Kylie Minogue: Where I am in life now, it's about moving forward and looking back
Aussie pop icon Kylie Minogue has been a style queen down through the decades. Now, ahead of the launch of a new album, she talks to Katie Wright about turning 50 and reveals her greatest fashion loves.
With a new album out this month, a tour starting in the autumn and a milestone birthday coming up in May, 2018 is shaping up to be a big year for Kylie Minogue.
"I'm trying to think of a way to say it without swearing," the singer says with a giggle when I ask how she's feeling about approaching the big 5-0. She's following her 50-something friends' lead, she adds, in streamlining her life and getting rid of anything that's holding her back (which could be a reference to calling off her engagement to British actor Joshua Sasse at the beginning of last year).
The Australian, who has called London home since 2011, says the new album, Golden, is as much about looking to the future as reflecting on the past when we meet at the launch of her second eyewear collection with Specsavers.
After 30 years in entertainment, Minogue knows a thing or two about fashion and fame. Here's what the pop princess had to say about looking back and moving forward during this landmark year.
Glasses are having a real high-fashion moment right now thanks to the likes of Gucci. Do you think about trends when you're designing?
I don't know if I go so much with fashion, or just more of a feeling. Certainly, with the pink and blue tinted lenses, I think they [Specsavers] did it just to quieten me down because I was driving them mad. I said, 'Please, please, please can we have them?', because when I would wear the pink tint, men and women would all go, 'Oh, I love them'. I want people of all ages across the country to be able to find something in the collection that works for them, because I'm really touched if someone chooses to invest in some of these frames.
Are there any returning fashion trends that you can't get on board with now because you remember them from the first time around?
There's some stuff I probably would like to do again, but it doesn't work for me now. Maybe if it was for a photo session or performance, that's different to me sitting here and wanting to feel like myself. But I don't think you'll catch me in a crop top again, for example. I mean those days are over!
Will we be seeing more of the cowgirl style from the Golden video when you go on tour later this year?
Yeah, we're going to have fun with that. It's going to be great - I cant wait! That style, lets face it, isn't new for me, but I think there's going to be rhinestone and fringing!
You recorded some of your album in Nashville. What was that like?
I loved every minute of it, and there's not that many experiences you can say that about. I arrived with one of my managers at the airport, and there was a guy playing guitar and singing before I even left the terminal. She (her manager) said, 'I'm gonna fall in love a million times here'. I was like, 'Great line for a song!' I didn't manage to put it in a song, but it was just that feeling of excitement and just knowing we were there for music and I was lined up to work with really good writers.
You've talked about how you had a bit of a tough time last year - is songwriting cathartic for you?
Oh it's brilliant, yeah - it's free therapy. When I started working on the album, I was just getting it all off my chest, and I'm kind of thankful now that the songs weren't very good. It was good to just, kind of, purge and then move onto writing songs that were not about someone - they were about me. This is about where I am in my life... looking back but also looking forward. I had made the decision that I just wanted to write and sing from the heart. Not that I haven't done before, but to really go a bit further.
You've got the big birthday coming up this year. How are you feeling about turning 50?
I feel mostly good. Obviously, I've got a number of friends who have turned 50 or are approaching 50, and the general vibe is that they just go, 'I don't have time or energy for all the other stuff'. If anything's slowing the ship down and is just old news or old noise, get rid of it, so you can get through smoother and more efficiently to where you want to go. I mean, other things about getting older are not so much fun, like you've got to take care of your body more, so ask me at the end of tour how it went.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to 18-year-old Kylie?
What I would like to do is be by her side constantly. But then again, maybe I wouldn't have learnt the lessons I've learnt. I'd say to keep a diary. There's definitely occasions now when I think, 'God, I really wish I had a detailed account of that day or that experience'. I'd tell to her to try not worry so much, but I can't imagine her listening to me It would fall on deaf ears!