Typically, a host of the Met Gala appears on the concurrent cover of Vogue — but this year, the hosts are Timothee Chalamet, Amanda Gorman, Billie Eilish, and Naomi Osaka, none of whom are Lorde. I’m guessing that the cover may have been planned less with the Met in mind, then, but does mean she’ll at least attend, arriving early, wearing something ethereal, with cutouts. (I read a gossip item that said Vogue is having trouble locking down a guest list because a fair few of the desired celebs won’t get the required vaccine; I don’t know if we’ll ever have that proven true or false, but it’s juicy.)

Some of the outfits Lorde has worn on her PR tour for Solar Power, the new album, have been very peppy and in some cases an actual sunshine-yellow. This is… not that. At all. Which honestly feels a bit truer to her energy anyway, as she’s always had a melancholy to her even in the upbeat moments. Whatever gleaming, hopeful aura is coming from the Schiaparelli “shirt” — which really looks more like she’s naked and standing behind a sculpture; it’s very Garden of Eden — is being undercut by the doleful expression. And maybe that’s the point. Her album has been very long-awaited by fans, to the point where I think some of them may have been genuinely mad at her? She talks a little bit about that dysfunction — in the nicest way possible — in the cover story, as well as how ill-suited she finds herself for this public-facing life, and her occasional need to step away from Internet engagement as a whole:

“I started to see the phone as a portal. I can’t keep going through that portal, in the same way that I wouldn’t just take mushrooms all these moments of a day. It’s too deep a tunnel… I don’t think I’ve met too many people for whom social media is a net positive.”

Indeed, look at the number of us who go on Twitter and are like, “OH WOE THIS HELLSITE,” but still give it one last look before bed and then lie awake anxious about the state of the world. I definitely resemble that remark.

[Photos: Théo de Gueltzl; story by Rob Haskell; Vogue’s October 2021 issue is available on newsstands nationwide on September 21]
Tags: Vogue, Lorde