Ariana Grande released her fourth studio album in late August. Two months later, Sweetener is still making headlines. An artist can tell a story through an album and Ariana did just that. When I first listened to Sweetener, I knew that I had to make an album lookbook. I wanted to create a photo shoot dedicated to four of my favorite songs from the album–almost like a music video concept!
The album has a number of catchy songs, along with somber tunes. Although Ariana touches on heavier topics, there’s always a message of hope and positivity. In fact, during an interview with Jimmy Fallon, the singer said that Sweetener is about “bringing light to a situation… or somebody else who brings light to your life.”
I’d say the album’s main themes are finding hope after a devastating time in your life, women empowerment, and love.
Here’s my Sweetener album lookbook, featuring the bops that are “No Tears Left to Cry”, “Goodnight n Go”, “Better Off”, and “Successful.” 🍬
Ariana Grande Sweetener Album Lookbook
no tears left to cry
Right now, I’m in a state of mind
I wanna be in, like, all the time
Ain’t got no tears left to cry
So I’m pickin’ it up, pickin’ it up
I’m lovin’, I’m livin’, I’m pickin’ it up
“no tears left to cry” is Ariana’s first single for Sweetener, and already has a music video. I still wanted to pay homage to this song because it means so much to Ariana and her fans. “no tears left to cry” is Ariana’s first single after the 2017 Manchester bombing. In the video, she pays tribute to the city of Manchester and sends her fans a message of hope.
Via iHeartRadio–“The worker bee is a well-known symbol of the city of Manchester. At the end of Ari’s “no tears left to cry” video, she throws a ball to her dog, which turns into a bee.”
If you haven’t seen the music video for “ntltc”, it features Ariana dressed in a black ballgown as she walks through a stunning empty hallway. Later, she’s dancing on the rooftop of a tall building and looks out at the city.
Like many songs on Sweetener, “ntltc” talks about finding the strength to pick yourself up after a tragedy. I love this single and wanted my photos to stay true to the music video’s original concept.
For this outfit, I wore an elegant high-low dress and accessorized with drop earrings. Alejandro and I visited Uptown Park Ridge plaza because we thought that the scenery looked very close to Ariana’s vision for “ntltc”. We even found a spot with a similar hallway to the one in “ntltc’s” video–and a fancy staircase!
no tears left to cry look:
goodnight n go
One of these days
You’ll miss your train and come stay with me
(It’s always say goodnight and go)
We’ll have drinks and talk about things
And any excuse to stay awake with you
“goodnight n go” is the song that first inspired me to write this post. Ever since I was a kid, I used to come up with music videos for my favorite songs. This track is actually a cover of Imogen Heap’s “Goodnight and Go.” Imogen is one of Ariana’s biggest inspirations. On Twitter, she told her fans, “i put my own lil spin on one of my fav songs of all time by my number one fav artist of all time.”
I discovered “Goodnight and Go” randomly a year ago on Pandora. Ever since then, I’ve had Imogen’s music on repeat. When I heard Ariana’s version this year, I was basically shook. She truly made the song her own and I couldn’t get this concept for a music video out of my head.
I imagine a girl who lives by herself in the city. She sees this guy on her way to work one day, and daydreams about him constantly. Eventually, she builds up the courage to talk to him and they plan a date. Later, the two go to her apartment after their first date. Already falling in love, they spend the whole night talking and enjoying their time together.
There’s such a sweet tone to this song. I used a lot of warm yellow lighting for a daydreamy effect. I also wanted a cute and girly atmosphere and found the best knick knacks at Marshalls, including a tea kettle and unicorn mug. So adorable!
For my outfit, I went with a striped pastel sweater, jeans, and pink beanie. Alejandro even made a guest appearance as the girl’s handsome new beau.
goodnight n go look:
I’m better off without him
I’m better off being a wild one
On the road a lot, had to keep it a thousand
So that I’m better off not being around ya
Ariana revealed to her fans that “better off” is an older song from Sweetener. She initially thought about not even including the song on her fourth album because it was too honest.
Via Ariana’s twitter account: “at first i was nervous about like……. it coming true. if that makes sense. more honest than i was ready to be w myself at the time.”
I think we can all relate to at one point in time being in a relationship that isn’t good for us. In the song, she talks about being “better off without him” and “being a wild one.” She seems mentally exhausted by the relationship and wants to be on her own.
I knew the visual for this song would have to be quite melancholy and almost lonely. Alejandro and I decided to shoot the photos in a parking garage at night. When it comes to my outfit, I wore a sparkly blue bodycon dress and accessorized my outfit with Ariana’s signature thigh high boots.
better off look:
Tonight, I’m a baller, babe
Even way beneath in…
it feels so good to be so young
And have this fun and be successful
Finally, on to one of my fav songs off this album! According to Ari, “successful” is about women feeling good “about their own individual success” and “celebrating each other.” “successful” is such a feel good song and I love the fact that it has such a strong message of women empowerment.
In the song, she talks about her own success and also tells the listener that they’re beautiful and successful too! I mean, how cool is that!
I think this song is so encouraging, especially as a woman. At times, I don’t feel “successful”, but I can’t help but get pumped up after listening to this song for a few minutes!
We went to downtown Chicago because I wanted the imagery of a city landscape and a woman dressed in business attire. I thought this pink coat from Forever 21 was everything and more. It gives the outfit such a powerful and glamorous touch! It was so much fun strutting around the city in this outfit! I truly did feel like such “a baller, babe!”
Wow, lovelies! So, I’ve been working on this album lookbook for a few weeks now, and poured my heart into the post! I hope that you enjoyed and had fun reading this fashion post. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Ariana’s album yet, I’d highly recommend it! She is such an incredible musical artist! It was tough choosing songs from this album, because they were all so great!
Have a wonderful rest of your day! 💗 x
Have you listened to Sweetener? What is your favorite song off of the album? Also, which outfit is your favorite from my album lookbook?