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Review: Kylie Minogue's wardrobe at the V&A

21 February 2007

Even more often than the line 'I should be so lucky', you're going to hear one thing repeated over and over if you go to this show: 'Oooh, in't she tiny?'. She is. Tiny.

In this exhibition at London's V&A Museum, you can get up close with Kylie Minogue's best-known costumes from stage and TV. To provide context, there are a couple of giant screens showing the single videos and live footage.

Photo of the exhibition floor, with big picture of Kylie behind mannequins modelling her clothes

The main exhibition floor. Photo ©V&A Museum

But the best costumes, you'll recognise immediately. There's the flimsy hooded costume from 'Can't get you out of my head', which must surely require sticky tape to avoid a wardrobe malfunction. There's the vampish yellow fluffy top and shorts worn in the 'Confide in Me' video and the silver spacegirl get-up from the recent tours. And to kick it all off, we have the virginal white dress she wore in 'I should be so lucky'.

One of the highlights is the recreation of Kylie's dressing room. You can see the dentists' chair she applies her make-up in, the marked-up photo pinned to the mirror to guide her, and the teddies given to her by fans. Although it's staged, there's fascinating detail.

Photo of Kylie's dressing room at the exhibition

The showgirl's restaged dressing room. Photo ©V&A Museum

There are some fantastic photos as well. At a time when most artwork is published no larger than 5x5 inches, it's good to see shots from Light Years and other sessions blown up large. If you enjoy photography, that bit alone is worth dropping in for. Kylie's record releases are collected and mounted too, which is perhaps the best illustration of how she has toyed with her image over time.

Some of the show is just memorabilia: the jumpsuit she wore as Charlene in Neighbours doesn't say anything about fashion or style. The gold hotpants from a car boot sale are only there because Kylie's been in them. The various trophies and gold disks assert her credibility as an A-lister, but don't add much else.

There's been a lot of chin-stroking in the press about whether a national institution should be 'dumbing down' by displaying a pop star's wardrobe. Private Eye published a spoof advert inviting you to see Kylie's pants at the "T&A... surely V&A? - Ed". In many cases journalists have focused on the infamous hot pants, which says more about the hacks than the curators and visiting public. This show's a good match for the V&A's fashion collections, and it's no bad thing if more of the taxpayers who underwrite the museum are attracted through its doors.

It's not a massive exhibition: three rooms of costumes, a small room playing a video and the dressing room. But you can spend a fascinating hour there, and there aren't many other pop stars with the style to pull off a show like this.

The exhibition runs until 10 June 2007. Pre-booking strongly recommended. Tickets are free, but there is a £2 fee for booking online. Feel free to leave your comments below.

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Kylie makes people feel good. In this evil-ridden, fallen world, that is worth all the tea in China. Nothing helped me as much after 9-11 as Kylie's optimistic, silly love songs.

Good bless her and congratulations V&A curators for having the courage to risk this exhibit.
Hey Sean, thanks for your visit and comment..
Here is the original source of the article..

Enjoy the rest of your day..
Thanks for dropping in with that link, Peety.

Thanks for your comments on Kylie too, Old Fox. The entirety of pop culture is built on silly love songs. And long may they reign.
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