Midnights was the album of the night last night—or, rather, the Album of the Year, so says The Recording Academy—and Taylor Swift paid homage to her album through her jewelry, leading many to believe that there was an announcement coming related to the record.
It appears that the clock choker set at midnight was a gametime decision for Swift, who People reports asked her stylist to make the Easter egg-type detail just moments before she hit the Grammys red carpet last night.
The piece was actually a vintage watch repurposed as a choker and was one of the many seemingly intentional red herrings Swift dropped last night. A red herring, if you don’t remember, is a clue that’s meant to distract one from something else at play—in Swift’s case, the announcement of her forthcoming album The Tortured Poets Department, which no one expected because they were thinking Midnights (the red herring with the clock choker) and also Reputation, as Swift’s look last night was very much of that era. But it wasn’t Midnights or Reputation, it turns out, that we should have been prepared for—rather, an entirely new album, set for release April 19.
And Swift’s red herrings not only worked, but they were on purpose. On Sunday, Swift’s website seemingly crashed, People reports, “showing an error message reading ‘Error 321 Backend fetch failed.’ Swifties quickly pointed out that the code is a communication error that would appear on a fax machine with a poor telephone line connection. The lead single on Reputation is ‘Look What You Made Me Do,’ and the first line is famously, ‘I’m sorry, the old Tayor can’t come to the phone right now.’” (My goodness, Swift is clever, and committed.)
But that wasn’t the only text displayed: a line in bold read “hneriergrd,” which online sleuths quickly deduced and unscrambled as—you got it—“red herring.” She spelled it right out for us (well, kind of) and we still got fooled into thinking Reputation, especially when she showed up on the red carpet in a Schaiparelli look reminiscent of looks from that time period in her life. Swift “hit the red carpet in a Reputation-coded ensemble which ended up being a total red herring (just as her website warned us it would be),” People writes.
In further proof of her dedication to the details (and one reason why she is the Taylor Swift), Swift asked her stylist to turn the hands of the Lorraine Schwartz watch to midnight, which then led the Swift faithful to think that at midnight, they’d be getting a surprise album announcement, likely Reputation (Taylor’s Version). Well, the Swifties were half right: they did get an album announcement last night, but significantly earlier than midnight, and perhaps even more exciting than what they were expecting.
In addition to her strapless Schiaparelli and black opera gloves, Swift wore 300 carats of Lorraine Schwartz diamonds—black and white, like the Reputation album cover. Either we are overanalyzing, or Swift is truly knee-deep in the details (or both), because Swift layered six necklaces last night—and Reputation is her sixth album.
So, red herring? Check. Now that the “red herring” item is off of her to do list, it’s off to Tokyo for the superstar, where she’ll resume her record-breaking Eras Tour on February 7 with four back-to-back shows before possibly jetting off to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas on February 11 to watch her boyfriend Travis Kelce play in the contest with the Kansas City Chiefs. When you’re Taylor Swift, you never sleep, it seems, and the details are always in play: many think Swift will refuse to miss the title game because it would mark her thirteenth Chiefs game—13 being, of course, her lucky number.