Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Brutal’ Music Video Is Charged With Y2K Nostalgia

Photographed by Petra Collins
Gen Z royalty Olivia Rodrigo has blessed us all with a music video for her hit 'Brutal' — and it's nothing short of a cinematic explosion of aesthetics. Of course, that's what happens when you get Petra Collins to direct your video. This is the second time Olivia has worked with the Canadian creative, with Petra directing the fire clip for 'good 4 u'.
Olivia surprised fans by announcing the video on Instagram, her caption reading, "brutal music video is out now! had the best time ever making this. so so so grateful for @petrafcollins who constantly inspires me and who directed this video so incredibly. hope u guys love the vid and all my teen angst lol. 🔪🔮🦋💜🌈".
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The music video throws viewers straight into a Street Fighter meets Clueless's wardrobe computer video game. An animated and glitchy 'choose your player' screen sets the tone for the glittery and saturated nostalgic wonderland Olivia has created.
The actor-and-singer plays a handful of characters, from a news anchor to a ballerina. All are accompanied by a stylized hairstyle (or wig) and a y2k-inspired ensemble. Whatever the avatar, Olivia has grunged it up, with black fishnet stockings, layered necklaces and clashing patterns. It's the work of stylists Chloe and Chenelle Delgadillo, the LA-based sibling-duo who are behind Olivia's girlish pop-punk look.
The 18-year-old's beloved aesthetic rings true in this video. Her classroom 'fit has her wearing a red, plaid skirt with tulle ruffles, paired with a thick waist leather belt with silver metal eyelets. Naturally, she's rocking a black tattoo choker and a red newsboy cap.
But what has the Internet aflutter is her various hairstyles, the magic of her hairstylist Clayton Hawkins. Olivia goes from a pale blue wig with a blunt fringe, to a sleek blonde bob, to two long plaits, to space buns held in place with a bandana headband.
In one of her most recognisable looks, Olivia wears two partial pigtails, her brunette hair streaked with red, with colourful butterfly clips holding them in place. She's donning a mini plaid dress, chunky black knee-high boots, with an exaggerated ripped white tank over layered over. A scrunchie sits on her wrist and she slips on a pair of Chanel rimless sunnies.
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While the video is unabashedly soaked in y2k sentimentality, it also nods to many contemporary gems. American actor and skateboarder (and heartthrob) Nico Hiraga (Moxie, Booksmart) makes a cameo in Olivia's bedroom, seen scrolling on his phone. They watch a blonde Olivia on Instagram Live, under the alias @spicypiscesnyc, crying to the camera, a candy pink bag in hand.
Instagram filters enter IRL through augmented reality — hearts on cheeks, flame eyeshadow, flickers of lightning, and pink tears all light up Olivia's face. Wearing your heart on your face is now a thing.
Teenage angst reigns supreme.

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