From country to couture: a Swift style evolution

Fashion

Taylor Swift. The name may ring a few bells. She is the best-selling artist since Eminem, the proud owner of five solo albums before the age of twenty five and currently the most renowned female singer/songwriter in the world. It would be fair to say that Taylor is at the top of her musical game. Yet moving swiftly on (Ahem. This will the last ‘Swift’ pun. Promise.) from her music, the release of her latest music video, ‘Blank Space’, which hit YouTube just last week and has already garnered over forty million hits, was almost as much about her newly-evolved style as it was about the witty parodying of her critics.

Showcasing no fewer than nineteen equally fabulous, couture looks, those four-and-a-half minutes are a veritable fashion feast. From sashaying down the stairs to greet her latest suitor in an Elie Saab Spring 2014 gown, to swigging champagne in pale blue couture from Jenny Packham’s Ready-to-Wear line and tearing down Dorian Gray-esque portraits in Oscar de la Renta, Ms. Swift certainly knows how to play the part of a nightmare dressed like a daydream. And let’s not forget the accessories; Linda Farrow cat-eye sunglasses (for those of you who are already thinking about your summer wardrobe, River Island are currently stocking a similar pair for a mere snip of the price), as well as a supremely adorable white cat (Taylor’s own pet, FYI) who is proffered in her right hand as she drives a dagger into an offending pastry. The palace, the white horses, the image of Taylor wielding a golf club into a Shelby AC Cobra car, all these work in tandem with the beautiful couture, sleek tailoring (no pun intended) and 1940s make-up to create a caricature of the love life the media purport to be her reality.

So far, so not what we were expecting. Back when Taylor was in her ‘Tim McGraw’ days, it was all about simple styling and crimped hair galore. Yet as her albums continued to go in a pop direction and as the artist herself grew from a teenage hopeful into a mature superstar, Taylor’s style got sharper and more defined and her make-up bolder and more daring. Her now-famous red lip, which I originally suspected was donned simply to tie in neatly with the ‘Red’ theme of her last album (how wrong I was) has now become her signature look which she pulls off with great aplomb. Another evolved beauty staple is her sharp bob and sweeping side-fringe. Gone are the flowing curls from her ‘Love Story’ era; Taylor’s current style is giving me serious bob envy.

However if you were beginning to think you had pinned down the Swift’s current fashion, her recent cover and spread in Wonderland magazine may have you thinking again. In an unusually stripped-back photo shoot, Taylor plays with nearly every decade imaginable, from the sixties cocktail dress and pointed shoes to the eighties fringe brushed back into curls, and from the crocheted jumper that is reminiscent of a nineties Calvin Klein billboard ad to the dark eyebrows that are so very now. The incredible versatility showcased in this one shoot throws in a final curveball to complete Ms Swift’s style evolution. She has come a long way from her country days and her style is just one of the many factors that reflect how Taylor has grown and evolved into a serious force to be reckoned with. The ‘Blank Space’ message can be heard loud and clear: everything you thought you knew about the country-loving, serial-dater has just been turned upside down. Taylor Swift, we salute you.