Taylor Swift's "Delicate" Video Looks a Lot Like Spike Jonze's Kenzo Perfume Ad
Disenchanted starlets and funny faces and manic dancing.
Can Taylor Swift shake off her latest controversy?
The 27-year-old has found herself at the center of a copycat scandal following the release of the music video for "Delicate," the latest off November's Reputation, which debuted Sunday evening at the iHeartRadio Music Awards.
The Twitterverse was quick to point out that the video, which sees Swift in a shimmy-ready fringed Naeem Khan gown and Louboutin kicks (which she quickly discards in favor of bare feet for dancing purposes), is suspiciously similar to Kenzo's 2016 Kenzo World fragrance ad starring Margaret Qualley.
Kenzo creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon hired longtime collaborator Spike Jonze to direct the three-minute short film, which was choreographed by Ryan Heffington, who is best-known for his distinctive work on Sia's "Chandelier" and "Elastic Heart" music videos. (Both Jonze and Heffington worked with Lim and Leon again in 2017 on their dance show "Changers," which served as the presentation for Opening Ceremony's fall 2017 collection.)
But it's not just the similarities between Swift's dancing and Heffington's athletic — slightly manic — choreography that raised eyebrows. (There is no choreographer credited for Swift's video.) Joseph Kahn, who has directed several of Swift's videos, including her last video for "End Game," has been accused of borrowing a concept (or three) from Jonze.
KENZO World (Spike Jonze, 2016) // Delicate (Joseph Kahn, 2018) pic.twitter.com/fNvttY1teo— Ella Donald (@ellafdonald) March 12, 2018
Like the Kenzo ad, "Delicate" opens with a disenchanted heroine suffering through a stuffy entertainment industry-related gala or awards show or other self-congratulatory multimillion-dollar event. Eventually, she breaks free from her perfectly sculpted mold, first with aggressive funny faces and then with wild interpretive dance. "Delicate" differs from the ads in that Swift becomes mysteriously invisible to the public while at the gala and ultimately ends up at a "dive bar on the East side" where regular folk can finally see her; the Kenzo ad, on the other hand, ends with Qualley bursting through a massive wall of flowers shaped like a giant eyeball. (For what it's worth, Swift's video doesn't feature any fun finger lasers, either.)
Though he has been tweeting about the video all morning, Kahn has not yet addressed the allegations of creative piracy and did not return The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment. Instead, he has retweeted various analyses about the video's parallels to Swift's disappearance from the glitzy entertainment industry.
Watch the Kenzo ad below and see for yourself.