Sartorial aficionado Harry Styles continues his appropriation of circus costumes in the James Corden–produced music video for “Daylight,” a track from Styles’s new album, Harry’s House. There’s a lot going on in the video, and it only cost $300, according to its YouTube description. First, we have Styles standing on a Brooklyn rooftop in full clown garb as he lip-syncs to the ’70s-inflected track. “I’m on the roof,” he croons. Yes, we can see. He moves on to an empty bathtub and keeps singing along. Then he’s at one of those tiny, sweaty apartment parties looking like that one meme where everyone is having a good time but you. Literalism is the name of the game here: He hums, “If I was a bluebird / I would fly to you,” and just like magic, puppet bluebirds dance around his head while Styles smiles a bemused smile. Not to be outdone by Harry’s fit, Corden makes a guest appearance in a full-body spandex green-screen suit as they dance a simple jig on the roof.
The video was made as a bit on Corden’s show, where a supastar is given a paltry $300 budget and three hours to shoot a music video. So not only is this a fashion faux pas, it’s a labor faux pas. I mean, gas is more than the minimum wage. There are more Airbnbs in New York City than there are available apartments. A matcha oat milk latte with a pump of vanilla and a shot of espresso is $8.50 at least. My cat doesn’t have insurance, so her checkups and shots are over a hundred dollars. And you’re telling me that the video was shot for $300? How can you possibly pay the dozens of people in front of and behind the camera with $300? Did everyone just go home with $6? (And that’s being generous … what if there were more than 50 people involved? Was anyone paid at all? Was the costume budget $0?) Why brag about making a clown-costume look-book for less than my car note? In this economy? The staff needs to organize!