If there’s one thing Taylor Swift loves to do, it’s making subtle references that send her fans into a frenzy.
On 28 August, the pop star took home several awards at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, including the top prize Video of the Year for her 10-minute song and music video, “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)”.
Perhaps the biggest shock of the night was when Swift surprised fans with a brand new album announcement. The singer revealed onstage during her acceptance speech that she will be releasing her 10th studio album Midnights on 21 October.
While this year’s MTV VMAs was full of many iconic Taylor Swift moments, the one thing that fans couldn’t help but notice was Swift’s fashion choice for the ceremony. The “Bad Blood” singer walked the red carpet in a dazzling Oscar de la Renta mini dress. The metallic look was strung together by jewel-encrusted chains over a sheer bodice, and paired with crystal-embellished Christian Louboutin heels.
But according to fans, Swift’s VMAs look was a reference to the sparkly dress she wore onstage thirteen years ago, the night that incited her feud with Kanye West.
Taylor Swift wore a strikingly similar dress to the 2009 MTV VMAs, when Kanye West infamously grabbed her microphone and declared Beyoncé as the true winner for the Best Female Video award. Now, fans are calling Swift’s reimagined look her “revenge dress,” as she proudly accepted the same award where Kanye West stole the show over a decade ago.
“13 years later... This is Taylor Swift’s revenge dress,” one person tweeted.
“The fact that today marks 13 years since kanye west ruined taylor swift’s speech at the VMAs and now she is wearing a dress referring to that day and to look what you made me do YOUR MIND,” another fan said.
13 years later... This is Taylor Swift's revenge dress. pic.twitter.com/o8pr1bPl76
— Taylor Swift Facts (@blessedswifty) August 29, 2022
the fact that today marks 13 years since kanye west ruined taylor swift's speech at the #VMAs and now she is wearing a dress referring to that day and to look what you made me to YOUR MIND pic.twitter.com/X1o7R9ID08
— julieta MIDNIGHTS (@toleratqit) August 29, 2022
Fans also noticed that her sparkly ensemble drew many similarities to the crystal-embellished dress she wore in the music video for “Look What You Made Me Do,” which is famously about those who have wronged Swift receiving their well-deserved karma. What’s more, Swifties spotted that the singer will be releasing her forthcoming album on Kim Kardashian’s birthday.
“Taylor Swift announced a milestone album 13 years after what happened with kanye at the vmas, wore a similar dress to a look from ‘look what you made me do’ video right after she became able to re-record it, AND the new album is releasing on Kim’s birthday,” one fan tweeted.
taylor swift announced a milestone album 13 years after what happened with kanye at the vmas, wore a similar dress to a look from “look what you made me do” video right after she became able to re-record it, AND the new album is releasing on kim’s birthday. DAMN pic.twitter.com/dZgzJr6Jkg
— bre (@aantlerqueen) August 29, 2022
The number 13 also happens to hold significance for Swift. The singer has often shared how 13 is her lucky number, having been born on 13 December 1989. Swift, who is notorious for dropping easter eggs for fans, often uses the number 13 as a hint to her upcoming projects. Plus, her album Midnights appears to have a total of 13 tracks listed.
“Taylor Swift, born on the 13th, 13 years after the Kanye incident at the VMAs, accepts the VMA for her 10 minute version of a song and announces her 10th studio album, coming in the 10th month of the year,” someone else said. “It will have - naturally - 13 tracks.”
So just to recap:@taylorswift13, born on the 13th, 13 years after the Kanye incident at the @vmas, accepts the VMA for her 10 minute version of a song and announces her 10th studio album, coming in the 10th month of the year. It will have - naturally - 13 tracks.
— Nathan Hubbard (@NathanCHubbard) August 29, 2022
At 12am ET on Monday (29 August), Taylor Swift shared details on her album Midnights to Instagram, along with the album artwork. In her Instagram post, the singer explained said Midnights is a “collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams”.
“Midnights, the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life, will be out October 21,” she captioned the post. “Meet me at midnight.”