It’s not uncommon for stars to retreat from the public eye and re-emerge transformed, but few have done it as often and as successfully as Taylor Swift. Because as the entire world is collectively holding its breath in anticipation of Swift’s first single to drop in nearly three years while obsessively deciphering the six (mostly) cryptic photos and serpent videos she posted in place of her newly scrubbed feed, it’s kind of crazy to think this is the same person who made her debut as a country music pop star. Or that this is the same person who used to dress up in a tired parade of too-perfect retro-prep outfits for post-gym pap shots.
Still, it came as a shock when she introduced never-before-seen edge via her Vogue cover shoot for the May 2016 issue. Shot by photographer duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Swift was outfitted in uncharacteristically cool, futuristic looks, provided by the likes of Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, and Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane, complete with Vetements boots (a far cry from her platform pump days) and deliberately mussed, choppy platinum blond strands.