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The New Freedom: Supermodels Take Over Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’

May 18, 2015

FashionMusic | by Mikael Jack

Not since George Michael’s Freedom video 25 years ago – featuring the supermodels – have the worlds of fashion and music collided in such a huge way, but that is what happened at last night’s Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. The biggest news of the evening was undoubtedly Olivier Rousteing’s confirmation that French fashion powerhouse Balmain will launch a collection with H&M in November, but it didn’t manage to fully overshadow Taylor Swift’s attempt to recreate that George Michael/supermodel magic in the video for Bad Blood – including Cindy Crawford who appeared in the aforementioned Freedom video – the fourth release from her 1989 album, remixed with a vocal from Kendrick Lamar.

The video, produced by Swift herself, was premiered during the awards ceremony – at which Swift won a staggering eight awards, including best artist, best female artist top Billboard 200 artist –  after a long wait, anticipation increasing with every Sin City movie poster-style Instagram teaser that she had been posting for the past ten days. The video’s throng of female stars arrived on the red carpet with matching Edie Parker clutch bags, each emblazoned with the name of their alter-ego characters – each star was allowed to choose their own name – from the video.

Set against a backdrop of what appears to be – due to the unmistakeable Gherkin building – a London under attack from the Swift army, the no-expense-spared Joseph Kahn film video proves that there is no stopping Taylor, and God help anyone who tries. The superstar/supermodel/superhero line-up includes: Cindy Crawford, who needs no introduction, as Headmistress; Swift’s BFF Karlie Kloss as Knockout, as well as her fellow Victoria’s Secret Angels Cara Delevingne, Lily Aldridge and Martha Hunt; Gigi Hadid; Selena Gomez as Arsyn who kicks the video off by kicking Swift out through a skyscraper’s window – we’ll let you decide if her character is portraying Katy Perry, whom the song is rumoured to be about following Swift’s feud with her; Gomez’s fellow former Disney star Zendayaas Cut-Throat; Ellie Goulding and Paramore’s Hayley Williams; Girls actresses Lena Dunham as Lucky Fiori and Jessica Alba, who starred in Sin City, which appeared to be the video’s main inspiration; Empire’s Serayah and Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld; and Mariska Hargitay, Detective Olivia Benson from Law & Order, and Ellen Pompeo who plays Dr Meredith Grey in Grey’s Anatomy – perhaps the two that Swift was most excited about having named her two cats after the characters. Both Ellen Pompeo and Cindy Crawford wore designs from London-based leather label Una Burke, who has already created armour-like leather clothing and access for the Hunger Games movies, which added to the fearsome cinematic appeal.

We challenge you to only watch it once.


Mikael Jack – Fashion Features Editor

(image credits: instagram.com/taylorswift)