Welcome to Laundry List, yet another Wildchild column, which is essentially a list masquerading as an article. Call it a listicle, if you will. What is a laundry list exactly? It is defined as “a long or exhaustive list of people or things.” We’ve deliberately kept the column title vague so we can talk about anything that tickles our fancy. No refunds if the list is not long or exhaustive.
After a four-year break, Lorde has emerged from the shadows, returning to the spotlight with the release of her much-anticipated studio album, Solar Power. Possibly one of the most divisive albums of 2021, her rebrand has garnered mixed reactions from fans and critics alike. Alongside a tonal departure from her former musical eras, Lorde’s style evolution is another glaring aspect of her transformation. Opting for understated pastels, vibrant hues befitting of a sun-kissed flower child as well as mid-riff baring outfits, the pop star has clearly moved away from the gritty and dark style she was known for during her debut.
As Lorde shared in a press release, “the album is a celebration of the natural world”, and so she took deliberate care to ensure that her clothes from this musical era are either vintage or crafted by sustainable brands. Below, we dish on the most notable and significant outfits from the Solar Power era.
#1. Lorde’s Solar Power Album Cover
Georgia Alice (Fall 2020)
When Lorde released her album artwork, the internet collectively gasped at the racy, cheeky choice. Shot from a low angle, you can only catch a glimpse of the rash guard she is wearing: Georgia Alice’s finely knitted “Pearl” top, which comes with a raw, scooped neckline.
Astute fans were quick to infer that the outfit choice may have very well been a tribute to her dog — a retriever mix that has since passed away — as the top shared its name.
#2. Lorde’s Solar Power Music Box Cover
It is no secret that Lorde is a fan of Phoebe Philo’s Céline. The lyrics of Leader of the New Regime are a dead giveaway:
Wearing SPF 3000 for the ultraviolet rays
Made it to the island on the last of the outbound planes
Got a trunk full of Simone and Céline
And of course my magazines
For the cover of her zero-carbon Music Box, she wears a yellow linen maxi dress with a cutout on the side. On an Instagram live, the pop star revealed that it was a vintage number that she bought off eBay and that she was waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear it.
#3. “Solar Power” Music Video
Collina Strada (Spring Summer 2021)
Lorde made her comeback with her Solar Power music video, wearing a canary yellow Bead Yod skirt and Monte Carlo top by Collina Strada. The iconic two-piece is made from satin deadstock and it sold out in minutes. She topped off her breezy beach look with Tropics Crazy Tort sunglasses by Karen Walker.
#4. “Mood Ring” Music Video
In her Mood Ring music video, which ostensibly parodies wellness culture, Lorde is dressed in sage green from head to toe. Her slinky satin twist top and paneled midi skirt are made by New Zealand brand, Paris Georgia. Reminiscent of the 90s, the classic slip rests on the waist and showcases an unexpected side slit.
#5. Lorde’s Spotify Profile Image
For her latest Spotify profile image, Lorde opts for the “Universe” satin shirt-dress in a palette-cleansing pale cream hue. Although not pictured, this neutral number comes with an asymmetric ruched placket and a classy cutout just slightly above the waist.
Prada (Spring Summer 2009)
A sight to behold, the artist makes a strong case for the bolero trend from the 90s — long-sleeved tops cut short at the front and back in a manner that leaves only the shoulders and arms covered. This berry-red number by Prada features visually arresting cat-eye bra cups and a wrinkled effect. The devil, however, is in the details and the halter harness plus black ribbon-tie truly takes this exquisite piece to the next style level.
#7. Late Night on Seth Meyers
Christopher Esber (Pre-Fall 2021)
Another slinky sage green number, this head-turner was designed by Aussie brand Christopher Esber. Crafted with fluid silk satin, the Triquetra Front Tie Shirt Dress boasts a flattering symmetric cutout at the bodice and a feminine ribbon-tie detail.
#8. “Stoned at the Nail Salon” Performance on Late Night on Seth Meyers
Loewe (Fall 2021)
At her first live performance of “Stoned at the Nail Salon” on Late Night on Seth Meyers, Lorde decided to serve a “prettier Jesus” look with Loewe’s embroidered plastron top. With billowy blouson sleeves and long drapes at the cuffs, the modest crepe de chine top is a vision in white — save for the pop of pink introduced by the fringe embroidery across the front.
#9. Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series
Christopher Esber (Spring 2020)
Known for designs that epitomize laid-back sensuality, Christopher Esber’s Disconnect maxi dress is no exception. Connected at the back and cut for a slim fit, the sunny yellow hue simply accentuates the beautiful ruched detailing.
#10. Performance for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Etro (Spring 2021)
Barefoot on the rooftop of the Ed Sullivan Theater, Lorde wears a pared-back monochrome outfit, matching a pale yellow spaghetti crop top with a voluminous flare skirt. The soft color palette keeps the spotlight on the textures as well as the playful bow detail of the skirt.
#11. Hot Ones
THE ANDAMANE (Spring Summer 2021)
While eating spicy wings for the internet’s viewing pleasure, Lorde wore a striking blazer by Italian brand THE ANDAMANE. Tailored from lustrous satin in an oversized fit, the sage green number has wide notch lapels, two front welt pockets at the waist as well as padded shoulders that add structure to the overall look.
#12. Met Gala 2021
Valentino (left) / BODE (right)
In The Path, the opening track of Solar Power, Lorde makes a reference to the 2016 Met Gala.
Arm in a cast at the museum gala
Fork in my purse to take home to my mother
Supermodels all dancing ’round a pharaoh’s tomb
Five years later, she attended the event in custom BODE, an acclaimed New York-based brand known for its focus on sustainability. Made from repurposed fabric and antique materials, the white silk gown was embellished with beads, pressed pennies, and fringed with beaten copper — paying homage to the Arts and Crafts movement since the theme of the 2021 Met Gala was In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. Lorde’s exquisite headpiece, which featured a solar motif, was undeniably a subtle nod to her album.
Feature collage by Sherryl Cheong; all photography belongs to its owners