Fashionably Kate?

The style section of The Guardian has commented on the current fad for all things ‘Kate Bush’: “The return of Ms Bush to the fashion cognoscenti’s consciousness is, in our humble opinion, the best trend for yonks. First, we had the pleasure of watching Fran Cutler (remember her?) at frostfrench’s show last week mouthing along to the song Babooshka. On top of that, in i-D this month, Bjork waxes lyrical about Bush’s influence, while Swiss artist Sandrine Pelletier creates images inspired by our Kate. Elle Girl, meanwhile, revels in her love of jumpsuits, leggings and legwarmers, all of which cropped up in the recent batch of London fashion shows. Designer Hussein Chalayan recently commented that his musical heroine was “before her time” and The Futureheads’ cover of her 80s hit Hounds of Love is out today. With a new Kate Bush album destined for release later this year, it’s time to big up your hair, start dancing freeform and let out a Heathcliff wail.” Read the article here…meanwhile the clothes designer Byblos has revealed in coverage of fashion week in Milan that Kate Bush was the inspiration for part of their collection. Behind the designer during one news segment was a wall with pictures of Kate. See an Italian news article here.

As mentioned in the Guardian article above, this month’s i-D Magazine (issue 252), titled “the feminine issue” has used The Kick Inside as its cover title. It contains a six-page spread of photographs of a Kate-themed installation by artist Sandrine Pelletier and a short essay by Björk about Kate. “From the catwalk to the club to the bedroom, her music and influence are suddenly here again. Here Swiss artist Sandrine Pelletier and Icelandic musician Björk present unique fan tributes to the myth, magic and mystery of Kate Bush.” Björk writes: “To me, Kate Bush will always represent the age of exploring your sexuality, when you change from a girl to a woman. All of that. There were so many records in my parent’s house, so I saw a lot of album covers. I thought they were all macho and occupied with power, things I didn’t like. I guess that’s what I found fascinating about Kate, she totally stuck out. She was so – what’s the word – so complete. The music, the lyrics and the way she looked, it all made sense. Especially for a thirteen or fourteen year old girl. It was the first time I had my own bedroom. Even though my room had just enough space for a bed and a desk I felt like it was a palace. My grandad gave me a big blue lamp with a blue light…It was like walking into an aquarium. It was then that I found a Kate Bush album and..you can imagine the rest, right? I used to close the door and didn’t want anybody to come in. My favourite songs have changed over time. I really liked the one about Peter Pan. Obviously I loved ‘Man With the Child in his Eyes’. Everybody adored Kate’s voice and a lot of people really noticed what she looked like but I think what is really underrated is the production. I think it’s really original and really feminine, but with more primitivity than women have, or what men would like to believe we have. If it had just been the voice and the look I’m not sure I would have been that into her – what’s so common, a girl that looks great and sings great. What’s very special about Kate Bush is that she didn’t do that. She created her own look and she produced her own sound. There’s a timelessness to Kate’s music, for me personally it has a nostalgic feeling. It’s not to do with ‘yes I listen to it’, it’s more to do with ‘I listened a lot to it from thirteen to fifteen’. I think that for someone like me, there hasn’t been many ladies to look up to in the pop world. Then when I was sixteen I started growing out of it, coming back to it occasionally like a box of memories…” (Thanks to Matt Denney and Michael Nurse)

The Sadie Frost fashion show mentioned by The Guardian showcased the latest collection from her FrostFrench label at London Fashion Week. The theme was “Russian Peasant Chic”. Models strode down a snowy catwalk to the strains of Babooshka. Read more here…The Independent on the 12th February had a piece where they approached fashion designer Hussein Chalayan (of Björk ‘Post’ album cover fame) to write about a musical heroine in their regular “heroes and villains” section. “I thought she was this amazing person that in some ways I could relate to. I felt that the work was such a bridge between fantasy and reality, and there was so much spirit in it. I just wanted to know everything about her work…to me she’s an emotional thinker, she’s somebody who made her emotions real through the music. There were so many references to emotion and to failure and to the good and bad, your relationship to nature, and your relationship to other people and I just felt it was so much richer than most of the stuff that was happening at the time…when I hear the music it makes me think that everything around me is wonderful. At times it’s almost like hearing a prayer, at other times it’s just like lunacy, and other times it’s just incredible engineering. In my view she deserves a lot more credit, but maybe the fact that she didn’t become too mainstream has made her remain more special…she’s a heroine for me because she’s never cared too much about public opinion. She’s done her own thing and I think that in her heart she did well, up to a point. She was very experimental and before her time, and I think that she can set an example for visual people like myself…I’m not easily impressed. But she did with music what people have done with writing. It’s incredibly inventive and forward-thinking. I always wanted my work to have that level of openness.” You can see a scan of the article here.  (thanks PDFM and Matt Denney)

About Seán

Seán Twomey has been running the Kate Bush News & Information site since January 1998.
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