Style Evolution: Kylie Minogue's 10 most talked about looks
It started with a perm, and now, after 30 years of kaleidoscopic looks, Kylie’s come full circle and the curls are back.
She launched on to our screens in 1986 as Charlene Mitchell in Neighbours, with a head full of blonde curls and by 1987, thanks to her on-screen romance with Jason Donovan’s character, she became a household name.
She signed a record deal then and by 1988 had released hit single, The Locomotion, still holding on to the signature perm. In the intervening years she’s swapped out the curls, hoop earrings and denim jeans for hot pants, thigh-high boots and feathered headdress.
Between the perm of 1986 and the perm of 2016, we take a look at Kylie’s style evolution with 10 of her most famous looks.
1. The perm of 1986 and 2016
We fell in love with an 18-year-old Kylie with a head full of curls and hairdressers around the world were bombarded with requests for the ‘six-week perm,’ a request that lasted well in to the 90s.
She spent the majority of the rest of her career with straightened locks, varying between shades of blonde and brunette, but never did we think we’d see her with curls again. But next thing we know, the 47-year-old star surprises us all when photos of her emerged out and about in London over the weekend with tight corkscrew curls.
She wasn’t fronting a show or performing for the queen when the revelation was made — no she was just out having dinner with her 28-year-old actor fiancé Joshua Sasse.
2. The pixie crop
The saying goes that when a woman changes her hair, she’s about to make a major life change.
In 1989, the singer started dating Michael Hutchence, a relationship that lasted two years. During this time she not only got rid of the perm, but she chopped her locks off entirely and went for a short pixie cropped look instead.
Earlier this year, she said her father wasn’t too happy about it at the time.
“Years ago when he saw me after I’d cut my hair into a pixie crop... let’s just say, it wasn’t his favourite. He said, ‘Where have all your golden curls gone?’ Don’t worry dad, they are never far,” she wrote on Instagram last February.
3. The gold hot pants
Who can forget the hot pants? She changed record label in 1992 and took a break in 1998, but by the millennium year, she was ready to start spinning the decks again and released Spinning Around in 2000.
Whether it was her derriere in gold spandex or the
musical arrangement of the hit song, the video for
Spinning Around meant that Kylie was back.
4. The ice-skater dress
By 2001, Kylie was back at all the major award shows and it was no longer her perm that got people talking but instead her backside.
She appeared at the MTV European Music Awards in Stockholm in 2001, wearing a dress that left little to the imagination, neither at the front nor the back. This was her sequin-covered ice-skater outfit with a thigh-high slit that meant the dress didn’t fall past the hip bone at the front, nor the coccyx bone at the back.
5. All white on the night
In her 2001 video for Can’t Get You Out of My Head, another hit tune, she decided to cover up, so much so that the outfit came with a hood. Well, when we say cover up, the fabric of the white-hooded outfit was so sheer that was it could easily be described as see-through.
As well as being see-through, the famous ensemble left a gaping hole along her stomach and chest area, despite it having long sensible sleeves.
6. The Justin Timberlake dress
In 2003 with her career as strong as ever, the superstar performed at the Brit Awards in a duet with Justin Timberlake.
The fabric of this outfit might have been boring and just black but it fell in its usual place, just below her derriere, and whether the outfit itself was memorable or not, it stands out as the one Justin caressed her backside in.
7. The thigh-high boots
Nearly as signature a look as the perm, Kylie Minogue loves to wear her boots at a thigh-high level. Kylie loves them so much that she wears them on stage with her hot pants and mini-skirts and she wears them off stage and out and about with denims or tights when she’s getting her groceries. She’s worn them in suede, she’s worn them in leather, and she’s worn them in black, silver and red, the thigh-high boot is as Kylie a trademark as the perm.
8. The Showgirl
Kylie was in the middle of her Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour in 2005, when she was diagnosed with cancer. Ever the professional and living by the adage that the show must go on, she resumed her concerts post-treatment, but under the title of Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour.
She then drafted in designer John Galliano to create a comeback ensemble and she performed in 2006, covered from head to toe in feathers, in her first post-cancer appearance.
Maybe not the most iconic of her looks over the last three decades, but any star that tries to recreate the appearance of an ancient goddess is sure to garner some international attention. In 2011, Kylie performed on stage dressed as Aphrodite, as part of her Aphrodite Les Folies tour covered in white and gold and complete with a bejewelled headdress as designed by Dolce and Gabbana. She later donated the outfit to the Arts Centre Melbourne.
10. The pearly queen
For the Queen Elizabeth’s jubilee in 2012, Kylie impersonated the queen, but not the royal one, the Like a Virgin one — Madonna.
Performing a string of her top hits, Kylie decked herself out in black hot pants, a black biker jacket and a black chauffeur’s cap, all embellished with white buttons and pearls. Then when she overheated during her regal performance, she whipped off the jacket to showcase her pearl-covered corset.