Last year global superstar Taylor Swift has released her music video for her single, “Style,” taken from the record breaking 1989 album. The album is rumoured to be about Harry Styles, with this particular song being the most obvious dig at him.
Much like her “22” music video, Swift subtly adds in a reference to her ex-boyfriend so the audience know who this video is criticising. The reference used here, within the first 20 seconds, and once more later on in the video, is the paper aeroplane necklace Styles gave her as a gift during their relationship, and he used to wear it as a signature fashion choice. Anyone who knows anything about Harry Styles will pick up on this reference and realise what is about to come.
However, Swift hasn’t remained as discreet about who this song is about, with the song title referring to Styles’ surname, and with lyrics such as, “You got that long hair, slicked back, white t-shirt,” referring to Styles’ physical appearance and his fashion sense once more.
The music video features scenery heavily, with images of beaches, forests and car rides. The car ride scenario is taken from the lines “Midnight / You come and pick me up, no headlights / Long drive,” referencing to a romantic moment shared in Styles and Swift’s relationship, as well as a stereotypical romantic moment in relationships.
The beach/sea scenes match the state of the relationship in the music video. For instance, when Sherwood is regretting the break-up, the water is calm and steady, whereas when the pair re-ignite their relationship, the water becomes wilder, representing their passion for one another.
My favourite part is the mirror scenes. Sherwood holding up a fragment of a mirror with Swift’s face reminds him he still hasn’t gotten over the relationship and he can’t forget her, or her “red lip classic thing.” Additionally, only showing a fragment of herself represents the state of their relationship: fragmented. The pair keep dating or breaking up, as Swift mentions with, “Watch us go ’round and ’round each time,” almost like a never-ending cycle.
Towards the end, there is a montage of moments in the relationship, with both Swift and Sherwood reflecting on it, before they reunite once more. When they reunite, it refers back to the endless cycle Swift mentioned before, stating how they will never stop dating and breaking up. Or at least, at the time the relationship happened. Styles and Swift have been broken up for over a year now, and there doesn’t seem to be any signs of the pair re-igniting their romantic relationship.
Overall, the music video is different to her other music videos. It seems she’s not only experimenting with her music, but with her music videos, too. The artsy feel to it reflects this experimental style she’s tried, and succeeded with, in her latest music video. The references of Harry Styles leave little to the imagination at whom Swift is criticising, basing her entire song and music video on their brief relationship.