I think it's fair to say that I have always liked Kylie Minogue. When I was twelve or something, I bought I should be so lucky. It's not like it was cool or anything, I just heard the song on the radio and I thought it was completely brilliant. Thereafter, I bought all her records. All of them. Every album, every single. I remember when I was at school going down to the town and buying Enjoy Yourself on the Monday it was released and hurrying back. As I returned, I passed a couple of cool older youths who asked me what I had bought. 'The (far more cred) Cure', I lied, and burnt with shame at my inner weakness.
It's not like I am an obsessional fan. I don't hang around her back door and have only actually seen her in concert a couple of times, plus I'm not sure I have all the live albums. I just always loved her music. That she turned out to be the most sensational gay icon seems pretty coincidental to me. I am sure there are plenty of other gays who just happened to like her and buy all her records and then it became one of those things. Anyway, there's some top line background-type-stuff.
It's worth mentioning all this because last night I saw Kylie. In fact, I didn't just see Kylie, I stood about a metre from her as she delivered a speech opening her dresses exhibit at the V&A.
Don't believe me? Alright. Try this for size:
Kylie, William Baker and many, many Bulgari diamonds
Kylie, with the chairman of the V&A behind to her left and the director of the Arts Centre, Melbourne under the word 'plan'
Pretty cool, hey?
So, at these things there tend to be a number of celebrities, right?
Here's (the amazing) Dita von Teese.
... and DJing, blurry Gilles Peterson
... and Boy George
... and I also saw Jasper Conran and that permatanned poison-tongued Julien MacDonald. I'm sure Jasper wouldn't normally want to be even in the same sentence as Julien (let alone room) and in fact, thrillingly, I saw those queens totally ignore each other as they passed at the party last night. Unfortunately I didn't take photographs of them because my camera just couldn't cope with the excitement.
And why was I in such esteemed company? Well, because I had been asked along by TT. As it happens, he didn't really like the show very much, and gets into the debate about whether it was right or wrong for the V&A to put on the show or not [edit: see comments for TT's clarification of his views]. This debate was also mentioned during a speech by the unimaginably queeny arts editor of the Sunday Times who proceeded to say such debate was a load of rubbish because the exhibition was lots of fun (I'm paraphrasing here). Suffice it to say, it wasn't exactly the most analytical argument he ever put.
I attended with AW, and having schmoozed up the red carpet through the pink-lit portals of the V&A, we were both beside ourselves with excitement at the whole thing. It's not every day you attend a party that fabulous, and it totally zinged in all the right places. It had been on my mind that I might come home with a husband, and indeed I saw there a man so beautiful that it almost took my breath away. However, he stood aloof, on a higher plane, as indeed did many of the super-duper cool gays who could barely even focus on their honey martini, let alone a face across a crowded room. I bet they all secretly bought Kylie albums in the 1980s and hid them from the cool kids, though.
The Kylie party at the V&A; the most beautiful man who ever lived
The show is not actually particularly large - effectively three rooms, but it does showcase a lot of stuff which is naggingly familiar. It's like seeing family photos from childhood that you thought you'd lost. The overwhelming impression one gets is just how unfathomably tiny she is. Of course, having stood so close her, this wasn't a massive surprise but even so, her waist is so miniscule that those little white shorts she wore in the Spinning Around video could be used as a drag queen's sweatband.
The Can't Get You Out Of My Head dress
Kylie's Spinning around comeback hotpants
Feathers, feathers, feathers, by John Galliano
All around the room were Kylie's record sleeves. As I mentioned, I have them too, but as I went from one to another, I noticed that the perfect chronology of seven-inch records were occasionally interrupted by a random CD single or Japanese import. It's a shame. I could have filled in the gaps. Come to think of it, the V&A curators, or indeed Kylie herself, could still give me a call.
It's never too late.