Vintage Travel Kat
Kylie Minogue_Spinning Around_Parlophone

Kylie’s flea market hot pants that became a pop cultural icon

This year marks the ‘21st birthday’ of Kylie Minogue’s playful, fun and sassy film clip for her Spinning Around – released on 13 June, 2000 through Parlophone.

The song was the first track released from Kylie’s seventh album, Light Years and carried a theme of ‘reinvention’. It was considered Kylie’s ‘comeback single’ and marked a distinct turning point in her career.

Kylie Minogue_Spinning Around. Image: Parlophone
Kylie Minogue in Spinning Around. Image: Parlophone

Accompanying the upbeat pop song was a music video in which Kylie famously dances around a nightclub and slides along its bar-top in a pair of skimpy, gold lame hot pants. It was directed by Dawn Shadforth. In it, she wears a top designed by Stella McCartney and leather gold shoes to accompany the hot pants.

I love the story around the hot pants and their journey to iconic pop status. They now reside at the Arts Centre Melbourne in the Kylie collection.

The hot pants were snapped up for a grand total of 50 pence at a flea market by Kylie’s friend, photographer Katerina Jebb, while the two were shopping together. Kylie wore them in a photo shoot and to a fancy-dress party before their appearance in the film clip.

In an interview with CNN Style published in November, 2020, Katerina Jebb said, “She and I love flea markets and vintage clothes – all the places you can find really unusual things nobody has. I saw them and said, ‘Give me 50p, I’m getting these for you.’ She put them on when we got home and they were perfect. She wore them for a fancy-dress party soon after.”

At this time, Kylie was working with stylist William Baker. In the 2002 book titled ‘Kylie: La La La’ by William Baker and Kylie Minogue (published by Hodder & Stoughton), Baker recalls his story around the hotpants and how they came to appear in the film clip.

“The night before the video shoot I went to Kylie’s house to see what delights Kylie’s wardrobe could supply. Under a jumble of trashy lingerie were the gleaming ruched hot pants. Dawn loved them, they clung perfectly to every curve of Kylie’s cheeky, peach-like bottom. The golden tones of Kylie’s outfit, skin and hair complemented the wood and glass veneer of the interior. Kylie spent every minute of the two-day shoot worrying about the pants disappearing into her cheeks and I was on the lookout to make sure everything remained in place for the sliding down the bar scene,” said Baker.

Kylie added: “I was so self-conscious in the miniscule hotpants, it was fortunate I wasn’t aware the camera was so snugly framed around my posterior.”

Baker continues, “By the end of the shoot after so much sliding and grinding, most of the lame had worn off the fifty-pence wonders, revealing two perfect circles of the white fabric base on the butt cheeks.”

Now, the hot pants are handled by white-gloved staff at the Arts Centre Melbourne who preserve this piece of pop history, along with 1000 other items in the Kylie Minogue Collection.

I love this story because it’s proof that you can shop vintage, pre-loved and second-hand and still look (or make!) a million bucks!

As a child, I wrote short stories, poetry and daydreamed about visiting exotic destinations dressed like a 1960s film star. I was able to realise some of my dreams over my career spanning more than 20 years in Australian publishing, working as the editor of Luxury Travel magazine, Vacations & Travel magazine and as editor of several drinks magazines. As a freelance writer, I've scribed for The Australian newspaper, T Magazine Australia (The New York Times), Escape (The Daily Telegraph), Delicious, Travel + Leisure Asia, Wine Selector, Wine Companion, Holidays with Kids and more. I founded Vintage Travel Kat in 2020, inspired to share stories of vintage-related travel, fashion and lifestyle with a fellow vintage-vibe tribe.

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