май 2018, фотосессия для журнала Vogue Australia (фотограф Nicole Bentley)

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hemulith
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май 2018, фотосессия для журнала Vogue Australia (фотограф Nicole Bentley)

Непрочитанное сообщение hemulith » 23.04.2018 19:16

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Kylie Minogue on ending her engagement, turning 50 and the highlight of her 30-year career
Photographed by Nicole Bentley, styled by Kate Darvill, Vogue Australia, May 2018.
by SOPHIE TEDMANSON


Kylie Minogue is dancing on a bed in a Schiaparelli mini-dress. She launches herself high into the air, as if leaping from a trampoline, kicking her legs up behind her. Her long blonde hair flings across her face, which is filled with absolute childlike joy, eyes closed, a grin from ear to ear.

For a moment she resembles the pre-tween Kylie who used to play elastics and run free under the sprinklers with her sister Dannii in the backyard of the Minogue family home in suburban Melbourne in the 1970s. But this is Kylie on the cusp of 50, an international superstar, dancing, carefree, healthy and happy.

Minogue is entering her next decade with a new lease on life. The past 18 months for Australia’s pop princess was turbulent, marked significantly by a very public broken engagement to British actor Joshua Sasse that she initially refused to admit was a problem – the “troubs”, as she refers to it, her eyes steely as she brings up her troubled love life, which led to an emotional breakdown and her losing her voice and retreating into the freedom of songwriting in the sanctity of Nashville. But as she reaches her milestone birthday this month, with a new album, a new sound and new happiness, she’s achieved closure with the break-up, celebrated 12 years being free from cancer, marked 30 years in the music industry, made a successful return to acting, and is even accepting the idea of looming menopause: Minogue is embracing a “no troubs” 2018.

“It’s really great to be back and have no troubs … last year was a little stressful,” she says warily. It is just before Christmas and we are now sitting in the back room of Franque, a design, art and antiques store in Toorak, sipping herbal tea and picking occasionally at a bunch of grapes on the table. She continues unprompted: “I think we all know that things were not going great in my relationship, but, you know, when you’re kind of deluded and you’re thinking maybe, maybe … maybe this needs saving. Turns out, it didn’t. But your family, they can see through all of that, and they probably just want to shake you and go: ‘Can’t you see what’s happening, and what’s happening to you?’

“And what was happening was I was having like a slow, steady nervous breakdown, seriously! So jump to this year, firstly I don’t know where the year’s gone. I think I was in studios for most of it and I really am feeling better than I have in such a long time.” She contemplates this for a moment, then adds: “I don’t think life is ever smooth sailing; you’ve still got to navigate your way. But all in all, I feel pretty good and the process of making an album all of this year has been good to kind of centre me. I’ve learnt a lot about songwriting … having two weeks in Nashville, that changed so much for me.”

Minogue finishes her herbal brew and pours us both another. She prefers classic “robust builder’s tea” – a sign she is a true Londoner after three decades living in England – but there isn’t any to hand. I notice she’s taken her The Row slides off under the table and while moments ago she seemed so tiny – she is only five foot tall, and the loose-fitting cornflower-blue Viktoria & Woods pantsuit she is wearing drapes her petite frame – the longer we talk, and the more Minogue, or “Min” as she calls herself, opens up about her extraordinary life, the bigger she becomes. She is confident, funny, charming. Self-deprecating, even. (“That’s like the glossy version of me, not the bogan-at-home-wearing-Uggs-or-thongs version” she amusingly reveals at one point.) And surprisingly honest. She is a fighter who bounces back time and again, whether it be over issues of love, health or her position in the ever-fickle music industry. Resilience springs to mind. I ask if she would describe herself as resilient, and she says she is like a pony at the gate – a somewhat feisty, optimistic pony.

“Yes, I think I am, I mean, I’m sensitive, but I’m resilient, and that makes me a contradiction in many, many ways,” she laughs and rolls her eyes. “I drive myself crazy. I’m a Gemini: yes, no, yes, no, yes, no, both! I’ll say one thing, and then ‘on the other hand …’ But I’m pretty pragmatic as well. What else are you going to do? I guess I’ve been lucky. I’ve always had opportunity in my life. I’ve never really felt like all the doors are closed. I don’t really know what I mean by that. It’s not necessarily a career thing. It’s just how I was raised; it is my lot in life.

“The one thing that would drive me crazy, and I’ve used this analogy before, I’ve said: ‘Just don’t close the gate on pony. Pony is very happy.’ You know, I can amuse myself. I’m more of a clown than anyone.”

I’m still trying to figure out the pony analogy as Minogue continues. “Crystal [her hairdresser, Christopher] says I’m like a theme park: it’s open, all the rides are going, everything’s going, and when it’s shut, it’s shut. There’s no in-between. But the pony analogy is: just don’t shut the gate. If you shut the gate, I’m going to go wild. I will kick up a real stink. But if you leave the gate open, I’m not going to leave. It’s a mental thing, knowing that there’s a freedom. I like that there’s the option.

“I mean, I’m like a serial monogamist, but there’s still something that … it’s like the horse whisperer. Give him a long leash, he’ll do what you want! It’s the same with clothes. The amount of times I’ve said: ‘Just cut it, cut it, cut it!’ A sense of being trapped, that’s the thing that sends me crazy.”

Since she brought up the subject of monogamy, I ask why, after so many years in long-term relationships with partners – Michael Hutchence, Olivier Martinez – who made significant impacts on her life without her walking down the aisle, why did she decided that Sasse was the one she actually wanted to marry? Minogue admits she felt she needed to conform to see if perhaps this time it would work differently; maybe not marrying was where she had gone wrong in the past.

“I never thought I would,” she says. “And I think part of the reason I was engaged was I thought maybe that’s where I’m going wrong: that’s what people do! And I’ve always been too afraid of it or too, I don’t know, I didn’t give off any signals that I would ever say yes.”

What is it that she is too afraid of? “It’s just the pony thing!” she smiles. “Like: ‘Oh my god! I’m not going anywhere, just don’t [shut the gate].’ I need to see a psychologist, clearly.”

I ask Minogue if now, being single at nearly 50, she would consider having children on her own? And she nods. “Yeah, I did pursue that,” she says, considering her response carefully. “That didn’t … that obviously wasn’t the path for me, either. But, I think now … I love being an auntie. And I mean, if I was to meet anyone – that sounds really gloomy – but if there’s one person on the planet Earth who might like me and I might like them, [then] the chances are pretty high that that person would have children anyway. So I think it’s more [likely] in that vein, than having children of my own.”

Spending time with her family, and her nieces and nephews, helped Minogue enormously with her break-up. As did getting back into the recording studio, one as far away from her London home as Nashville, Tennessee. You would think Nashville, the country-music capital of the world, would be an odd choice for Minogue, Australia’s chameleonic pop princess, to migrate to. But her new album, Golden, was transformative in many ways for the singer. Maybe it was her heartache. Country music is, after all, best listened to while wallowing in the blues. Or maybe it was the milestone she is facing this year. Gold is, after all, traditionally the colour of the 50th anniversary. But the result is a country-pop crossover, and Minogue’s most personal lyrically since Impossible Princess 20 years ago.

“I look back at lyrics and I just think: ‘My gee, you weren’t having a good day!’” she says. “And I remember the days, some of those lyrics that I just went: ‘Raaa.’ So they were very personal, but I think that these songs are probably more accessible. If you speak to anyone else about Nashville, they’ll tell you the same thing: there’s just something there. So I worked with great people and what I took, my takeaway from there, was putting the story in the song.

“I didn’t want any songs that weren’t believable. So even if they’re not necessarily, like, that actual thing didn’t happen to me, it’s something that my near-50-year-old self is going to sing and it’s believable, and it’s truthful in that respect. It’s not kind of: ‘See you down the club.’ You know, I’m a bit more wine bar at this stage! I’ll party once in a while, but it’s really once in a while.”

Minogue adored immersing herself in Nashville, even with the “billion degree” summer heat. She spent several weeks in maxi-dresses (her current sartorial preference: “These days I like to let it all hang out!”), ensconced in songwriting and collaborating with locals.

“It was so hot and summery,” she says. “I wasn’t recognised, just got about my day in a floaty dress, went to the studio, worked with great people, went to [Nashville’s iconic clubs] the Bluebird and the Listening Room … it was absolutely instrumental. So, after that, when I went back to London, I couldn’t un-know what I just learnt.”

She is at pains to point out Golden is not all about the break-up with Sasse, it’s more an existential examination of break-ups in general and what they mean to an individual. Or at least to Minogue.

“Initially what I wrote, that cathartic kind of time or being able to work through that stuff, was way more literal, and they just weren’t very good songs. So I’m kind of glad that they didn’t make it, because I don’t want an album about my ex,” she says. “And what I think it’s turned out to be is more a kind of stepping back and going, well, what’s my relationship with any life? What does it all mean, and what just happened? God knows it’s not the first break-up for me or the first time I’d thought I got it right but I had not, so it did give me some content. But I’m just glad that it became more about the broader question mark.”

She admits Golden is heavily influenced by her surroundings. The film clip for the catchy single Dancing even has her dressed as a line-dancing rhinestone cowgirl, but she did not want to turn too country. “We did some songs in Nashville that were a step too far for me,” she says with a laugh, adding they sounded great in Tennessee, but once she got back “into my real world” they were a step too far. Too Dolly Parton? I offer. She grins. “I actually bought a great T-shirt in Nashville that said: ‘What would Dolly do?’ Because my love for her just grows and grows really. I’ve met her once and my hands ended up around her waist. I don’t know why, I was so star-struck, I didn’t really know what I was doing. It was before seeing her perform at the Hollywood Bowl, and it was the first time I’d seen her live and it was like seeing the light.”

At one point during recording the album Minogue admits she lost her voice, something she blames on her emotional state. “Interestingly, when I first started recording, because I’d had such a … it wasn’t so much heartbreak, it was stress, because I knew I wasn’t being kind to myself and I wasn’t being truthful to myself,” she says. “And yet when you’re in that state where you look back and go: ‘Why couldn’t you?’ It’s painfully obvious what was happening. But, of course, we’ve all been there, and in the moment, you’re still like … you just got to make it. I didn’t even know what I was trying to do, but my body was suffering, so I was in the studio and there was a part of my voice that didn’t entirely go missing but was very different to before … This rasp, and it made sense to me because I thought my body is having a bit of a nervous breakdown. You know, the shakes. So, of course, that’s going to be reflected in my voice, and, it’s better now, it hasn’t really left, but I quite like it.”

Golden also marks Minogue’s return to Mushroom via BMG. Mushroom Group’s Michael Gudinski has known Minogue since she was a teenager on Neighbours, as she first dipped into pop music via Stock, Aitken and Waterman. Gudinski and his wife Sue are considered second family to Minogue, and he has been one of her biggest champions throughout her career – his company Frontier Touring has always been her promoter in Australia and New Zealand. In early December, Mushroom hosted a listening party for selected Australian media to introduce Minogue’s new music. It was a like a bizarre silent disco: dozens of critics sitting in a bar with earphones playing several exclusive tracks, initially a little surprised by the boot-scootin’ beat of Dancing, then slowly starting to shuffle their feet to the tunes, including the splendidly poignant driving ballad Radio On, and the disco classic Raining Glitter. An emotional Gudinski fist-pumped the air at one point. “Our girl is back home,” he said figuratively and literally as Minogue then made a surprise appearance and the energy in the room lifted 100 per cent. She had just flown in from holiday in Thailand fresh-faced, tanned and dressed in yet another maxi-dress, and the affection for her was obvious as seasoned journalists honed in to have a quick chat and their photo taken with her. Gudinski says the key to Minogue’s enduring success is her continued ability to reinvent herself and knack of surrounding herself with the right creative people.

“It’s something that really builds from within her, she’s grown over a period of time, much more confident,” he says. “She knows what she wants, whether it be the curly hair, the gold hotpants, the performances in different situations, the duets she’s had.”

He adds that her strength of family has held her together. “She’s just a really decent, well-brought-up girl,” he says. “But she’s no wimp! She will put her foot down. In this business you need to be a leader not a follower, and she’s kept pushing the boundaries and her parents have been right behind her, her mother is an absolute gem and used to go on the road and do her wardrobe with her, so she has stayed remarkably grounded through a journey that could have … sure, she’s had her trials and tribulations, but she’s just remarkable.”

Minogue’s sister Dannii, herself a chart-topping star, says the family unit – mother Carol, father Ron and brother Brendan – are extremely tight-knit. They bonded like most Australian families over their “low-key” suburban childhood, including “daggy” family caravan trips driving from Melbourne to the Gold Coast with nothing but ‘I, spy’ for entertainment.

“I remember Kylie was always into fashion. She loved it and she was sort of putting on characters and becoming characters, so I think that’s why she was initially drawn into those things,” recalls Dannii. “But I think now with the songs and the music videos and all of that I think she gets to create all these different worlds. I think she always liked being cool. She had to have certain things … but our best memories are the daggy stuff like playing under the sprinkler outside. I used to play a game with her called elastics … it was a lot of fun, a very low-key growing up.

“Even though we get to do these extraordinary things and go to amazing places now, and we love a lot of that, we laugh because we didn’t grow up with that, we were very, very low-key and had some great memories. Back then it was holidaying in the caravan and driving up to Queensland, going to a theme park and the beach. We would drive all the way from Melbourne and there were no iPads or iPhones or whatever, you just had ‘I, spy’. It’s hilarious to look back on all the times, but they were great times. And I guess that created a close bond together, that’s why we are so tight knit.”

The Minogue sisters FaceTime regularly or leave WhatsApp voice messages for each other and for Dannii’s seven-year-old son Ethan, and Dannii says they share a shorthand when one is on stage: “We have this thing with each other if we see each other before the show, we will be like: ‘Okay, you do the nerves and I’ll just get up there and do the show.’”

Dannii says her proudest moment with her older sister was when Minogue returned to performing after her cancer treatment in 2007, for her Showgirl tour, and asked Dannii to perform the duet Kids onstage at her homecoming concert in Melbourne.

“It was unbelievable. Every time I hear that song, even if it comes on the radio, it takes me straight back there. We rehearsed it and I didn’t know if I was going to go on stage, and my mum was saying: ‘I think she wants you to go on.’ And I’m like: ‘Cool, anytime she needs me I’m there’, and I did and it gave her a little boost and there was a bit where we were just twirling at the end at the stage and it was just like us as kids playing in the back garden and running through the sprinkler and being free, and it had that energy of family.”

Last Christmas, says Dannii, the family saw a refreshed Minogue, one who is ready for her new album and her next chapter. “Now she’s clearly so happy that it’s resonating through … people who know her very closely know how happy she is,” Dannii says. “And I’m glad she is also going further afield with her work. It is so important to her that it’s great, that it’s wrapped up with good energy. Because she puts everything into it, and I think you can’t but help have all of your personal life in songs and bring it on stage with you, like it is a part of you.”

Back in Franque, our tea has gone cold and our time is almost up. Minogue puts her slides back on: “They’re The Row – I like a lot of what they do.” I mention her fashion connections and how, on a recent holiday to Portofino, I had the best langoustine I’ve ever eaten at an off-the-track seaside restaurant and, because I was Australian, the staff immediately showed me a photo of Minogue eating the same dish while at dinner with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who own a villa nearby.

“Did you go to Da u Batti? Stop! I’m so happy for you! It’s the best thing,” she, says grinning at the memory of the exquisite dish.

“One of the reasons I have been to Portofino a number of times is because Dolce and Gabbana have the house there. It’s a non-holiday holiday, a glamorous holiday. Non-holiday because there’s so many paparazzi around, you can’t kind of just spend the day on the boat.”

Fashion has been significant in Minogue’s working life and she’s forged long-term and often personal relationships with international designers. As well as holidaying with Dolce and Gabbana, Minogue is a muse to Jean Paul Gaultier, with whom she has collaborated with on tours and album covers, and she also took respite at the Biarritz holiday home of Karl Lagerfeld after her chemotherapy treatment in 2005.

While Minogue has been delving into a country-themed wardrobe for her most recent stage performances, she says she is enjoying supporting newer labels, including Alice McCall and Ralph & Russo, for her various appearances.

As we stand to leave, she muses: “I wonder what I would be like if I didn’t have this job and I didn’t have the opportunity to dazzle up, gown up, be flamboyant … if I had a nine-to-five office job.”

For someone who has had such an extraordinary career, which has included performing at the Sydney Olympics closing ceremony and being presented with an OBE by Prince Charles, the concept is bizarre.

I ask Minogue what her highlight from the past three decades would be. Without a beat, she recalls: “I love the moment of first hearing Locomotion on the radio. There was a station called Eon FM, and Locomotion had been released, and there was a show called Top 8 at 8, so 8pm, but they were listener-voted songs, so it wasn’t the charts. And all of us were at home. At this time, we had the radio on, they were started at number eight, then seven, six, but the closer it got, the more dejected we became. Then they said: ‘We’ve got a new song in at number one … Locomotion, and we were just like: ‘Ahhh!’” She squeals and her face lights up like a schoolgirl again.

That was 30 years ago, when Kylie was just 20. And what about now. How does she feel to be turning 50?

“I don’t know,” she ponders for a minute. “I’ve been more comfortable with myself, and I think that’s something that does come with age. I was just telling my friend [50] is a lot of years on planet Earth! But to be at this age and still have possibilities and having been through some ups and downs, you know, being unwell was the biggest. So, I don’t even know how to answer that question. But I would like to think that I’ll just embrace life more, as much as possible. Yeah!”
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май 2018, фотосессия для журнала Vogue Australia (фотограф Nicole Bentley)

Непрочитанное сообщение hemulith » 04.05.2018 16:03

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