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What does the Artist of the Decade wear on a red carpet after a public showdown with her former record label? When Taylor Swift steps out at the American Music Awards on Sunday, her red carpet look will make a big statement.
The outfit will not only symbolize her 13-year career across seven albums that earned her the title of Artist of the Decade at the ceremony, but it will also reflect her fight for artists’ rights in the evolving music industry and, more specifically, how she feels coming out victorious in her battle with Big Machine Label Group CEO Scott Borchetta in securing permission to perform her old songs live at the AMAs.
Last week, Swift penned an open letter to Borchetta and music manager Scooter Braun, whose Ithaca Holdings purchased Big Machine and Swift’s masters in June for more than $300 million. The singer-songwriter claimed the men were not allowing her to perform her old hits at the AMAs, because it would constitute a rerecording of her songs, which she isn’t allowed to do until November 2020. Swift called out Borchetta and Braun for implying she should “be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.” Big Machine caved on Monday and announced it had “agreed to grant all licenses of their artists’ performances,” with Braun revealing Friday that he received death threats.
If her pattern holds, Swift will likely forgo a gown on the red carpet and go for a romper, suit or blazer dress, similar to the recent colorful Versace blazers she wore to the VMAs and the Teen Choice Awards in August. She wore a plaid Cinq à Sept suit for her Tiny Desk concert in October and, on The Voice earlier this month, a black Philosophy di Lorenzo suit that showed she meant business.
Fans have been speculating that her recent affinity for menswear was a hint that she might release her new song “The Man” as a single (the number reflects on how her life in the public eye would be different if she was a man). A menswear-inspired outfit seems even more likely given Swift’s recent plight, which turned into a fight for women’s rights, with politicians Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and fellow artist Selena Gomez weighing in.
That’s not to say that Swift’s sweetheart fairy tale dresses are out of the question, especially considering she’s being honored for her past decade of work after Speak Now debuted in 2010. When teasing her Lover era earlier this year, Swift turned to pastel colors, tie-dye and butterflies to define her new sense of style. At the Time 100 gala in April, she chose a J Mendel dusty pink pleated gown with floral embroidery that screamed “Love Story,” and in May, she put on a lavender, lacy minidress by Raisa & Vanessa for the Billboard Music Awards.
Whatever Swift chooses for the AMAs red carpet, the ensemble will inevitably convey her increasingly vocal stance on female empowerment in the music industry. No pressure for her stylist, Joseph Cassell.
Dick Clark Productions, which produces the American Music Awards, is a division of Valence Media, which owns The Hollywood Reporter.
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