Fans of Kylie Minogue – stop everything. A free exhibition celebrating the disco diva is coming to Ararat Gallery next month.
Drawn from her spectacular stage wardrobe at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Performing Arts Collection, Kylie on Stage features custom-made costumes dating back to 1989.
Fans between August 4 and October 7 will be able to see designs, drawings, photos and footage that explore the creative process behind each costume and provide rare glimpses.
The touring Arts Centre Melbourne and the Australian Music Vault exhibition features the work of designers Dolce and Gabbana, John Galliano, Julien Macdonald, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Peter Morrissey and Mark Burnett.
“It’s amazing really, what Kylie and her parents have done in sharing this,” Victorian Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley said at last year’s initial announcement.
“I believe it was her dad who approached the arts centre in the early ’90s because he was sick of all the costumes building up in the garage and house.
“Ever since they’ve kept a close relationship with the gallery and added pieces all the time.”
Five main themes
The exhibition moves through five main Kylie themes – Disco Diva Next door, Pink and Proud, Post-modern Pop Princess, Showgirl and Mercurial Moves.
Disco Diva Next Door
Kylie launched her first tour, Disco in Dreams, in Japan in 1989. The modest scale of the show allowed Kylie to experience the demands of international touring at her own pace. Working with Australian designers Ian McMaugh and Peter Morrissey, Kylie’s early costumes reflected ‘the girl next door’ image that had brought her international recognition as Charlene in the television series Neighbours.
Pink and Proud
Kylie met William Baker in 1994 and he styled many of the photographic shoots that helped promote her new image and the ‘indie’ sounds of her next two albums, Kylie Minogue (1994) and Impossible Princess (1997). Baker then joined Kylie’s creative team in 1998 to develop the Intimate and Live tour and has remained a driving force behind the look and feel of her tours ever since.
Post Modern Pop Princess
Kylie followed the stylistic direction of her 2002 album, Fever, down a more contemporary road for her subsequent tour. Baker worked with film designer Alan MacDonald to create a minimal and sophisticated look that had informed videos for singles such as ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’.
The Kylie Showgirl: The Greatest Hits tour followed the release of Ultimate Kylie: Greatest Hits in 2004. A celebration of how far Kylie had come over 15 years of live performance, each act was dedicated to a different interpretation of the showgirl as it had evolved over time. John Galliano’s blue feathered masterpiece, based on a Las Vegas showgirl, opened the show in spectacular fashion and soon became one of Kylie’s most iconic costumes.
Kylie explored darker, more avant-garde themes in the imagery for her album X, which was released in 2007. This helped define the look and feel of the Kylie X2008 tour and Kylie worked closely with French designer Jean Paul Gaultier to adapt hand-picked designs from his current haute couture collections to fit the mood of each act.