Kylie Minogue’s iconic show costumes go on display in Melbourne

Kylie Minogue has made a triumphant return home to Melbourne to open a new exhibition celebrating her live performances.

The exhibition at the Arts Centre Melbourne features costumes from her iconic shows, including the Showgirl tour and Aphrodite Les Folies tour.

Minogue has donated dozens of her costumes dating back to 1989 for the Arts Centre’s Kylie on Stage exhibition, which opens today.

“I’m hoping I’m not going to be that woman with 18 cats and just boxes of stuff everywhere,” Minogue joked of raiding her storage units in Melbourne and London to find outfits. “It could happen.” Back home briefly to open the free exhibition, Minogue got emotional during a private preview.

“They basically had to kick me out,” she said. “It’s my natural urge to go and rearrange things and check everything’s fine. There’s a whole lot of my life and stress and triumph and tears and blood and cuts and all sorts of things now on display there. They all look a lot better than when I did donate them.”

It is the second time the Arts Centre has staged an exhibition of the singer’s costumes. Head of collections Janine Barrand said there were hundreds of items to choose from.

Some of Minogue’s most iconic stage outfits are featured, from a budget Australian-flag themed jacket from her first major tour in 1989 to high-end bespoke couture from designers Jean Paul Gaultier and Dolce and Gabbana on subsequent world tours. “I would never have reached that point in time or place without the Lycra and Janome and sewing a few beads on back in 1989,” she admitted of her early DIY fashion choices.

Minogue, who heads to Queensland next month to film Flammable Children with Guy Pearce, said she jumped at the opportunity to open her wardrobe to the world again.
“If I had the opportunity to see Prince’s wardrobe when I was 14 I would have been there every day,” she said.

“We could have shared the same mannequin, I think we were the same size. I do look at those mannequins and think ‘I’m so small!’
“I’m happy I’ve had this career, I would never have dreamt as a 14 year old who would have seen Prince’s wardrobe and was learning to cut patterns with my grandmother that I would have had this kind of life and career and all these beautiful costumes to share with people. I’m really pleased and honoured.”

Minogue said she had come a long way since cutting out patterns with mother and grandmother around the kitchen table in the late 1990s. “I would never have reached that point in time without the Lycra and the Janome [sewing machine] and throwing a few beads on something back in 1989,” she said.The Arts Centre’s previous Kylie exhibition was visited by over 300,000 people in Melbourne and over a million when it toured the world — Kylie on Stage is also expected to travel after it closes on January 22.

Minogue and her family have donated over 800 pieces of her clothing and memorabilia to the Arts Centre, including the infamous gold hotpants from the Spinning Around video.
The hotpants, which were included in the previous exhibition, were purchased for 50 cents.

Minogue admitted she first wore them at a fancy dress party in London with the theme of Nerds, Tarts and Tourists.
“That was their first big night out with me. Considering they only did one video (and) there was a lot of work on the bar, they’re a little worn away. They’re very fantastically preserved. If there was one piece I’d sneak in at night like a cat burglar to steal them they’d be the hotpants.”

The exhibition is free and will be on at the Arts Centre Melbourne until January 22.

Written by Cameron Adams and Robyn Powell (


Leave a Reply