Taylor Swift Wears Cutout Sequin Dress at Nashville Songwriter Awards

The autumnal equinox may be tomorrow, but Taylor Swift welcomed the new season a little early last night at the NSAI 2022 Nashville Songwriter Awards. The singer donned a long-sleeved one-shoulder Michael Kors dress with black sequins. As for accessories, she wore earrings by Rahaminov, a ring by Anne Sisteron and shoes by Aquazzura.

The look is reminiscent of her Call era, which could be a hint that she’ll be re-recording it soon, as she’ll be legally allowed to re-record the work on November 11, five years after its release. (And we all know that Swift loves to leave Easter eggs.)

taylor swift at the nsai 2022 nashville songwriter awards

Terry Wyatt//Getty Images

taylor swift at the nsai 2022 nashville songwriter awards

Terry Wyatt//Getty Images

Winner of Songwriter-Artist of the Decade at the Nashville ceremony, Swift delivered a poignant speech about her history as an artist and her philosophy on writing lyrics.

She said via Billboard: “To me, tonight feels full of real camaraderie between a group of people who just love making stuff. who love the craft. Who live for the rare, pure moment when a magic cloud in the form of a song idea floats down right in front of you and you just have to grab it. Then shape it like clay. Prune it like a garden. And then wish each lucky star or pray to any power that you believe will find its way into the world and make someone feel seen, feel understood, feel for a moment in their sorrow or theirs to feel connected to heartbreak or joy.

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“Through my many years in the entertainment industry, I’ve learned that this business operates with a very new, new, new, next, next, next mentality,” she continued. “For any artist or songwriter, we all just hope for a great year. A great album cycle. A great run on the radio. And these days, a song on TikTok goes viral. A glorious moment in the sun. Because with your next project, you’ll probably have to invent something new. Think of all the new things you can say and new ways to say them. You have to entertain people. And the fact of the matter is, we’re either amused by the emergence of new artists or by established artists showing us a new side of themselves. If we’re very, very lucky, life will say to us, ‘Your song is great.’ The next thing life will say is, ‘What else can you do?’”

“I’m saying all of this because I’m receiving this beautiful award for a decade of work up here, and I can’t possibly explain how beautiful that feels,” she said. “Because the way I see it, this is an award that celebrates a culmination of moments. Challenges. Gauntlets laid down. Albums I’m proud of. triumphs. lucky or unlucky. Loud, embarrassing mistakes and subsequent recovery from those mistakes and lessons learned. This award honors my family, my co-authors and my team. My friends and my toughest fans and my toughest critics and everyone who has come into or left my life. Because when it comes to my songwriting and my life, they are one and the same. As the great Nora Ephron once said, ‘Everything is a copy.’”

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She went on to reveal her own poetry writing mentality: “I’ve also secretly established genre categories in my head for the lyrics I write. Three of them to be exact. They are affectionately titled “Quill Lyrics”, “Fountain Pen Lyrics” and “Glitter Gel Pen Lyrics”. I know this sounds confusing, but I’ll try to explain. I came up with these categories based on what writing tool I imagine having in my hand when I’m writing it down, figuratively.”

Quill-style lyrics are “when the words and phrases are antiquated, when I was inspired to write them after reading Charlotte Brontë or seeing a film where everyone is in poet’s shirts and corsets. If my lyrics sound like a letter written by Emily Dickinson’s great-grandmother while she was sewing a lace curtain, then I’m writing in the quill genre.”

“Fountain pen style means a modern story or references with a poetic twist,” she said. “Take a common phrase and turn its meaning around. Trying to paint a living picture of a situation, right down to the chipped paint on the door frame and the incense dust on the vinyl shelf. Place yourself and anyone listening right there in the room where it all happened. The love, the loss, everything. The songs I associate with this style sound like scrawled and sealed confessions in an envelope, but too brutally honest to ever send.”

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As for the last category, Swift said, “The third category is called ‘Glitter Gel Pen’ and it lives up to its name in every way. Frivolous, carefree, springy, perfectly syncopated to the beat. Glitter Gel Pen lyrics don’t care if you don’t take them seriously because they don’t take themselves seriously. Glitter Gel Pen lyrics is the drunk girl at the party telling you that you look like an angel in the bathroom. It’s what we need every now and then during these tense times we live in.”

You can read Swift’s full speech here, along with all the insights she shared into her songwriting process ahead of the release of her new album, Midnights, next month.

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