When Woman's Day speaks to Kylie Minogue over the phone from London, it's the eve of the Aussie pop icon's 50th birthday on May 28 – and for once, she's not sweeping this milestone under the rug.
"It's out of character because I normally play these things down, but I'm going for it this time," the warm, chatty star confesses. "I've got a lot of people flying in and my girlfriends are texting me to say, 'I need to go on a diet! I need a dress! What's the theme?'
"I'm feeling the love and excitement. I haven't caught up with some of the guests for 15 years, so it's an excuse to celebrate how important people have been at different stages in my life. I'm going to need a good breakfast to get through what will probably be a very long night!"
Adding to her high spirits, Kylie's just topped the charts with her 14th studio album Golden, which she recorded in Nashville, a "life-changing experience". Of its success, she says, "It's a bit overwhelming and beautiful. I've put in the work and felt real clarity this time, but at this point in my life, it feels like the current's going in my direction and the reaction has been lovely. Phew!"
It's 30 years since the former Neighbours star released her smash-hit debut "Locomotion" and the singer wishes she could go back to tell her younger self, "Enjoy the ride and trust yourself. A lot of times, I trusted other people more than I trusted myself. We're all given instincts for good reasons and sometimes I overlooked that."
And on the fashion front, she'd like to tell a young Kylie, "Just calm your hair down a bit. Maybe don't backlight that Bon Jovi bouffant! But it was the late '80s …"
When it comes to her many iconic looks, Kylie speaks fondly of the legendary gold hot pants she wore for her "Spinning Around" music video, the hooded bodysuit from the "Can't Get You Out of My Head" clip and the Balenciaga frock she sported in the "Slow" video.
However, her favourite fashion moment was a long-sleeved gold sequinned dress she wore at Cannes in 2012. She adds, "Oh, and there was a green Chloe dress that I wore at the NRJ Music Awards in 2004. I saw that again the other day, when I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. They have a recreation of my dressing room from 2007, which is so weird. They had these sandals which I'd spent ages looking for recently – I'd forgotten I'd given a bunch of my stuff to the V&A!"
These days, however, Kylie is going through a country phase and she admits, "All I'm wearing is denim shirts, boots and flowy Stevie Nicks skirts."
And she's rarely without a pair of glasses from her new Kylie Minogue Eyewear collection for exclusively at Specsavers. After experiencing headaches, the star first started wearing glasses in her 20s and she says, "I didn't necessarily need them – they weren't in my bag, with me all the time – but nowadays, they're definitely part of my life.
"I'm at that age where I go to dinner and someone hasn't admitted to themselves that they need glasses, so they're holding the menu close to their face and creeping into the light. I'll just go, 'Here, use my glasses!' I've got them everywhere.
"I know what it's like to have glasses as a younger person, which didn't bother me at all, and then when you're a bit older and you need them, there's a kind of kinship – you're not alone.
"I'm moved when someone chooses to wear my frames. As I realised when I was talking to the designer at Specsavers, on average, people keep their frames for about two years, so we're together for a long time. This is about people's livelihoods, how they got on in life, how they see and how they feel when they're wearing it."
Kylie – who counts herself as a fan of Kiwi stars Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Karen Walker – was supposed to be visiting New Zealand to promote her eyewear range, but the trip was cancelled at the last minute. Last on our shores in 2008 for her X World Tour, she hopes it won't be long until she's back in Aotearoa.
"The trouble is, it's so far away – it's like going home to Australia," she says. "I've only been there a couple of times, and I've always been in and out. My funniest memory was the first time I went, which must've been the late '90s. I was going through immigration and the guys stamping my passport gave me a wry look and said, 'You took your time, didn't you?'
"I probably went around the globe 50 times and it had taken me that long to nip over to New Zealand, but it was a warm welcome. I'm sorry I didn't make it this time, but I did watch the All Blacks play the Aussies in the World Cup in London, which was incredible. I will make it back!"
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