Taylor Swift’s pants-tastic photo shoot for Harper’s Bazaar: retro & awesome?

Taylor Swift covers the December issue of Harper’s Bazaar (US) – I’m including shots from the pictorial as well as some highlights from the cover interview. First, let’s discuss the photos. OMG. I LOVE THEM. Y’all know that I’m not a Swifty fan-girl, but I like her more these days, now that she’s done with Conor Kennedy (hopefully!). What I always want from Swifty is for her to choose maturity – for her to show maturity emotionally, lyrically and stylistically. I get tired of polka dots and shoes in the shape of cats and such, and it’s such a pleasure seeing Swifty do this kind of modern-retro 1970s, sleek, mature style in a photo shoot. She looks AMAZING. I love Swifty in high-waisted pants! I love her straight hair! HUZZAH. The photos are by Paola Kudacki, by the way. I was concerned that they would be Terry Richardson (he does a lot of Bazaar cover shoots), but Uncle Terry was not involved.

As for the interview – you can read the whole piece here. It’s pretty typical Swifty. Some highlights:

Swifty on Gwyneth Paltrow’s pink Ralph Lauren Oscar gown: “I was 15 and going to prom for the first time, and I saw that picture of Gwyneth in the pink gown,” she recalls. “I went all over the mall and showed it to all the store owners and said, ‘Do you have anything that looks like this?’ And no one did.” She guffaws.”So there’s that. That’s a sad story for you.”

She loves dresses: “There’s just something so feminine about a dress. Whether it’s a summertime dress that makes me feel carefree, an evening cocktail dress that makes me feel fancy, or a vintage dress that makes me feel like a ’50s housewife—which I enjoy feeling like, for some reason—I just really like dresses.” How many does she own? “Hundreds. Because I’m in a predicament where I can’t wear a dress twice or else it’s pointed out in magazines, so… unfortunately I have to shop for dresses all the time.”

Deciding to do a pants-happy photo shoot: “I think doing something that’s different, that’s out of your comfort zone is important… Personal growth, let’s call it that.”

She decides her own future: “When I’m in management meetings when we’re deciding my future, those decisions are left up to me,” she explains. “I’m the one who has to go out and fulfill all these obligations, so I should be able to choose which ones I do or not. That’s the part of my life where I feel most in control.”

Money and girlfriends: “I don’t tend to spend a lot of money on the big things, like cars or jewelry. I’ll rent a house on the beach or something, bring my girlfriends.” (She also had a lot of beachtime this past summer on Cape Cod, at Conor Kennedy’s family compound in Hyannis Port.) But Taylor is very loyal to her girl tribe, which includes Emma Stone and Selena Gomez. “We never talk about fashion, about career, about our ambitions or our projects,” she says of her pals. “We just talk about relationships, feelings, love, and boys.”

Equality in love: “It needs to be equal. If I feel too much like I’m wearing the pants, I start to feel uncomfortable and then we break up.” Relationships are “the ultimate collaboration,” she adds, but sometimes “it’s wonderful to hand over the reins to your boyfriend when you control so much of these big, high-pressure decisions, you know? That is a huge defining factor in who you choose to be with.”

She had to stop reading blogs? “What I had to learn to do, in order to maintain a general happiness in my life, was to stop reading everything,” she says, getting fired up. “And then it gets really bad if you go through a breakup and those blogs have these polls asking, ‘Who should they date next?’ And you’re just sitting there staring at the laptop bawling.” She pauses. “But you can live in a normal world where a breakup is just a breakup if you don’t expose yourself to what’s being speculated about yourself. That’s where I live now.”

On the road: “I’m not used to being in a place more than two days in a row,” she says, adding, “I don’t know if I have a vacation for another year. You get really good at maintaining phone relationships with people you love, because you’re just not going to get to see them all the time.”

Toxic boys and writing through the pain: “Some combinations of people are toxic, you know? You have to find the right one that isn’t just going to explode into fiery ash and destruction.” But unlike the rest of us who sit at home and eat our feelings, Taylor focuses on writing. “Despite all of that and how unpleasant it is, as a writer you get a lot from it. It’s a crazy justification system. You know that guy you really wish you could erase from your memory? But then the answer is track six, eight, 12, and 13.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

I could have done without the discussion of how many dresses she owns and how dresses are super-important to her. So… she wears dresses because they’re “feminine” and they make her “feel like a ‘50s housewife”. She’s the kind of girl who could never have short hair because “long hair is what girls should always have” and “girls should always wear dresses” – basically, that’s how most little girls feel. Like, that’s the kind of thing that a 5-year-old would say. Taken with her comments about equality – “If I feel too much like I’m wearing the pants, I start to feel uncomfortable and then we break up… it’s wonderful to hand over the reins to your boyfriend when you control so much of these big, high-pressure decisions, you know?” – it just feels so f—king retro. No wonder she doesn’t consider herself a feminist (or know what feminism is) – she’s too busy trying to be a housewife in the 1950s.

Photos courtesy of Paola Kudacki/Harper’s Bazaar.

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74 Responses to “Taylor Swift’s pants-tastic photo shoot for Harper’s Bazaar: retro & awesome?”

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  1. bns says:

    Gorgeous. Much better than the sparkles and dresses covered in farm animals.

  2. QQ says:

    Stylish Hearts Pink Gumby

    That girl is SO unsexy and Not alluring

  3. G says:

    I don’t care for her but she looks great.

    Also one on the most relevant fashion spreads I’ve seen in ages. But isn’t this look at odds with her music?

  4. Ainsley says:

    Her one foot looks wonky in the all white pic..…

  5. Ainsley says:

    Her one foot looks wonky in the all white pic

  6. Riana says:

    Wow all the photos are gorgeous, seriously not a bad one in the bunch. She should snatch up the stylist for the magazine who made her look so good.

  7. ladybert62 says:

    She looks good in these pictures – and she doesnt look trashy or show any skin etc.

    I am not a fan but I think these photos make her look adult and beautiful.

  8. Ainsley says:

    Her one foot looks wonky in the all white pic. But I agree, much better than her usual princess and ponies crap.

  9. Pam says:

    Watch out Peasants, she’s a Goop in training. But all the pics look awesome here except the white one looks awkward

  10. Lisa says:

    Half of these look to me to be straight out of a J Crew catalog. Don’t get me wrong: I think she looks good, but she also looks like there should be a product description next to her.

  11. pamspam says:

    Can’t stand this girl…but I gotta say, she looks fantastic in these photos. It’s nice to see her looking like an actual grown up woman!!

  12. serena says:

    Didn’t know she was close friend with Emma Stone *gasp*

  13. Vesper Lynd says:

    I like Taylor Swift a great deal (not a big fan of her songs, maybe just the Romeo and Juliet one)my birthday present came early: the hubby gifted me with the set of Wonderstruck perfume, the body lotion and shower gel. At first i was a bit iffy with the purple colors mixed with gold and a rainbow hued bottle with a blue base. But when i tried the perfume on, i was hooked. It lasts forever, it smells great and i am loving that it’s not another mega sweet, rainbows and flowers teen spirit smell at all! I hate the perfumes like tbose of Britney Spears, they scream teeny bopper.

  14. KC says:

    Love it. Love her makeup — please taylor, please keep this up.

  15. Marianne says:

    Her legs look super long in these pics!

    • daisieb says:

      Tall women have trouble finding pants to fit. The proportion of leg to torso always looks off. Capris with flats look cute, but full length pants with stilletos make the wearer look like she is on stilts. Dresses are a great look for Taylor as they give her some horizontal to balance against her natural vertical.

  16. Nessa says:

    Not a fan of hers, but this is a great photo set. She actually looks gorgeous!

  17. I.want.shoes says:

    She looks great. She has this awesome long, lean figure and those pants really flatter her. I love that she isn’t dressed like a sweet innocent virgin.

    And they managed not to make her eyes squinty!

    But I still find her annoying as hell.

  18. Eleonor says:

    I should start a petition to make her be bff with Blake Lively: they will go antiquing on saturday,and spend mondays making pies. Oh and Blake will start organizing Taylor’s date with eligible men.

  19. Jenna says:

    She really is very pretty when she’s not all squinty eyed and goes lighter on the eye makeup.

  20. Ema says:

    She looks really here. Anyone else think she’s really quite pretty, but just can’t do sexy/alluring? She’s got such a pre-teen, doe eyed vibe.

  21. lori says:

    She’s like the vanilla flavoured Katie Holmes to me. She’s incredibly pretty but never truely sexy.

  22. Nicole says:

    Ok, I’m ready to be yelled at for this, but I kind of understand the quote about handing over the reins.

    I do identify as a feminist. I’m independent, I have a career as a lawyer, I don’t need a guy at all. But I find often in relationships because of those factors these guys never make decisions or make the first move and just look to me to make EVERY SINGLE decision. And sometimes I feel like Taylor Swift and just want a guy to man up and kiss me, or man up and make decisions or man up an do whatever. And that fits in with equality to me because I think strong women often end up having to take the lead on everything, which is the opposite of equality in a relationship.

    I’m not saying Swifty and I are similar ladies, but sometimes being a little girly isn’t a bad thing. And feminists can be girly if they want :)

    • LittleDeadGirl says:

      I agree. Strong women need strong men. I hate always making the decisions especially because I’m usually in the leader role at my work. I love the photoshoot too.

    • Laura says:

      I third. I’m a bartender, and I know that’s not commonly thought of as a power position but I’m essentially acting manager over a fleet of waitresses who wish they were bartenders and envy me for having what they see as an amazingly glamorous job (do I love tending? Yes. Is it glamorous? No.) I’ve got a bachelor’s degree, and I’m working on a novel. I am headstrong and opinionated and not afraid to argue. I live alone and do everything for myself. And after all that, I’d sometimes just like my boyfriend to make the decisions on where we go for dinner or who we’re hanging out with that night.

  23. A Fan says:

    Wow. Nice photographs, great styling.

  24. Bird says:

    These pics are absolutely gorgeous.

  25. Velouria says:

    Much improved…She needs to fire her current stylist and ditch the RED forever!!!

  26. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Wow actually some pretty great shots here…looks like a model. Is her hair really that long? Dang. Looks great.

  27. Really? says:

    Too effing skinny.

    Nice photos though.

  28. I'm going to Guam! says:

    Too much photoshop on her face.

  29. dorothy says:

    Celebitchy has officially become the Taylor Swift PR machine today. Two articles in one day with this pre-pubescent teenager. Really?

  30. cynicalsmirk says:

    Very nice photos, but she makes me yawn.

  31. Rhiannon says:

    She looks so much better.

    I have always had long hair, but never really into dresses unless the occasion warranted it, so not sure i agree with that assessment.

    Still think she’s a little scary though.

  32. Chelly says:

    I like her music (with the exception of a few that I can’t stand) but her constant talk of relationships and boys is driving me crazy. I’m sick to death of it and I know I’m not the only one. I hate how people call her a role model when all she talks about is the same old b.s. and she contributes nothing intellectually. I don’t have a problem with people liking her but she’s not someone I would want my daughter to look up to. I want my daughter to be educated and know that there’s more to life and more interested things to talk about then boys.

    On a positive note, she looks very nice in this photoshoot. I think she would’ve been a successful model if that was her ambition.

  33. tabasco says:

    overexposure alert. go away for a lil bit, ok, tay?

  34. Elena says:

    So she likes the 50′s style, dresses and being a girly girl, so what?
    She is strong,successful, earns her living and manages her professional life with maturity. I don’t see the wrong message here. Maybe because I’m not so desperately looking for it.
    Personally, I think that it’s the most natural thing for someone to want to rely on their partner and be protected by them, no matter the gender, no matter the strength and level of success one has achieved.
    That doesn’t mean you surrender your life and become submissive. At least that’s not what I read in this interview.
    As far as Taylor’s emotional maturity goes, she is not over 12, that’s a fact, but I have high hopes for the future.:)

  35. Ms. Candy says:

    Photo shoot looks nice and different.
    As for her interview- meh

  36. I Choose Me says:

    She looks good. This style of clothing suits her.

  37. Xantha says:

    I find it funny that in her song “Better Than Revenge” she blasts the girl with the line “No amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity.” Now look at her recent fashion. She’s basically wearing clothes Betty Draper would wear.

    And it’s even funnier if one does a google search on Camilla Belle(the girl she sings about) and fashion and it’s easy to realize that Camilla hardly wears vintage clothing at all. She’s been on the fashion scene for years now and a lot of her style is modern and trendy.

    This photoshoot is nice though. She usually looks good when she gets away from the sparkly stuff.

  38. Chickie Baby says:

    That is one tall, lanky gal! She looks great in the clothes. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the clothes are great already.)

  39. bowers says:

    as good as a professional model

  40. kelly says:

    I WISH she would stop with the open mouth expression/”smile” like the one at the very top of this post. She does it in almost every picture that I’ve seen in her lately. Either smile or don’t smile, but don’t look like you’re in the middle of inhaling and then leave your mouth open.

    Right up there with “duck face.”

  41. Bronwyn says:

    Girlfriend has legs for days.
    I miss her wavy hair- the straight with the bangs looks so old and like a wig on her.
    Also I am very glad to see her NOT wearing bright red lipstick for once. She does not wear it well and looks a bazillion times better more natural.
    She is selling the sh** out of those pants though, fair play.

  42. L.E. says:

    I haven’t worn a dress since I was 10. Does that mean I’m not a girl?

  43. it'sjustblanche says:

    She’s adorable (looking–her music is another story) but they photoshopped her to no end.

  44. gobo says:

    She has a long torso, it looks elegant in the trousers and tops but in her usual high waisted cutesy dresses she looks like a child wearing a dress she has grown out of.

  45. TheOneAndOnly says:

    Agree Dorothy – ENOUGH of the marketing of this simpering idiot and her vapid immature pseudo-music – you would think she’s the greatest talent on the planet – Let’s see – Walmart, Walgreens,Papa johns, COvergirl, Target,etc. Just about every fashion/women’s mag – thing is she’s vapid and uninteresting and her music’s crap – her team must be shelling out the bucks for this run – please, give me the supermodel covers of the 80s/90s more beauty and variety – I’m surprised no one has lambasted the market saturation of this marketing gimmick. Enough already.
    Bowers Not even close to Yasmeen Ghauri,Helena, Linda, Christy, Naomi,etc. – google or go on youtube and take a look at how the real beauties killed with the poses. They are all over youtube.

  46. Hautie says:

    With all the bitching and moaning that goes on here about black eyeliner.

    That is the one obvious thing about these pictures.

    Swift is not covered in her normal black eyeliner. The girl loves that black liner… like she loves her red lipstick.

    So these pictures actually show her off in a better light. Without all that black liner making her eyes look tiny.

    As a girl who is 5’11. I wear dresses daily. When you are tall and long legged… pants are not your friend.

    So I too, have a closet full of dresses. Along with a ton of skirts. And lots of sweater duo’s.

    They are simply more flattering to my body type.

    So the constant harping about Taylor and her clothes is getting old. She is a tall lean girl. And realize that it is hard to find flattering pants. So she wears what makes her feel confident.

  47. andi says:

    She looks so nice She does’t seem to be TS

  48. Diva says:

    She actually looks like an adult. Nice change.

  49. SES says:

    1. Her whole “I’m in a predicament where I can’t wear a dress twice or else it’s pointed out in magazines” is ridic. Kate Middleton constantly wears outfits 2 or 3 times & no one cares. Worst case scenario: you’re in US Weekly’s “I Really Love My…” spread. What a predicament!!!!!!

    2. -1000 that Emma Stone sits around talking “boys” & love with Taylor Swift. I see them on TOTALLY different planes. Selena Gommez definitely fits though.

    3. She looks so much like 80s Kim Basinger in these pics!

  50. efwcheryl says:

    She looks like she is trying.really.hard to be Joni Mitchell..early practice for the movie? Girl is gonna need a lot of practice…smh

  51. Eileen says:

    You ‘re tall, thin and blonde- so is Big Bird!

  52. Kosmos says:

    I really like the the photos and outfits they used. I especially like her hair straight, not curly or wavy, as I am used to seeing it. She looks very chic and wears these pants well.

  53. femputer says:

    WOW. this is the best i’ve ever seen her look. she always looks so american apple pie BOOOORING. here she looks fresh and AMAZING.

  54. Hm says:

    I wonder if she was lining inside the eye all this time and that’s why her eyes looked small and squinty. What a waste!

  55. Sugar says:

    wow I was impressed by this photo shoot! She looks great. I actually think she covers the polished mag spread better than Kate Upton & she’s a model.

  56. Nina says:

    She looks amazing, sleek, sophisticated and WAY prettier than I’ve ever seen her. I happen to find her voice, music and general style incredibly annoying, but I’ve always admired the fact that she hasn’t rushed to grow up. When I see Selena Gomez (or any other teeny bopper) in something that is too old for her… it reinforces that TS is embracing her youth. Good for her! I also like that she dresses in clothes that are affordable to the average person and her fans. I could have done without her comments about dress shopping and never wearing anything twice… so what if a tabloid points it out? It’s what real people do and, frankly, celebs should do more of it!!

  57. lurker says:

    She looks like Jean Shrimpton from the 60s! Very mod (look it up) :)

  58. Ella says:

    I love this shoot. I’m not reading my interview, because I’m pretty sure it will ruin the pictures.