For her first music video as a solo artist, Lea Michele opted to wear black, white and gorgeous all over.
"Cannonball" – the first single off her debut album Louder, set to be released on Mar. 4 – sings of self-empowerment and rising from the wreckage, which Michele's creative team hoped to evoke through three carefully-selected outfits that let the Glee actress shine among various lighting effects.
"We wanted it to be just really simple and clean, not make it about the clothes and make it about her and the music," stylist Estee Stanley tells Pret-a-Reporter. "It was about starting somewhere a little darker and ending up somewhere on the other side, being whiter and brighter – kind of how the song is."
Directed by Robert Hales, the "Cannonball" video first stages the Broadway alum in a dark and destroyed mansion, sitting in the shadows while the first verse that repeats the word "breakdown" in the background. Dressed in tulle skirt by Chloe and a Costume National tank top, Michele broods in black from head to toe – literally, down to her nail polish.
The video's second segment puts Michele on the move among mirrors and strings of colored lights, wearing a white Camilla and Marc shift dress with a mesh panel at the neckline and an asymmetrical hemline. She's also switched to a clean white hue on her fingertips.
"It's an important detail!" says Stanley of the nail polish switch. "What's that saying? The devil's in the details. It's true -- the details are very important, otherwise, your meaning is not represented properly."
Finally, Michele emerges in a white BCBGMAXAZRIA dress, relishing in the colored light beams behind her.
"My first job as a stylist was music videos – that's where I grew up, that was my first everything into styling, so I'm pretty used to that kind of world," says Stanley, who has been styling Michele since Glee first began. "I just wanted her and I to make sure the message of the song and what she was trying to convey was very clear through the clothes. Obviously, we succeeded!"
And what is Stanley's secret to staying on point through a hectic awards season? "A lot of coffee and green tea."
Watch Michele's "Cannonball" music video below: