The changing face of Kylie Minogue has never been more startling nor dramatic.
‘‘Considering my hair had not long ago grown back [after cancer] it felt a little weird – confronting – to be in a skull cap,’’ says Minogue, of a picture in a new book, Kylie Fashion. ‘‘But I took it as a way of ‘owning’ the look, of making it fun and strong, and of appreciating the beauty in it.’’
Kylie Fashion is being released this month by the singer and her stylist, William Baker, to chart Minogue’s influence on fashion over the 25 years since the release of her single Locomotion.
The book, published by Thames & Hudson, includes a forward by Jean-Paul Gaultier.
‘‘I’ve come a long way from cutting patterns with Nain, my grandmother, and making clothes as a teenager,’’ Minogue writes in the book. ‘‘Fashion has been a permanent and continually evolving aspect of my career. It has afforded me a means of expression that no words or music can.’’
The singer has included a number of rarely seen, raunchy images, alongside her best-known fashion moments on stage.
‘‘It’s extraordinary,’’ Edwina McCann, Vogue Australia editor, said of the book. ‘‘When the brands and collaborations have been chosen well, they’ve been incredibly successful [looks] ... ’’
She said Minogue had come a long way from her bubblegum pop look in the 1980s, describing it as a ‘‘huge’’ leap. ‘‘She literally had to discard that image,’’ said McCann. The singer admits the same thing: ‘‘From rah-rah skirts to haute couture, it has been a wonderful journey.’’
Fashion expert Maggie Alderson said Baker’s influence on Minogue had been extraordinary. ‘‘She’s not a dress-up doll, they would work together. But she knows she’s got the best and she trusts him,’’ said Alderson, who describes Minogue as ‘‘the patron saint ofshort girls’’.
‘‘She’s a show-business style icon, rather than a pure fashion one. Because of the things that she wears on stage and in her videos. She’s like Madonna in thatregard.’’
Ironically, in the book Baker admits they nearly forgot to include an image of Minogue in her gold hotpants – one of the singer’s best-known fashion moments. ‘‘It’s amusing that when people think of Kylie, apair of gleaming gold hotpants immediately comes to mind. For us, they are just a tiny glittering part of a much bigger picture,’’ Baker said.
McCann said the hotpants were Minogue’s defining look, but also her collaboration with Dolce and Gabbana for stage costumes.
She added it was Baz Luhrmann’s influence and his inclusion of Minogue in Moulin Rouge that was a turning point for Minogue’s appearances in high-fashion magazines such as Vogue. But overseas, she had already been making an impression.
‘‘As is often the case, our stars often get embraced by the international community before they get embraced locally,’’ McCann said.
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