Warning: this article contains spoilers
Taylor Swift recently released her music video for “Delicate,” during the iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 11th. The song is the 5th track on Swift’s Reputation album, which was released November 10th, 2017. The music video is a collaboration with director Joseph Khan, who has previously directed eight of star’s music videos- most notably “Bad Blood,” “Blank Space,” and “Wildest Dreams”.
The storyline within the “Delicate” music video is much tamer than some of Swift’s previous videos; there are no cyborgs, tigers, zombies, or clones, yet Khan maintains the excitement present in his previous videos with Swift. The secret weapon in “Delicate” is a magical note that gives Swift the power of invisibility.
The video starts out with Swift all dolled up in a custom Naeem Khan flapper dress being interviewed by a Hollywood reporter when she is mysteriously handed a note by a man-in-black lookalike. Forgetting the note for a moment, Swift becomes annoyed when she realizes her security guards literally follow her every step (and perhaps she wishes she could be invisible ;)). She is able to find privacy in a luxurious bathroom and proceeds to make a series of contorted and funny faces. Then, her magical note starts to glow, and Swift realizes her wish has come true: she’s invisible! She explores her new-found powers via teasing her security guards (who can’t even tell that she’s mocking them HAHA). Swift continues to strip off the bottom half of her flapper dress and break out into a 2-minute-long dance solo (that seems to be choreographed by someone with the heart and spirit of a 10-year-old). Her dance moves range from gorilla-like pulses and super-shimmying (enhanced by the fringes on her flapper dress) to skipping, twirling, and jumping in the rain. After dancing through the streets of downtown LA barefoot, riding the metro (still barefoot) and getting soaked, her magical note loses its powers, and Swift once again becomes visible to a crowd of onlookers in a bar that she has stumbled into and gives us a lovely smile…scene.
At the beginning of the music video, there are many elements of Hollywood Glam. Swift herself seems photoshopped and looks like a wax-figure, but by the end, she looks like the rest of us: soaking wet with makeup dripping down her face. The video was shot in both fancy locations (the Biltmore Hotel and the Los Angeles Theater), as well as everyday locations, such as the Golden Gopher bar, and the 7th street LA metro station. Filming-wise, there are a few fun shots: a bird’s-eye view of Swift strutting down a corridor with her bodyguards, a close-up on her funny faces made in the luxurious bathroom, and multiple transition shots that make it seem as if the magical note has also provided teleportation powers.
This music video is a quirky reminder that sometimes, you just need to let loose and dance your heart out. Her breakout dance scenes (strongly reminiscent of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” music video) were very entertaining, even heart-warming. Her desperate need for a break from all the attention is similar to how all of us mortal humans turn into hermits from time to time. In addition, although very cringe-y, Swift makes dancing barefoot in a metropolitan city seem extremely fun, foot-contracted diseases aside.“Delicate” combines all the elements that we crave in a music video: glamour, magic, and dancing in the rain.