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Love at First Sight

22 May, 2020

 

Jenna Blyth, Registrar, Music and Art reflects on her favourite item from the Australian Performing Arts Collection.

The year was 2002, I was 20 years old and hitting my dancing strides in Melbourne’s outer suburban “nightclub” scene. Mobile phones were just becoming a thing, and the dance floor was flooded with very low cut pants and the (now) questionable practice of exposing one’s underwear.


Kylie Minogue's Gold Hotpants

 

Hot Pants worn by Kylie Minogue in the music video ‘Spinning Around’, 2000; Gift of Kylie Minogue, Cultural Gifts Program, 2004, Australian Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre Melbourne

 

In 2000 Kylie Minogue conquered the charts in Australia and the United Kingdom with the release of the dance floor filling album Light Years. The first single released, ‘Spinning Around’, was accompanied by a video that contained a pair of golden hot pants that quickly became iconic in their own right. In 2001, Kylie once more dominated the charts and the dancefloor with the release of Fever. The music video for ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ introduced us to the white jumpsuit – a look that most mortals could never hope to pull off, especially in a nightclub in Ringwood.


Kylie Minogue's White Jumpsuit

 

Jumpsuit designed by Mrs Jones, worn by Kylie Minogue in the music video ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’, 2001; Gift of Kylie Minogue, Cultural Gifts Program, 20004, Australian Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre Melbourne

 

It was in mid-June 2002 that Kylie unleashed the pop-dance anthem ‘Love at First Sight’. I remember the first time I saw the music video. In comparison to her previous videos this outfit was almost subdued. A plain white singlet and cargo pants, accessorised with a single ‘K’ earring, an orange upper arm bracelet featuring the ‘KM’ monogram, and a black cord lanyard with a single key hanging around Kylie’s neck. The video, directed by Johan Renck, holds tight on Kylie for the duration with an occasional fast look away then back again to Kylie.

It was during these briefest of moments that I experienced my own love at first sight. At very few moments during the video, the camera looks down to Kylie’s feet and we get a glimpse of a pair of banana yellow pointed stilettos emerging from underneath the cargo pants. They were dreamy. And in a pre-YouTube world, I could only see these beautiful shoes on a Saturday or Sunday morning, if Video Hits played the song and only if I was paying enough attention to glimpse the shoes. In the four minute video they are shown for a total of less than 10 seconds!


Australian Music Vault: Kylie on Stage exhibition

 

Installation view of Kylie on Stage exhibition at Arts Centre Melbourne, 2016. Photographer: Mark Ashkanasy

 

Fast-forward to 2018, I started working at Arts Centre Melbourne as the Registrar for the Music and Art collections. Arts Centre Melbourne already had the Kylie on Stage exhibition touring the state and I was part of the team to pack up the exhibition at the end of its time in Ararat. This was my first time working with the Kylie collection and the many iconic outfits that the display contained including the dazzling showgirl costumes and ethereal Aphrodite gown.

But for me – it was a pair of Dolce & Gabbana yellow pointed toe stilettos that made me stop in my tracks. The shoes in the exhibition were worn by Kylie during the 2002 Kylie Fever tour encore performance of ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’. And while these may not have been the exact pair worn in the video – they were certainly siblings. I was able to hold these treasured icons of my youth in my (gloved) hands and I most certainly got to look at them for more than 10 seconds!


Kylie Minogue Encore costume and shoes

 

Left: Costume worn by Kylie Minogue during Encore, KylieFever2002 tour, 2002; Gift of Kylie Minogue, Cultural Gifts Program, 2004, Australian Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre Melbourne

Right: Shoes designed by Dolce & Gabbana, worn by Kylie Minogue during Encore, KylieFever2002 tour, 2002; Gift of Kylie Minogue, Cultural Gifts Program, 2004, Australian Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre Melbourne

 

I’ve never owned a pair a banana yellow, pointed toe stilettos but I am happy knowing that these one’s are in the Australian Performing Arts Collection alongside all the other iconic Kylie outfits.

 

Jenna Blyth
Registrar, Music and Art
Australian Performing Arts Collection

 

Find out more about the Kylie on Stage exhibition and featured costumes.

 

Australian Performing Arts Collection logo

 

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