YES: I SHOULD NOTE that when we arrived at the farm, we were informed by a couple of Swift’s security people that there were at least a trio of uninvited photographers who had followed us to the location to catch some hot, sexy farm-visit action. (“Her not being creative is one of the last things I’d ever worry about,” the musician and producer Jack Antonoff tells me later.) “I’m always going to be writing songs,” Swift says.
“The thing is, with me, I could very well come up with three things in the next two weeks and then jump back into the studio, and all of a sudden the next record is started.
Somehow I feel better knowing that I can.” I ask her if she’d ever consider launching a fashion line. “But I would want it to be something that was relatable and accessible and everyday. Swift’s personal style has, not surprisingly, matured over the course of her career, migrating from the early days of sundresses and, as she describes them, “bedazzled cowboy boots” to the vintage fifties vibe of a few years ago to the sleeker, street-conscious look she favors now.
“I can look back at an old photo and tell you roughly what year it’s from,” Swift says.
She is the maid of honor at the wedding of her childhood friend Britany Maack.
Swift and Maack have known each other since Swift was ten days old and have stayed close—there are grainy home videos of the two romping around a crib together and, more recently, photos of them sitting side by side at the 2014 Grammys.
As usual, the changes are small, recognizable—a genius of Swift’s, from music to everything else, is experimentation without alienation.
Swift’s style never tries too hard or appears publicity-craving; everyone’s already paying attention, anyway.Swift’s 2015 stare-down of Apple—she declined to put her hit album on Apple’s nascent streaming-music service when the company said it would not pay artists during its initial launch; Apple changed its policy immediately and paid everyone—was a seismic example of a single artist’s toppling corporate might.At 26, Swift is world famous, wealthy, critically celebrated, a style influencer, and a cultural movement unto herself, recognizable everywhere she goes. And yet today, in this chapel atop a hill in Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift is none of those things.“It’s beautiful.” This is where, Andrea tells me, Taylor Swift was brought home from the hospital in, well, 1989—I guess everyone knows the year of Taylor’s birth by now. I ask her: When was the last time you were in a place where nobody in the press had any idea you were there—no reporters, no photographers? “If I go somewhere and stay in a house, nobody knows.” Swift says she is ready to lie a little low.The split-rail fence that’s still standing—Scott and Andrea built that themselves. After the wedding, she will go to New York, where she will be spotted dining with her friend Lena Dunham, and then be seen a week later in Los Angeles with her brother, Austin, and her friend Lorde at the “I have no idea,” she says, with a sigh that’s more blissful than anxious.To be clear: I’m not saying the people in this church aren’t aware that Scott and Andrea’s kid turned into, you know, —it’s hilarious to watch the flower girls try to keep it together, and the nuns seem pretty jazzed, too—but that’s not the story today. And the only evidence that the maid of honor is you-know-who is the paparazzi who have gathered at the bottom of the hill, hoping to snag a photo with their long lenses. A treasured footnote to the Taylor Swift backstory is that she spent much of her childhood being raised at, of all places, a Christmas-tree nursery called Pine Ridge Farm. “So I’ve been a big disappointment.” “I’ve gotten over the bitterness, finally,” Andrea says sarcastically.