UPDATE: A representative for Republic Records tells InStyle that Grande's team had a contract with Jean Paul Gaultier for "the use of this interpretation of his imagery."
The music and fashion industry share common ground, without a doubt—but where do you draw the line between influence and plagiarism?
Ariana Grande’s music video for her latest single, “God Is a Woman,” debuted on Friday to rave reviews—and for good reason. The sensual, 4-minute-long video is an artistic marvel. In it, Grande leads a choir, walks a barbed wire tightrope, straddles earth, bathes in a vagina-shaped pool of pastels … Stars, they’re just like us!
Amidst the hype, the fashion world’s unofficial knock-off patrol, Instagram account Diet Prada, pointed out a scene in the video that looks rather familiar …
At 2:06, a nude bodysuit-clad Grande rests her hands and knees on the floor against a cloudy sky backdrop while three tiny men in black tanks and pants appear to suckle at her six breasts (just go with it).
Though striking, it’s difficult to deny the similarities between the scene and this 1993 Jean Paul Gautier campaign:
“God Is a Woman” director Dave Meyers did not respond to InStyle's request for comment.
The ad came out 25 years ago, Ariana is 25 ... Maybe it was meant as a purposeful nod to her birth year?
And yes, both works were likely inspired by the Roman mythological figure of Romulus and Remus—but the artistic license in both cases (cloudy sky, mini men in black, round sunglasses, nude bodysuit) seem too specific to label their similarity a coincidence.
Considering the many artistic allusions in the video, some fans have countered that the Jean Paul Gaultier-inspired scene is just one of them—the ad an iconic piece of art on its own.
Taylor Swift received similar backlash earlier this year when critics highlighted the parallels between her “Delicate” music video and a 2016 Kenzo ad directed by Her writer-director Spike Jonze.
It's a fine line between "inspiration" and "rip-off"—you be the judge.