Less than four days before Midnights’ release, Taylor Swift and her partner of six years, Joe Alwyn, signaled to paparazzi and fans alike that their love story is still very much ongoing. Swift and Alwyn were photographed walking in New York City on Monday with their fall fashion on display. Swift wore a plaid mini skirt, long dark sweater, and dark tights with hoop earrings. Alwyn, meanwhile, wore a green sweater, jeans, and black-rimmed glasses. He also carried a notebook because why not?
It isn’t often that Swift and Alwyn are photographed out in public together. The last time paps captured the couple, it was in London this July. Swift notably shut down engagement rumors then—or at least didn’t visually confirm them—as she was out wearing no ring on her left ring finger.
Earlier this month, Swift spoke about Midnights track “Lavender Haze,” revealing her relationship with Alwyn—and their navigating the public eye while keeping their love story as private as possible—served as inspiration.
“Lavender Haze is track 1 on Midnights,” she said in a video shared to her Instagram. “I happened upon the phrase ‘lavender haze’ when I was watching Mad Men. I looked it up because I thought it sounded cool. And it turns out that it’s a common phrase used in the ’50s where they would describe being in love. If you are in the ‘lavender haze,’ then that meant you were in that all-encompassing love glow. And I thought that was really beautiful.”
“I guess, theoretically, when you’re in the ‘lavender haze,’ you’ll do anything to stay there,” she continued. “And not let people bring you down off of that cloud. I think that a lot of people have to deal with this now, not just like ‘public figures,’ because we live in the era of social media, and if the world finds out if you’re in love with somebody they’re going to weigh in on it. Like my relationship, for six years we’ve had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it. So this song is about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff.”
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.