Ever the pop chameleon, Kylie Minogue has had as many image makeovers through the years as she has had hits, most of which are collected together on new best of album Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection. Here are some of her visual highlights…
It was pretty appropriate that Kylie took a bubble bath in the video for “I Should Be So Lucky”, her first international hit courtesy of production trio Stock Aitken Waterman – back in 1988, her image was as squeaky clean as they come. These days, a pop star would reveal way more in a bathroom scene, but as Kylie filed her nails while wearing a dressing gown and sang to the camera in a corsage-adorned school formal dress, the 19-year-old Neighbours star exuded innocence.
Kylie kept things bright and basic in the video for 1989’s “Hand On Your Heart”, the first single from her second album Enjoy Yourself, wearing three matching dresses, one in each of the primary colours. She might have looked like she was, er, enjoying herself as she bounced her way around the video’s set, but her cheery demeanor masked rumblings of discontent. In 1992, she told TV Hits Magazine, “I hate the video for this one – I would change it if I could. The outfits in this one were awful.”
Sex kitten Kylie
It didn’t take long for Kylie to shatter her good girl image. After testing the water with 1990’s “Better The Devil You Know”, in which she cuddled up to a gym-pumped hunk and wore a slinky little black dress, she went full-on sex siren in 1991’s “What Do I Have To Do”. Featuring girl-on-girl dancefloor gyration, seriously steamy ironing and an acute case of bedhead, this was all the proof that was needed that Kylie was all grown up.
The 1990s were a time of experimentation for Kylie. After leaving the Hit Factory, she dabbled in edgier dance sounds on 1994’s Kylie Minogue (which boasted chart-topper “Confide In Me”) before going full-on indie in 1997 with sixth album Impossible Princess. To match her new musical direction, she tried out a stripped back, minimal image, as seen in the video for the album’s third single, “Breathe”.
As a new millennium began, Kylie re-embraced pure pop on 2000’s Light Years, which was heralded by the debut of one of her most iconic articles of clothing of all time: a tiny pair of gold butt-hugging hotpants. Found at a charity shop by her stylist William Baker, the shiny shorts were worn by Kylie in the video for “Spinning Around”, a sparkly disco tune that propelled her back to the top of the charts.
How to top those hotpants? How about a revealing white hooded jumpsuit that tempted fate with every turn Kylie made in the “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” music video. The most successful single of her career worldwide, the lead release from 2001’s Fever was a pulsating electronic smash that took her back to number 1 in Australia and the UK, and into the US top 10 for the first time in 13 years.
The music video for 2010’s “All The Lovers”, the first single from Kylie’s 11th album, Aphrodite, was less about what she wore – a stringy black-and-white outfit teamed with heeled white boots – and more about the message it sent. The clip featured a growing mass of semi-naked “lovers” of all sexualities and persuasions, with Kylie like a cherry on top – she wanted to reflect the diversity of her fans. Now that’s a good look.
Get all these songs and more on Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection, available here on CD and vinyl.
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