The V&A is home to works of art including J. M. W. Turner and John Constable and treasures of the Renaissance such as Rapahel’s cartoons, but it also includes more modern and unexpected treasures such as Kylie Minogue’s dressing room.
In a new BBC2 series, Secrets of the Museum, rock and pop curator Vicky Broackets reveals that the museum has Kylie’s entire wardrobe and an exact replica of her dressing room from the Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour, donated on long-term loan by the Australian pop star herself.
The items featured in the London exhibition Kylie Minogue: Image of a pop star in 2007, and although not currently on display, Vicky said that they must remain well preserved, so that people will be able view them ‘100 years from now’.
Pieces include tour costumes, fan mail and the hair piece worn by Kylie, now 51, following her battle with breast cancer in 2005.
Kylie offered her entire wardrobe to the V&A on a long-term loan following her comeback tour, and Vicky insisted that the exhibit, although not currently on display, must remain well preserved, so that people will be able to see it ‘100 years from now’.
BBC2’s latest documentary series ‘Secrets of the Museum’ explores London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, including Kylie Minogue’s tour dressing room exactly as it was in 2007 (pictured is Kylie’s performance make up, and left, the hairpiece she used following her chemotherapy treatment)
The time capsule wardrobe exhibit was donated by the iconic pop star, following her Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour (Pictured is Kylie’s various performance outfits, hairpieces and gifts sent from fans)
She told: ‘It’s not a case of putting it in a case and putting on display.
‘Each object is looked after in a condition that means people will be able to look at it in 100 years from now.’
The curator went on to explain how after being invited to Kyle’s dressing room, she felt that the pop star was a ‘real person’.
She went on: ‘This is Kylie’s dressing room as seen and as existed at Wembley in January 2007.
‘We were allowed to go down to a show and meet Kylie in her dressing room and took this photograph to get a real authentic feel of what it actually looked like.
‘With that, we were able to evoke the feeling of what Kylie’s dressing room. What I saw was a real person.
Kylie offered her entire wardrobe to the V&A on a long-term loan following her comeback tour, she is pictured at the launch of f an exhibition of her stage costumes and fashion accessories at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 2006
‘She’s a real person with messy shoes on the floor, the costumes hanging up, things that looked like they’d been pulled out and put back in again in a hurry.
‘As well as this performance story, the objects communicated that human story. Every year it’s checked to make sure it’s in good condition.’
Kylie was diagnosed with cancer in May 2005 at the age of 36, and days after her diagnosis had to undergo surgery and chemotherapy, which led to her losing her hair.
Vicky spoke of Kylie’s comeback tour following treatment and told how at the time of the exhibit, there was ‘such an emotion’ about the star regaining her health and stepping back into the spotlight.
Kylie Minogue The Exhibition features the overalls Kylie wore as Charlene in Neighbours, the gold lame hotpants featured in her Spinning Around video, the white hooded jumpsuit in her video Can’t Get You Out of My Head and the corsets featured in the star’s Showgirls tour
Several of the popstar’s performance costumes were on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2007 (pictured, some of Kylie’s glitzy tour outfits)
She said: ‘This performance, at the time had been a very emotional moment. Because Kylie had been half way through a tour when she was diagnosed with breast cancer 18-months before and the tour had come to an immediate end.
‘This was the Showgirl Homecoming tour, so there was such a feeling around her. Such an emotion about her coming back on stage and being well.’
Museum conservator Susannah continued to point out a hairpiece worn by Kylie, and told how it showed the star did not wish to hide her diagnosis with the world.
She told: ‘The hair piece really shows us what she had been through, and that related to the fact she had come out of treatment for cancer.
One of Kylie Minogue’s performance costumes, which is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2007
‘She had lost her hair, but she wanted to show it, as it was not a disguise. That’s certainly what it says to me.’
Elsewhere in the dressing room, Vicky showed off fan mail, perfectly preserved, to Kylie from a young fan at the time.
Vicky explained: ‘It says to Kylie, “Thank you for letting me see you. You are the best ever pop star, from Emily”.
‘I think a lot of people think that about Kylie.’
Secrets of the Museum airs on BBC2 tonight at 8pm