Video Review: Gwen Stefani “Misery”

Inside a warehouse, Gwen Stefani, wearing a gold mesh dress with a spiked headdress, stands at the counter, waiting. Beside her, three men dance. She moves to a column in the corner, which matches the shade of her dress.

In the corner, she wears a red and yellow flower dress by Gemy Maalouf with a matching red floral crown. With a glance, Gwen Stefani looks to the elevator. Confined in the tan room, she lets her gaze fall. The elevator moves up and she holds onto the wire. She runs her head over the tulle skirt and then spins around by the elevator. She puts her hands out and her head down while the dancers perform their routine by the elevator.

On the steps, she stands, wearing a multi-colored minidress and a black wig, cropped to a bob.

Against a black background, Gwen Stefani wears nude lipstick and eyeshadow. She smacks her lips and looks up, breathless.

Sitting on a white bubble couch, she wears a black feathered gown against a black flowered background. She puts her hand on her face and bends her back.

Against an olive green background, a dancer performs his choreography. Then, two other dancers also join in.

Smoke billows around as she holds onto a pole, wearing a red gown with veil (bustier is by La Perla and the red tulle skirt is by Rocky Gathercole). As the smoke blows over her, she rests her head on the another pole and closes her eyes.

Against a rose patterned wallpaper background, Stefani dances in a pink sheer dress by Molly Goddard. She sits down on the floor and rests her arm on her leg. The dancers join her in their own section. She spins around, twirling the tulle .

On the steps, the dancers take them one by one. From the other floor, she races down the steps and then stands in the center, gesturing towards her head.

Outside the warehouse, she steps out wearing silver knee-high stilettos and black bodysuit. She sits on a stool and spreads her legs. Then, she stands by a pole and puts her hands on her hips.

In a striped ball skirt and crop top, she walks toward a horse. She pets the horse’s head and mane. Holding onto her skirt, she runs away.

By the entrance of the parking garage, she bikes around in circles, wearing a textured nude bodysuit, as though the skating rink were closed and she had to go somewhere else for training.

In the red tulle dress, she stays on the floor. But defiant, she gets up, holding the material to her face, creating a veil. She lies on the floor again and puts her head into the material.


Rating: 3/5

There isn’t a storyline to speak of in the video. The wow factor, though, doesn’t depend on the space. The space is only an accessory in the video, matching like a bracelet or a necklace. It’s more of how everything corresponds visually, creating a mood.

Some segments are successful, some are not, and others are in-between. First, the successes: the ballerina gown is feminine and whimsical. With the flowery background to provide the frilliness, the gown can be demure and sophisticated. It’s a pure romantic look that belongs in the mainstream.

Next, is the striped ball skirt and crop top which strikes a morose chord in its extravagance. As she pets the horse, she seems to be seeking comfort. It’s the closest she gets to casual wear.

The silver high stilettos radiate sexiness, as she promises to keep her lover’s midnight secrets to herself and share some of her own. She’s in control and knows what she wants.

The last jaw-dropping outfit is the gold mesh dress, which suggests structure and routine, considering its rigid enviroment. The spiked crown, is proud and brave, perhaps because of it’s resemblance to the Statue of Liberty’s.

Onto the in-between. The black feathered gown, in the moody living room, is reminiscent of hangovers and late night makeout sessions in the bathroom of dive bars. It seems to be relaying maybe to past experiences a twentysomething experiences and revisiting a romantic history of forgotten kisses she prefers to hide. The black feathered outfit, though, is a tad gothic and bitter.

The awful, though, is the multi-colored minidress, which belongs in the future but is stuck in the present, lost and unsure of itself. It would be perfect for La Roux, though.

The nude bodysuit, which was previously mocked, was already covered, has girliness and youthfulness suggests innocence and a return to first crushes, which was absent. It succeeds more in mood, though.

The Gemy Maalouf dress is a monstrosity, though. She looks like a corsage, which suggests the bad first dates in high school, getting kissed by boys who prefer all tongue but slobber instead. It’s gauche.

Lastly, is the La Perla bustier and Rocky Gathercole skirt. It’s the devilish side to her. All love is not sweet. She will bicker and pick until her boyfriend submits. The mood is far more self-sabotaging and destructive, as though she’s trying to get out the mistakes from her past. It succeeds in mood but the outfit itself isn’t given enough attention to really see it in detail.

Director: Sophie Muller Year: 2016


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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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