Taylor Swift dropped the video for her latest single “Delicate” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards on Sunday night.

As songs go, “Delicate” is a stand out from the 28-year-old’s Reputation album, released last November to much fanfare. The album’s overarching theme, aside from the pleasures and terror of falling in love, is taking back control of one’s image and dare I say it, reputation.


After a year of missteps (the Kanye West “Famous” debacle) and overexposure following a much publicized, if short-lived summer romance with Kong: Skull Island star Tom Hiddleston, Swift retreated, quietly finding love again with British actor Joe Alwyn while plotting a comeback.

“The Old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now,” reads Swift’s Instagram tagline – a perfect encapsulation of her new attitude. Swift wasn’t about to let the paparazzi or her haters define her anymore.

“Delicate” begins with the line, “My reputation’s never been worse so/ You must like me for me…”

No promises can be made, the lyrics continue, with Swift’s voice amplified to good effect by a synthesizer. The situation is delicate, but Swift can’t shake her feelings for the new object of her affection. She is open, she is honest, she is vulnerable. This is the high wire act of navigating love in the public glare.

The video starts off with Swift in full glam mode, swarmed by reporters and paparazzi on the red carpet. She heads into a hotel lobby flanked by four security guards – a caged bird. But the shackles come off when Swift becomes invisible to those around her, letting loose in a crazy dance sequence as she bounces around the decadent hotel, making the most of her new found freedom.

It’s inventive, its quirky…but the trouble is, it looks a lot like a Kenzo fragrance video directed by Spike Jonze. Except for the sequence in the rain at the end of Swift’s video, its almost identical, even down to facial expressions. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but as someone with all the creative power behind her that money can buy, one wonders why this was so obvious. It doesn’t help matters that Margaret Qualley is superior in every way as star of the Kenzo spot. Comparisons are unavoidable.


A r o u n d   t h e   W e b