Taylor Swift Wears a Wedding Gown and a 'Victorian Mourning' Dress in 'Fortnight' Video: Every Style Clue Decoded

The singer has also been dropping outfit Easter eggs for months

<p>Taylor Swift/Instagram</p> Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift/Instagram

Taylor Swift's 'Fortnight' music video.

There’s no doubt that Taylor Swift loves a theme. Her new album The Tortured Poets Department embraces a moody, vintage aesthetic that, of course, drops hints about her emotional state.

The singer’s 11th studio album debuted at midnight ET on Friday, April 19, with a full music video for her single “Fortnight” (featuring Post Malone) coming at 8 p.m. that evening. In the video’s fast-paced black-and-white teaser, the 34-year-old is seen in a slew of Victorian Era and 1920s garb, which fans are speculating holds significance in regards to her breakup with British actor Joe Alwyn and subsequent relationships.

At one point in the teaser, Swift wears a high-necked black gown with puffed sleeves and ruffle details. A fan on X (formerly Twitter) compared the look to a “Victorian mourning dress.” According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, black mourning dresses became prevalent during the reign of Queen Victoria from 1819 to 1901 and set a precedent for the ongoing custom of wearing black to grieve loved ones.

Related: Taylor Swift’s Tortured Poets Lyrics Detail Fury and Heartbreak in Joe Alwyn, Matty Healy Relationships

<p>Taylor Swift/Instagram</p> Taylor Swift wears a black gown in 'Fortnight" music video.

Taylor Swift/Instagram

Taylor Swift wears a black gown in 'Fortnight" music video.

“Queen Victoria wore mourning from the death of her husband, Prince Albert (1819-1861), until her own death,” the museum’s website states. “With these standards in place, it was considered a social requisite to don black from anywhere between three months to two and a half years while grieving for a loved one or monarch.”

The X user also noted that the black gown is similar to those worn by Swift’s dancers for the performance of “My Tears Ricochet” during her Eras Tour.

Related: Taylor Swift Posts Sneak Peek of 'Fortnight' Music Video — and It's Expectedly Chaotic

When it comes to “Fortnight,” the mourning in question is presumably Swift’s heartache over her breakup with Alwyn. The pair dated for six years and announced their split in April 2023.

In the music video, Swift wears another meaning-laden ensemble — a strapless white dress that looks like a wedding gown. Fans were quick to point out that it also bears a strong resemblance to the Schiaparelli gown she wore to the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in February 2024.

<p>taylor swift/instagram</p> Taylor Swift in a white gown in 'Fortnight' video.

taylor swift/instagram

Taylor Swift in a white gown in 'Fortnight' video.

In addition to their color, the dresses also have a similar neckline and ruching details around the waist. Swift also accessorized with opera gloves in the music video, similar to the black opera gloves she wore at the Grammys.

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty </p>

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

In a more blatant move, Swift pays homage to 1920s silent film star Clara Bow. The album features a separate track titled after the actress and in the “Fortnight” video, Swift dons her signature doll-like makeup look (razor-thin eyebrows, smokey eye makeup and bold lipstick).

<p>taylor swift/instagram</p> Taylor Swift channels Clara Bow in 'Fortnight' music video.

taylor swift/instagram

Taylor Swift channels Clara Bow in 'Fortnight' music video.

The lyrics of “Clara Bow” compare Swift to past entertainers — Bow included — who have been the subject of scrutiny. The film star was dubbed "The It Girl” but also faced backlash from tabloids who gossiped about her upbringing and romantic relationships. Swift has famously spoken out about experiencing similar treatment by the media.

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Related: Clara Bow's Family Reacts to Taylor Swift’s New Song, Says Actress Would Have Been 'Protective' of Singer (Exclusive)

All your life / did you know you’d be picked like a rose?.... Take the glory, give everything / Promise to be dazzling,” Swift sings on “Clara Bow.”

The tribute to Bow in “Fortnight” has not been lost on the late film star’s family. Bow’s great-granddaughter Nicole Sisneros told PEOPLE of Swift’s look in the music video: "She has the same sultry stare that was signature of Clara Bow. And there’s no denying the precise application of the lipstick."

The Tortured Poets Department is now available on music platforms.

Read PEOPLE"s review of The Tortured Poets Department and dive deeper into the album's deeply personal lyrics, call-outs and more.

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