on the cake.
“WAS IT NOT MEANT TO BE THAT MY WINGS ARE THE DAMN 🦋 EMOJI!?!?!!?” Hadid wrote. “Meant to be!!!!!! DREAM LOOK!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋 🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋🦋.”
Butterflies seem to be the model’s favorite creature. She’s used the emoji in her social-media posts for years, and she once had a butterfly-themed birthday party.
The following year, Hadid made her first appearance in a Savage x Fenty runway show. The experience made her feel “really sexy,” she said.
“Rihanna’s amazing. For me, that was the first time on a runway that I felt really sexy,” Hadid told film director Loïc Prigent and an audience at the 2019 Vogue Fashion Festival.
“Because when I first did Fenty, I was doing other lingerie shows and I never felt powerful on a runway, like, in my underwear,” she added, apparently making a dig at Victoria’s Secret.
The gothic ensemble Hadid wore to the 2018 Met Gala was extremely heavy, according to the model.
Her dress that year — a custom ensemble by Chrome Hearts x Gareth Pugh — had a strapless bodice made from latex and a fishtail skirt with an embroidered cross pattern. She also wore a cropped, patent-leather jacket and fingerless gloves.
But it was her heavy, gold-adorned veil that made it look impractical. The model wrote on Instagram that she weighed 10 pounds and made it difficult for her to walk on the red carpet.
She also told The New York Times: “It’s sewn into my head. The things we do, darling.”
But the outfit also made Hadid feel “sexy.”
Speaking with Vogue in 2021, Hadid joked again about how substantial her veil was.
“I couldn’t keep my head up because it was so heavy,” she said.
Still, she added that the black dress was an important one for her.
“Honestly, it was one of the first times I felt really sexy and beautiful, and I felt like myself,” she told Vogue. “This was the year that it was ‘Heavenly Bodies.’ We kind of wanted to go with the dark angel. She looked like a dark angel that night.”
In an interview with Vogue, Hadid revealed that she once wore a cummerbund as a tiny crop top.
She brought back early-2000s trends in January 2020, wearing a blue crop top emblazoned with the Louis Vuitton logo and matching low-rise pants. She also donned a long, oversized coat, which was tan and embellished with padded Louis Vuitton patches.
But as Hadid told Vogue, the shirt — which she styled herself — was actually a men’s cummerbund.
“I can’t believe I wore a cummerbund as a shirt,” she said. “Now I’m still thinking about it.”
She added that she’s “just a tiny top kind of girl” and loves oversized clothes.
“I love sexy masculine,” Hadid said. “I also love to show a little skin. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with skin.”
After Victoria’s Secret halted its runway shows, Hadid spent some time away from the company — giving her space to reflect on her online outfits.
Speaking with Marie Claire in 2021, Hadid said she feels confident working with Victoria’s Secret now — something she hadn’t felt in the past — because there are more policies in place to protect models and ensure their comfort.
“We’re just grateful for how we feel supported now, instead of how we used to feel, when it was a lingerie company that used to be run by men for men,” Hadid told the publication.
She also said she felt “empowered again,” whereas modeling the brand’s lingerie in the past made her feel like her body “is some kind of money maker.”
At the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, Hadid wore a Schiaparelli gown with a neckline that dipped below her chest. Across it, she wore a lung-shaped necklace.
“When I saw this dress, I was really worried about how it would hold,” she told Vogue in 2021.
“When I would look down, you could see everything,” she said. “So it was very strange walking onto the carpet with a breeze in places you wouldn’t normally have a breeze.”
She also said the necklace “wasn’t as heavy as one would expect.”
“I thought I did a little cup check before I got out of the car and that was it,” Hadid continued. “I was like, ‘If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen now. So I’m about to walk this carpet and if five minutes from now there are pictures of my breasts everywhere, then that’s what was supposed to happen.'”
One of her online outfits in 2022 received backlash after Hadid said it made her faint. But she later said she misspoke.
Speaking with Interview Magazine in May, Hadid told editor-in-chief Mel Ottenberg that she “literally, like, blacked out” after walking the Met Gala red carpet.
“I don’t know if that was my anxiety, or maybe the waist was giving a cinch and I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “I mean, there were probably a lot of things happening.”
After expressing some concern for Hadid and speaking out against corsets as a fashion trend, the model clarified her comments via an Instagram story.
“I want to make something very clear…This is not at all what I (meant to) say,” she wrote. “I didn’t say I blacked out because of my corset. I joked that I blacked out, not because of my corset, but from the regular anxieties and excitement of the carpet. I meant more like it goes by in a flash. So quickly that ya barely remember it! I should have said that.”
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