close
Fashion style

Taylor Swift is in the era of midnight fashion

Photograph by Getty Images

Swift uses fashion to express different stages of her life. With her new album “Midnights”, she inaugurates a new one.

Taylor Swift has a song for every situation. Whether you’re feeling a little sad, confident, or vengeful, one lyric from his vast catalog can surely sum it up. After all, for 16 years, the singer-songwriter has been constantly reinventing his image, not only across genres of music, but also across eras of fashion. And as she penetrates her Midnights time, Taylor Swift shows up once again.

The upcoming project, which marks his tenth studio album, chronicles 13 sleepless nights throughout the artist’s life. Ahead of its Oct. 21 release at 12 p.m. ET (obviously), Swift teased fans with a series of niche visuals and thematic descriptions. Her latest style choice? 70s nostalgia, of course.

In a TikTok series titled “Midnights Mayhem,” the star shared the song titles one by one in a decidedly old-fashioned setting. Grainy videos show Swift sitting in front of a velvet curtain with insane elevator music playing in the background. Each episode features the singer in casual retro attire, usually wearing shades of warm brown, high-waisted pants, collared shirts, and lots of stripes.

Its album cover doubles as those dated ’70s details, with vertical wood panels, patterned decor, and hues of harvested gold and burnt orange. Known for her themes of personal liberation and rebellion against authority, no decade is more fitting for Swift’s new aesthetic venture. At this point, we expect the unexpected from the fashion chameleon. Just look at his form-shifting track record.

After releasing her self-titled album in 2006, Taylor Swift was introduced to the world as a small-town, country-singing girl. Sporting bouncy curls, cowboy boots and prom dresses, her teenage love songs elicited a fairy-tale sense of wonder and cast her as a cute ingenue. During the following years, his albums Without fear and Speak Now incorporated pop into its sound and coincided with an increasingly sophisticated red carpet repertoire. Songs from these eras focused on heartbreak, new love, and the nuances of being a teenager.

But as he grew up, his sound and style also grew. With the releases of 2012 Red and 2014 1989, she swapped her spiral locks for blunt bangs and slicked back hair. She wore red lipstick like armor and began experimenting with edgy cutouts and figure-hugging silhouettes on the red carpet. In the following years, ReputationThe edgy gothic visuals of spurned its girl-next-door roots. After that, LoverThe whimsical themes of offered another eighties, as Swift sported playful ensembles full of heart-shaped glasses and rainbow designs. With each drastic change, the star found new ways to recognize — and rebel against — the public opinions that branded her manipulative and crazy.

In 2020, the wildly successful sister albums Folklore and Still featured a transformation in Swift’s storytelling and style. Folk and melancholic songs detailed fictional characters instead of his own experiences. Album covers showed Swift in cozy cardigans, flowing dresses and long coats. She was arguably at the height of her career – but she was the most streamlined Taylor Swift had ever been. In telling these stories, Swift channeled a pure version of her artistry. It seems Midnights will be the culmination of this journey.

The next album returns to a more personal approach to songwriting. “This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams,” Swift said in a statement. This dichotomy has also appeared in his recent style moments.

From the shimmering gold dress she wore at TIFF to the celestial themed one-piece she wore to the VMAs after-party, Swift referenced the festive disco ball fashion on the red carpet. But his everyday style and his album cover are much more intimate. Take Taylor Swift Midnights‘s four vinyl covers, each of which shows her both glamorous and desperate in a private and personal setting. With Midnights, Swift shows two sides of the same coin: her public persona versus the person she is when no one is watching. And in doing so, she pushes back her reductive celebrity image in a new way.

Over the years, Taylor Swift has managed to use style as a tool to protect and express herself. Of course, her artistry is about the ups and downs of relationships. But beyond that, it’s about growing up, finding yourself and experimenting with your look as you go. Throughout her career, she has shown that it is always good to reinvent yourself for the better. And whoever you decide to be, there’s probably a Taylor Swift song for you.

Hazel J. Edmonds

The author Hazel J. Edmonds