Over the weekend we saw more va-va-voom than usual from Taylor Swift. On the red carpet at Sunday's MTV Europe Music Awards, the country crooner dazzled in a low-cut J. Mendel dress with diamond-shaped cutouts at her midsection. The look was a departure from the largely conservative dresses we've seen her wearing lately, which have been much more buttoned up, a style she says she embraces.
Talking about her love of dresses in a new interview with Harper's Bazaar, the 22-year-old calls them her favorite item of clothing — and notes that she loves a retro look. "There's just something so feminine about a dress," she says. "Whether it's a summertime dress that makes me feel carefree, an evening cocktail dress that makes me feel fancy, or a vintage dress that makes me feel like a '50s housewife — which I enjoy feeling like, for some reason — I just really like dresses."
Taylor Swift showing some skin at the MTV EMAs in Germany... (Getty Images)...and channeling her inner '50s housewife while out in London last week. (Splash New …Swift is such a fan of frocks that she owns hundreds of them. And unlike fashion icons like Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama, she does not recycle the same look twice. "I'm in a predicament where I can't wear a dress twice or else it's pointed out in magazines, so" — she laughs — "unfortunately I have to shop for dresses all the time."
Speaking of fashion icons, Swift says that as a teenager she was inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow when it came time to find the perfect prom dress. She tells the magazine that after she saw a photo of Paltrow's 1999 Oscar dress — a pink Ralph Lauren ball gown that was widely panned for being ill-fitting — she had to have it. She tore a photo of the dress out of a magazine and took it from store to store in her local mall to see if could find something similar. "I was 15 and going to prom for the first time, and I saw that picture of Gwyneth in the pink gown," she recalls. "I went all over the mall and showed it to all the store owners and said, 'Do you have anything that looks like this?' And no one did. So there's that. That's a sad story for you."
Swift wore pants for her Harper's Bazaar photo shoot... (Paola Kudacki/Harper’s Bazaa …...to break out of her comfort zone. (Paola Kudacki/Harper’s Bazaar)
Swift has a knack for telling sad stories. The songstress is known for documenting her personal heartache into her songs and lyrics, with chart-topping results. In fact, the singer's fourth album, Red, earned the highest first week U.S. sales figures in a decade last week, selling 1.2 million copies. Talking about her famous breakups — most recently the end of her summer romance with Conor Kennedy — Swift tells Harper's Bazaar, "Despite all of that and how unpleasant it is, as a writer you get a lot from it. It's a crazy justification system. You know that guy you really wish you could erase from your memory? But then the answer is track six, eight, 12, and 13."
While Swift has made millions off her boy troubles, she loves being with her female friends. She says she's become a master at keeping in touch with her loved ones while she's on the road — and carves out girl time whenever she can with pals including Selena Gomez (who is going through her own relationship drama having reportedly split with Justin Bieber) and Emma Stone. "We never talk about fashion, about career, about our ambitions or our projects," she says of spending time with her best pals. "We just talk about relationships, feelings, love, and boys."
We predict that the next time Swift and Gomez get together, there will be plenty to talk about it.
For more of Swift's interview, pick of the December issue of Harper's Bazaar, on newsstands November 27.