Style
An Open Letter To Kylie Minogue On Her Birthday
May 28, 2015
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Kylie Minogue Collage

I have never written a fan letter in my life and this is the most personally revealing post I have published to date. So here goes…Happy birthday to the divine Ms Kylie Minogue!

Dear Kylie,

I was five years old when I Should Be So Lucky was released.  I have re-enacted that scene from the music video where you blew bubbles into the air from a foaming bathtub, at every opportunity since 1988. That same year I was given your debut album on cassette for Christmas. The album cover shot with blonde perm spilling from the top of a wide brim hat is a classic. My mum was also perming her hair in those days and I couldn’t wait until a time when I would be considered old enough to follow suit.

I found a $3 copy of an unauthorised Kylie biography at Franklins and read it countless times. My favourite image of you in that book was looking elegant at 1989 Logie Awards in that chocolate coloured 1930’s style creation you co-designed with Gursel Ali. I would still wear that dress today!

Kylie Minogue Debut Album

Left: Kylie – debut album cover. Right: The recreation for Stylist Magazine.

As I got older and started school, you lost me for a while during what I’ll call “The Michael Hutchence Phase.” You became a little too provocative for a prudish 7yr old, but I learnt to appreciate this chapter more in retrospect, once I’d caught up on some growing up.

For all your incarnations, there isn’t a period I can recall truly disliking, at the very least I willingly went along with every experiment. As an introverted teenager I felt pigeon holed and misunderstood by my many of classmates. I endured this with a handful of wonderful close friends and a lot of quietly ambitious daydreaming about my future. Dreams became my theme song and I attempted layered red locks inspired by the Some Kind of Bliss video. I wish This Girl had been on the original album release, I didn’t discover it until many years later. It was perfect for that time in my life and remains a personal anthem of mine.

Kylie Tropical Compilation

Kylie photographed by Xevi Muntane (source) and Ellen Von Unwerth for GQ Germany (source).

I used my dad’s only 3hr VHS tape to record your Intimate and Live Tour televised special. I kept it hidden for years so he wouldn’t tape over it, he had a habit of taping over all that was dear to me, including my few recorded dance performances. The behind the scenes interview of that concert was my introduction to Willie Baker, who I would also like to acknowledge and show due credit for his invaluable contribution to some of my favourite “Kylie” moments.

Light Years was being released as I finished high school. Spinning Around put a spring in my step as I imagined leaving high school and being able to reinvent myself, away from people that had so many misconceptions. I swooned over the sun kissed aesthetic of this record and hoped I would be able to pull it off with a little more time in the sun.  Speaking of sun tans, thank you for singing “can’t” as in “rub on some lotion, the places I can’t reach” on Loveboat like an Aussie/Brit and not an American. I smile every time I hear it.

Kylie Minogue Fever

Left: Kylie photographed by William Baker in 2007 (source). Right: Fever album photo shoot by Vincent Peters (source).

The following year I started university and while most people couldn’t get that jersey jumpsuit out of their heads, I was all about the silver fringed dress and the return of the perm.  Not to mention the pared back, mic cord tangled album artwork of Fever, and the pink hula hoop shoot which just giggles with girly fun!

Despite being heart broken to hear of your cancer diagnosis, I was confident you would kick cancer’s arse with the toe of a pointy Manolo. For a while though I selfishly feared that this would be the moment you would decide that your priorities had changed and would give up the limelight for something else. I didn’t want to imagine a world without a new Kylie album… or book… or tour… or magazine spread etc. I had tickets for the Showgirl tour before it was postponed and I keep the postcard that announced the rescheduled dates on my dressing table. That black and white image with the sweeping tulle skirt and flower your hair appealed to my love of all things flamenco and is a symbol of endurance, survival and comeback for me.

Kylie Minogue Showgirl Homecoming

The Showgirl Homecoming announcement, a permanent fixture on my dressing table.

For a few years I was an event stylist in Melbourne. I can’t tell you how many times I referenced something you had done in an idea or mood board. Sometimes it was completely unintentional! I would have the idea, put some key word search into Google and voila! Out would come a Kylie video, concert, costume, photo shoot etc, some that I had never seen before.  Proof that either great minds think alike, or how much influence your career has had on me?

I got married two years ago and I knew that a traditional white wedding dress wasn’t for me, but what would I wear? It was an easy decision, cobalt was trending and blue is my husband’s favourite colour. Looking in the boutique mirror wearing an electric blue, Carla Zampatti gown, another factor unexpectedly sealed the deal as I had a flash of Aphrodite. I’ve always been drawn to the Grecian goddess look, so it was a dream to see you capture it so beautifully in the aesthetic around that album and tour. I was so thrilled to channel that little bit of Kylie on my big day!

Kylie Minogue Aphrodite

Aphrodite Tour program, t-shirt and picture of me on my wedding day.

Funny I have a Kylie associated memory for every stage in my life. While these have been the most significant, there has been a glitter fall of style and music moments that have captured my imagination including a sultry Chocolate dipped clip, filled with Busby Berekley style choreography; the tropical daydream inducing Chloe banana body suit; and mystery of a bejewelled Natasha Lawes phantom mask. Oh how to pick just a few? I would never claim to be your biggest fan/Lover in Kylie fan speak, but I will boldly bestow myself with the title of Most Respectful Admirer. Thanks for being fabulous you.

Much love from one Impossible Princess to another,

Madam ZoZo

 

Cover pic collage by moi, Madam ZoZo, using photos borrowed from Kylie’s facebook page.

About author

Madam ZoZo

Hi! I'm Madam ZoZo, aka Zoë, an Australian designer, creative consultant, blogger and digital nomad. I'm passionate about travel, design, dance and new experiences that fuel my creativity. I strive to travel in a style that is gentle on the earth and that contributes to the communities I visits, even if it is merely to take away a greater understanding of a different culture. Duende by Madam ZoZo, is where I share the stories of my travels and the duende (soul/inspiration) I find along the way.

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