COMMENT: The Kylie roadshow

PinkNews Staff Writer February 6, 2007
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Depending on you point of view, it is another example of national arts institutions dumbing down to get punters, or a well-deserved celebration of the iconic yet tiny figure of a true legend.’s very own Torsten Højer took a trip down to South Ken this morning to take a look at what all the fuss is about.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington was awash with screams of delight today as one of the biggest gay icons of our time got her very own museum retrospective.

Kylie – The Exhibition.

Yes, gay boys and girls who have been following the career of the Princess of Pop since she burst into our consciousness in 1987 can now marvel and reminisce at the memorabilia of all-things-Kylie.

The gold hotpants that re-launched her flagging career – and made the front page of The Sun – in the video for Spinning Around? Check.

The oil-stained overalls in which Kylie made her name as mechanic Charlene in Neighbours? Check.

The white hooded jersey with plunging neckline that featured in the clip for dance mega hit Can’t Get You Out Of My Head? You got it.

There’s even every single record sleeve of every single album, DVD and box-set she’s ever released – all displayed with a backdrop of the lady herself singing along in various guises, smiling down on her subjects.

It’s a dazzling display of dress design, glamour and glitz. Men both gay and straight are falling over themselves to get a peek at the show. Why?

“She has glamour, taste and discretion,” says Simon Coates, a freelance journalist working for News International who attended the launch.

“She appeals because she has an intuitive connection and understands how important fashion is to convey her message.

“Seeing these pieces has really enhanced my perception of Kylie. These intimate outfits provide a real connection to her insecurities and most importantly, her vulnerability.”

Standing somewhat stunned at being so close to such iconic clothing, others in the dark but sparkly main hall were quick to agree.

“I’ve been a fan since the beginning. It’s only when you see the outfits that you realise how long she’s been around,” said Justin Myers, who runs an website aimed at teenagers.

“She’s as much famous for her fashion as for her music these days.”

Highlights of the exhibition are an exact reconstruction of Kylie’s dressing room during her recent Showgirl tour (complete with good luck messages from family and friends) and outfits from such designers as DolceGabbana, Julien Macdonald and Manolo Blahnik, who is quoted as saying: “Kylie is one of the most vibrant figures of our time.”

The media has already been quick to criticise the VA for holding the exhibition, asking what place artefacts about a living and relatively young star has at a museum.

The answer, it seems, is that Kylie is as much about art, fashion and design as being Kylie pop singer.

It’s a brand that many have latched on to and that has a place is contemporary popular culture.

Simon Coates sums up the reaction of many in one sentence: “I think anyone who is remotely interested in fashion and culture in the 21st Century needs to see this exhibition.”

The Kylie Collection is showing at the VA from the 8th of February until the June 10th. Admission is free.

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