Taylor Swift Releases ’70s-Style, ‘Mad Men’-Inspired Music Video for ‘Lavender Haze’

The music video features koi fish, flowers, galaxies, and a lot of purple smoke.

Jackie Kolgraf
January 27, 2023

Dropped at exactly midnight last night, the “Lavender Haze” music video became the third song from Taylor Swift‘s Midnights album to receive Taylor’s theatrical treatment — this time written and directed by her. Watch the full music video below, or listen to the song — and others by Taylor — throughout the week on SiriusXM Hits 1 (Ch. 2).Click here to stream SiriusXM Hit s1“This was the first video I wrote out of the 3 that have been released, and this one really helped me conceptualize the world and mood of Midnights, like a sultry sleepless 70’s fever dream,” she tweeted.

Related – Taylor Swift Speaks Out on Ticket Situation: ‘It Really Pisses Me Off’

Filled with flowers, koi fish, and galaxies, the surrealism-style music video stars Taylor alongside trans actor Laith Ashley De La Cruz, whom Taylor said she “absolutely adored working with.”

“Thank you so much [Taylor] for allowing me to play a small part in your story,” Laith tweeted. “You are brilliant and this is an experience I will never forget.”

The lyrics in “Lavender Haze” seem to speak to the pressure Taylor feels from the world to settle down and get married (“1950s s***,” she calls it), constantly feeling “under scrutiny” as people bring up her dating history and ask invasive questions about marriage plans.

Through special effects, Taylor illustrates her “melancholia” with a gray raincloud above her head as she shares a bed with Laith before tracing colorful galaxies on his back. Then, with the flick of a purple-tipped match, the bedroom begins to fill with purple smoke.

Later, in a milky purple bath filled with flowers — not unlike the pink one from Harry Styles’ debut album — Taylor declares that she just wants to stay in that lavender haze. The only times in the music video where she seems to feel alive and move freely are when the room fills with that same purple smoke.

Related: Watch Taylor Swift Sing 10-Minute “All Too Well” Version

“Lavender Haze” is the very first track on Midnights, setting the tone for the entire album. “I happened upon [that phrase] when I was watching Mad Men, and I looked it up because I thought it sounded cool,” she explained in a promotional video. “And it turns out that it’s a common phrase used in the ’50s where they would just describe being in love, like, you were in the lavender haze, and that meant that you were in that all-encompassing love glow, and I thought that was really beautiful.”

She confirmed the song is about her longtime boyfriend, Joe Alwyn: “My relationship — for six years, we’ve had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it. This song is sort of about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff.”

There’s even an Easter egg in the music video that references Joe. At the very beginning, the camera pans over a vinyl album that reads “Mastermind” with two constellations drawn out in stars on the cover. It turns out that the constellations are Sagittarius and Pisces, her own zodiac sign as well as Joe’s.