Kylie Minogue and William Baker, KYLIE FASHION

Throughout Kylie Minogue's career, fashion and image have been intertwined with her music.  Whether that fashion is a supplement to her sound or a substitution for her ability depends on whether or not one is a fan; but the history of her look is traced in loving detail in the coffee table book Kylie Fashion.

Written by Kylie Minogue and William Baker (Kylie's creative director), Kylie Fashion takes a chronological look at Kylie's fashion history, from her 1988 album Kylie to 2012's The Abbey Road Sessions.  In addition to full- and partial-page pictures from albums, concerts, promotions, and magazines, there are comments on the work from Kylie, William, numerous designers (including Jean Paul Gaultier someone from Yves Saint Laurent, and Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana), and photographers.  There are occasional bits of trivia as well; for example, Katerina Jebb observes, "I found the gold hot pants [in the video for "Spinning Around"] at the North End Road market in London for 50 pence."  There's also an introduction by Jean Paul Gaultier and an afterword from Kylie.
Kylie Fashion is essentially a lovefest between Kylie and all the people she worked with.  Everyone quotes in the book loves her, and she has nothing but praise for everyone she's worked with.  Some of the comments are grandiose ("...in bringing Kylie as Aphrodite to life, a perfect fusion of fashion and fantasy, the ultimate sartorial expression of a pop goddess") and some oddly silly.  (Baker notes, "It was truly exciting to witness Kylie's transformation into a sex siren of almost drag queen sensibilities," while Kylie observes on one outfit, "I was coming close to being a human disco ball!")  There is a bit more gravity when Kylie's fashion choices intersect with her recovery from breast cancer surgery, but Kylie Fashion is all about the looks, be they playful, sexy, haute couture, or out of this world.
"Fashion has been a permanent and continually evolving part of my career," says Kylie in her afterword -- and Kylie Fashion is a terrific look at, well, her looks throughout her career.  The photographs here are stunning, and while the continual praise can get a bit much, Kylie Fashion certainly delivers what the title promises.

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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