Grammys 2018: Read the Not-So-Hidden Message in Lorde’s Dress

“The apocalypse will blossom.”

by Nora Maloney

Embed-Lorde-Dress-Detail.jpg

Lorde, the only woman nominated in the album of the year category for her 2017 chart-topper, Melodrama, seems to have a bone to pick with the Grammys. And rightfully so.

Like all of the other artists nominated in the night’s top category, she was reportedly approached to perform Sunday evening by the Recording Academy. But according to Variety, she was asked to sing as one part of a collective tribute to the late Tom Petty, and not perform her nominated work at all.

Attending the awards but not taking the stage, Lorde found another way to register protest—by sewing the words of artist Jenny Holzer into the back of her gown. Detailed photos of the dress reveal an excerpt from Holzer’s “Inflammatory Essay,” which reads: “Rejoice! Our times are intolerable. Take courage, for the worst is a harbinger of the best. Only dire circumstance can precipitate the overthrow of oppressors. The old and corrupt must be laid to waste before the just can triumph. Contradiction will be heightened. The reckoning will be hastened by the staging of seed disturbances. The apocalypse will blossom”

Lorde’s mother, Sonja Yelich, registered her own subtle protest when she tweeted a photograph of an excerpt from a New York Times article, with the following circled in blue pen: “Of the 899 people nominated in the last six Grammy Awards, the report found, 9 percent were women. (This year, Lorde is the only woman nominated for album of the year; she is not scheduled to perform.)” The caption read, “This says it all.”

Nora MaloneyComment