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Kylie Vs. Madonna: Whose style is aging better?

Colleen Nika November 4, 2008 29

Madonna may be “the queen of reinvention”, but her style is anything but evolved, according to rival singer Kylie Minogue’s stylist, William Baker.

As her stylist and “gay husband” of 17 years, Baker has been responsible for Kylie’s own high (hit-or-miss) wardrobe turnover rate. He claims that she has transcended a fashion threshold that Madonna hasn’t yet managed — a style that ages gracefully.

“Kylie’s gone high fashion”, he states.

Has she?

Meanwhile, Baker reserves harsh words for Madge:

“Over the years her concert clothes have always been really interesting but I didn’t think there was anything new this time.

“The camera shots of her are also still very crotch-centric and we’ve seen this all before,” he said.

In our opinion, it is ironic that Baker critiques Madonna on the heels of an era that musically, commercially, and yes, style wise, many claim to be among Kylie Minogue’s weakest. Fans and style critics have scorned her severely camp Pierrot and Showgirl costumes and the tacky visual concepts accompanying X’s promotional regimen. And we can’t help but mention that her “geisha” tour getup falls squarely into Madonna worship territory. Remember Madge’s own “Japonaise” phase a decade ago?

Contrary to what Baker suggests, while Minogue’s Gaultier tour wardrobe was met with lukewarm reviews, Madonna’s Riccardo Tisci’s custom Givenchy designs were often praised– often more so than the music she performed at the shows! Perhaps Baker needs to read a bit more press — including his own. If he did, he might realize that, on the whole, Kylie’s fans are sick of him.

Is Kylie’s stylist criticizing Madonna’s sense of style a case of the campy pot calling the kitsch kettle black? Or does he have a point?

Who has better style — Kylie at 40 or Madonna at 50?

29 Comments »

  1. kitty November 5, 2008 at 5:37 am -

    I don’t think much of Kylie’s ‘style’.
    I was shocked to hear that her costumes were displayed at the V&A.

    Still kudos to her for still being around + well somewhat relevant…to some people.

  2. Rita November 9, 2008 at 3:07 pm -

    definitely madonna’s way better.
    she’s 50 – 10 years age difference
    and kylie just looks scary and too old for a 40.

  3. Mia November 18, 2008 at 3:48 am -

    @ Rita

    Too old for a 40 year old? Get a reality check!

    Baker said in an interview that his biggest influencer are Madonna and Boy George. Sometimes you just have to be critical. Even about your idols!

  4. Bec November 21, 2008 at 6:42 am -

    You gotta get your facts straight. Kylie was doing geisha way back in 94 when she did German Bold Italic. A long time before madonna. Kylie looks amazing and her style is ever changing and fresh. Madonna does too… There is no denying the woman is legendary. However, kylie is a massive international megastar in her own right, does she need to copy madonna? I really don’t think so.

  5. Colleen Nika November 21, 2008 at 7:03 am -

    GBI=1997, actually. ;)
    Madonna’s style veered towards the Japonaise right before the Ray of Light era (i.e. around that same time). Kylie’s GBI phase was mere coincidence. But the X era’s EXTREMELY camp version of the Geisha may reference Kylie’s own GBI phase, but in the pastiche context of her tour, it seemed as random as the Poiret looks. And the comparison to Madge’s own (obviously far more ubiquitous) Geisha imagery of 1997-1999 isn’t altogether unwarranted. It’s not Kylie herself that detractors/jaded fans are critiquing, but rather, William Baker’s own hypocrisy.

  6. aly November 22, 2008 at 6:43 am -

    Kylies outfits border on the ridiculous and vile and to be honest are and have over the years taken much of their cue’s from Madonna’s. Why else would she be using Madonna’s right hand men? (Gaultier for Blond Ambition, Dolce&Gabban for the Girly Show). Baker really needs to shut his jealous vile mouth, Madonna turned him down to join her Blond Ambition tour years ago, i think he still is maybe a bit jealous. But turning Kylie into a “Madonna” muse is no way forward. And so what if Madonna’s lataest looks resemble some of Kylies work, its probarbly because it was Madonna’s in the first place, she preceeds Minogue by almost a decade, something idiots like Baker tend to forget!

  7. aly November 22, 2008 at 6:45 am -

    …and as for the whole “Geisha” debate…Madonna was actually dressing Geisha way back in 1986 when she starred in Japanese advert for Tsing Toa beer and Mitsubishi dressed as….yep a bona fide Japanese Warrior/Geisha so eat it Kylie fans, Madonna wins hands down….by over a decade!

  8. Charley November 23, 2008 at 11:31 am -

    When did the whole kylie vs madonna argument start? Lets face it, they’re both pretty fabulous. And i don’t believe either one is copying the other. Baker sounds like a dick though. I just checked out kylie’s first geisha look on youtube, GBI and she looks amazing!

  9. alzy November 25, 2008 at 11:35 pm -

    Hey charley check out Madonna’s first foray into the world of the Geisha on youtube too, its harder to find but worth it, she looks amazing. Her costume was designed by Vivienne Westwood! And check out the shoes too. See…. what on EARTH is Baker on about?? Madonna has been doing “High Fashion” since she started, Kylie by his own omission has to be honest only got into “High fashion” since her Fever album in 2001. The Madonna video im referring to was shot in 1986!!!! She was using designers way before Kylies career took off! It grates on me how this idiot Mr Baker slates Madonna yet steals ALL her ideas to enforce onto Kylie, i mean take X Tour…its Confessions rolled over again with more than a nod to Madonna’s eastern influenced Re-Invention tour, instead of a disco-fied crucifix we get a disco-fied skull!! the thing is when its re-hashed by them it looks tacky and well…..er, a lame version. Nobody minds Kylie and her team doing this but please Mr Baker, dont slate Madonna when you are ripping her off! Theres too many things to list on here to be honest, a fine example is Mr Bakers use of Keith Harring prints on the male dancers in Kylies In My Arms video…..Keith was a very close friend of Madonna’s whom died of AIDS, he was famous for his graffitti style prints in the early 80’s on the NYC dance scene, Madonna actually endorsed them on her jacket for her infamous Like A Virgin performance on Top Of The Pops, wearing a shocking pink wig back in 1984. Mr Baker used these prints in Kylies video and later for the X Tour, not to mention theiving Mr Gaultier/Madonna himself! Madonna has and always will be a leader, at the cutting edge of fashion, Kylie is not. I simply refuse to hear Mr Baker put her down when Kylie in my opinion is a lesser artist. She has done nothing to push forward music, revolutionise the business or change the way female entertainers are accepted in this business. Mr Baker you are a prissy gay man who needs to put his claws away and accept that Madonna is more of an influence than you let on.

  10. dean November 30, 2008 at 8:48 pm -

    alzy get a life you know madonna is nothing but a tramp who got all her ideas from her producers not herself just admit it when madonna is 60 and kylie is 50 kylie will always be alot better and more beautiful than madge. Madge now has a bad reputation and kylie doesnt want her USA success kylie enjoys the anonymity in the usa. so sucked in you IDIOT!!YOU MUST BE GAY!!

  11. alzy January 8, 2009 at 10:18 pm -

    Dean Kylie sucks up to the pink pound but does sweet nothing for the homo crowd whatsoever, Kylie is a lame madonna impersonator, i saw X and it had so many references to Madonna tours of old that it was, by and large a sheer farce!! Showgirl tour??? Didnt Madonna do cabaret and the like decades before with The Girly Show?? Kylie is unable to transcend tacky camp because she is not a credible artist, Madonna can and has because she sits with the likes of legends and uses her own instinct and talent, shes the biggest selling and most succesful female artist of all time, her work ethic and blue print for “how to be a celebrity” is copied the world over….madonna was making hits when Kylie was at school!!!! Besides for Kylies first major image shake up from girl next door Kylie to Sex Kylie with the album Rythm Of Love in 1990, Kylie chose to work with Madonnas song writers, photographers and fashion designers…….yeah, shes really not influenced by the queen at all is she!! And Madonna….cant sing?? Who was it back in the day the press referred to as the “Singing Budgie” ??? she still sounds as out of pitch and nasal now as she did back then, she cannot sing live at all!!! As for Madonna using others to forward her own career……i would say its more a meeting of creative minds, Kylie has to resort to some bitter old gay man to make her relavent, well in this case X fell something short of a laugh, she looked like a drag queen, Kylie cant do serious whatsoever, shes pop lite fun, end of and her fashion changes of late have been nothing short of a disaster……the only time she was hot was during the Fever era, when Wil Baker had nothing to do with it, Madonna remains hot and current all the time, end of!

  12. Tobi January 27, 2009 at 4:25 am -

    alzy. Are you obsessed with Kylie? you know all her CDs and all her shows and reference all of them since the dawn of time as being crap in one way or another. I’m confused as to why someone so anti-Kylie seems to know everything about her. Let it go, you really are making yourself look like a dick. Personally Kylie is going to win the argument every time for me, no matter how much bull you prattle on – I like her, just like millions of others. But even as a Kylie fan, I don’t know half of the background of her stuff you clearly do. I think it is a little bit unhealthy and your attitude and obsession REALLY disturbing. Do yourself a favour and don’t write any more on this thread. You are coming across as very strange and not very credible. End of.

  13. alzy January 30, 2009 at 10:02 am -

    In the begining i liked Kylie, when she was doing her own thing, in your opinion shes the better artist, your opinion thats all…….i became a non kylie fan the day she started mimicking Madonna, copying her ideas, hoodwinking the public into thinking she was arty, credible and a re-invention icon, shes lame, a madonna impersonator at best……as for her er….stylist, Wil Baker, he makes her look like a fool!! Shes bordering on an old drag act of late! And then has the audacity to attack Madonna, Madonna does things with such panache and style, she makes Kylie look like a poor mans Madonna, a childlike, lukewarm aternative. Credible?? Where is her Live To Tell? Oh Father? Like A Prayer? Into The Groove? Express Yourself, Blond Ambition? (Shit she ripped that already in most of her tours). Madonna isnt the most influential female icon for nothing, shes a star, the biggest female star and there wont be another like her….and certainly not some lame ex soapstar from the manufactured pop stable that brought us Rick Astley…. I like millions of others prefer Madonna, she will outlast Kylie and the rest, she already has. Im not strange, just refused to be sucked in by a pink pound absorbing homo leech!!

  14. Phil February 10, 2009 at 4:37 pm -

    Theres never any point in getting into this, but since I am a Kylie fan through and through, ima stick up for her

    YES there will always be similarities! For obvious reasons. Madonna selling more records doesnt take away from the fact that Kylie has sold truck loads. Madonna getting designers wont stop designers from wanted to use kylie or vice versa. But neither of these women have said anything nasty about each other, the COPYING you refer to is nothing of the sort. Ppl say madonna did it better simply because shes madonna. She could slaughter puppys and ppl would say ‘wow, how stylish was that!’ and im a little shocked she hasnt

    heres some styles theyve both done (and Im not an expert so dont kill me if somes wrong)

    Geisha – Both around the same time, kylie redid it recently – WOW OMG can u believe it…u know what, Im pretty sure geishas were doing before either of them!!

    Cowboy/Cowgirl – Madonna dont tell me (2000’s), Kylie Cowboy style (98) John wayne…way before

    Reinvention. Yes madonnas the queen blah blah…but shes all about shock value. Kylie was just growing up, got tired of being a puppet and formed her own identity. Madonna already knew who she was, and wanted to play with it. neither is wrong.

    Vogue – Madonna song. Kylie covered it on her Showgirl tour, as a tribute, not a COPY

    Madonna wore a Kylie top!

    Showgirl – Kylie got showgirl from performing an abba song. It was a character on stage that came out and she loved and took it further. madonna had nothing to do with that phase.

    Double dutch bus, jump ropes, cartoons – Madonnas current performance of into the groove, Kylies 2002 performance of cowboy style. Its terrifyingly similar

    Im not saying either are perfect. U know who I prefer but whatever. My preferrence doesnt take away madonnas achievements and urs dont take away from kylie.

    But I will say this and I dont care if u get so angry that you facerape a dog

    Madonna is a far better dancer
    Kylie is a far better singer.

    simple as that. Kylie knew she wasnt perfect and went to a coach to strengthen her vocals. Madonnas dancing seems to mess up her vocals during the fast songs, which is understandable, but there you have it.

    AND to anyone who says, Kylie is not credible. Go straight to hell. ‘Madonnas a surviver blah blah shes done so much shes been through this and that’
    Yeah. Well Kylie is a surviver, she beat the press, she beat herself, and she beat cancer baby!! She is a true surviver in and out of her career. She knows hell better than madonna ever could.

    But remember, aside from any of this, both women are fans of each other. its the fans who fight. (I admit, some of this was bitchy lol. but dammit aussies stick up for one another!)

  15. Mert February 12, 2009 at 1:25 am -

    I always felt Madonna was a mimic more than an innovator…

    As a woman of 50 she looks fine, but what is utterly pathetic is trying to be a teenager… but narcissists never age gracefully, they always end up looking like clowns.

    Why not be an icon for women that are middle-aged? Create photos that reflect the beauty of a mature woman, instead of some weird-looking plastic pop clone…

    To me, its always sensual when a woman follows her age with honoring where she is in her life (well taken care of but not plastic, youthful but not ridiculous: sensual but not cheap etc)

  16. alzy March 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm -

    Ha ha ha Kylie jumps rope on stage jesus, his is like what can we drag out in desperation to PROVE Kylie did it before Madonna……well try this kids, when Kylie was still at school Madonna was jumping rope to a real beat, a real dance scene in the underground clubs of New York, she paid homage by (Shock Horror)jumping rope in her 1983 video to borderline and again on her 1984 Virgin tour, Madonna is also an American so my guess is she wore a cowboy hat before Kylie and as for her performance of Vogue being a tribute please, have you ever seen her Lets Get To It Tour from 1991???? That my friends is where all the Madonna comparisons came from, she practically stole the whole Blond Ambition Concept and much to the press’s disgust, she was a fake!!, she did it again for her On A Night Like This Tour…she stole cabaret ideas, the whole bringing of the theatre to the stadium concept from Madonna’s most iconic shows those being Blond Ambition and The Girly Show…er sorry The Showgirl tour, i suggest you guys especially Phil and Tobi go read Wil Bakers La La La book, and read it properly boys. You might not like what you see, what really was the driving force behind much of the concept you call Kylie, the visionary queen. There was one woman behind concept Kylie and thats Madonna, go read boys and come back with what you have learned from the “Stylists” mouth himself!!

  17. Xposed April 7, 2009 at 9:50 pm -

    For me, kylie is the best. I think that there’s no conparation between kylie and madonna style’s. In my point of view madonna try to be fantastic and gorjeous, but she can’t catch up kylie minogue. I know that kyLie is 40 and madonna is 50, but when madonna was 40 she didn’t had the look that kylie has now. Kylie is much more wonderful, greatful, and powerful and like many people say kYLIE IS NOT A MADONNA’S COPY!!!

  18. Dan June 15, 2009 at 5:38 pm -

    why does everyone always bring up kylie’s cancer? the fact that she got it and beat it is nothing to do with her career at all, it’s not like she chose to get it to prove she could beat it. alot of people beat cancer. personally, between who’s style is aging better, I’d hav to go with Madonna, Kylie’s got nothing on the Queen of Pop

  19. Brittcom June 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm -

    HAHA! Reading this is SO funny! Especially Alzy, who gets SO UPSET. Sweetheart, you need to get a hobby. Why are you coming across so threatened?

    Jeez – do you think Madonna will read this, try to track you down and thank you personally? Do you think Kylie equally will track you down, call you up and try to convince you otherwise?

    You are pathetic… if not entertaining!

  20. Martin July 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm -

    Listen guys, this is all nonesense for who is copying who. At the end all singers tend to get ideas from each other and try to make them better.

    What I want to say there is noone else like Kylie as there is no one else like Madonna. They are both unique in their own way. I admit I am Kylie fan but I like Madonna’s music too (especially her ballads).

    My wish is only one. To see both singers sing together and compliment each other with their qualities and abilities. I am sure that would be a hell of a duet, ever to be done in the history.

    Remember the duet between Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. What they achieved have shut many mouths of gossiping about them.

    Last thing Kylie and Madonna are great friends for when Kylie was diagnosed with cancer Madonna was the one of the first who wished her a great recovery.

    So I say it is useless to argue who is best for I am sure what they are doing, they are doing it for their fans and not for themselves.

  21. alzy August 16, 2009 at 10:09 am -

    Sorry guys but kylie is a poor mans Madonna, just like her Confide In Me was a poor mans Justify My Love, shes a Madonna-wannabe full of botox and silicone and will never be a patch on the real thing, ever…

  22. Nikolaos Loudaros September 22, 2009 at 11:04 am -

    Who’s copying who?
    If you think Madonna is the original, try checking on her first steps how much she coppied Cyndi Lauper?
    Laura Branigan?
    Stevie Nicks?
    And a thousand more…

  23. Omar October 23, 2009 at 3:59 pm -

    Well Madonna, she has had several success on her career, and i agree she has talent and renovation everytime, thats why its called the Queen of Pop, but still, let give a huge credit to Kylie, although shes not american she has gained lots of followers, the only problem is that americans have such xenophobia and dont give credit to foreign talent, like the aussie bomb!, in fact i think Kylie takes the lead on this, i’ve seen both them live and they offer good shows, but they have it own signature, like kylie is an amazing live singer not a fake mimic, and madonna well…shes knows how to dance and make ambience, i just let u know that it doesnt matter whose best, it all depends on who you like… i go with Kylie better, besides she did the LOCOMOTION!, thats a classic!

  24. Jordan December 6, 2009 at 8:45 am -

    ok i think its time to pull out the big guns of originality and reinvention. Ummmm hello cher was around for almost 2 decades before madonna. Cher is way better. she doesnt need to copy antone. madonna copies heaps. cyndi lauper anyome ?? cyndi will always be far superiour. as for Kylie v. Madonna ?? kylie by a mile. shes not TRYING to sound young hip and cool…she already is

  25. jack January 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm -

    Not content with ripping off Madonna’s shows and stealing Madonna’s designers Kylie is now even thieving Madonna’s right hand man, Stuart Price!!! This stupid woman will stop at nothing to become Madonna! Pete Waterman said it best in an interview with the BBC last year, “Kylie in the late 80’s was outselling madonna 2-1, but still she wanted to be her, even today she models herself on Madonna”. THERE, i couldnt have put it any better and thats from the very man who created her!

  26. lindsay August 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm -

    MADONNA IS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL, ICONIC FEMALE POP STAR THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN! shes influenced everybody from rhianna to britney to lady gaga! kylie minogue doesnt even come close-she cant even break into america, whereas madonna has NEVER had a problem with that! shes popular all over the world! kylie is a KNOWN madonna wannabe and has been ripping off madges looks throughout the years! madonna is a fashion ICON, pioneer and trendsetter and started the 80s look with the ripped shirts and crucifixes, the lace and the jelly bracelets that MILLIONS of girls copied! NOBODY, except maybe michael jackson, is on madonnas level!

  27. Jayden December 13, 2010 at 6:21 am -

    Ok, since when was there a debate between KYLIE & MADONNA? I really don’t know. I personally think the only debate here is between Kylie & Madonna’s FANS! As far as i’m concerned, Kylie Minogue & Madonna have no problem with eachother. Madonna has worn a Kylie Minogue while performing, & Kylie has repeatedly performed Madonna’s “Vogue” while on tour. This is not because they are rivals..? It’s because they are influenced by eachother! Even not so long ago, I saw Kylie tweet “Happy Birthday Madge!!” on a photo of Madonna, on Madonna’s birthday. I personally only think their fans are rivals. They don’t have a problem with eachother. People always compare Madonna & Kylie. Well, they aren’t the only two singers in the world that wear revealing clothing, make themselves look sexy, etc. They are just the most popular, besides Lady GaGa, who shouldn’t be compared with either of them. Also, i do like Madonna, & i am a huge Kyliw fan, but i never say that one of them is not worthy of the other, i just personally like Kylie more, big whoop. Also, i would just like to point out (no offense) that Kylie is a lot less sexually impulsive than Madonna. Because 2 years ago, at age 50, she released “Hard Candy”. Kylie, this year, at age 42, released “Aphrodite”. Look at the two album covers, which one looks more like someone acting their own age & and which one seems less vulgar. Like i said, i like them both, but you shouldn’t say that they hate eachother, or are rivals, because they are not. ONLY the FANS are rivals. Just thought my opinion should be heard as well :)

  28. george May 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm -

    ok. First of all. They are both superstars in their own right. But Madonna is the queen of Pop and Kylie the princess. Even kylie has said this. So relax. Secondly. Kylie has ripped from Madonna just as Madonna has from Kylie. One great example is the ‘Into the groove’ number at Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet tour. The costumes, the use of cartoon characters and YES jumpropes where all ripped off from a tour Kylie did back in 2001 where Kylie jumroped at the end of her song. A decade before Madonna did it. Kylie’s new photoshoot using cone bustiers and her ‘All the lovers’ video. Mhm. Point is. Madonna and Kylie are the Ying and Yang of pop. Madonna being the dark side and Kylie the light side. Both with a bit of eachother on them. They have no equal in pop music. Not even moster gaga or Britney Beers or Cristina Fuckilera.

  29. Isaiah June 27, 2012 at 11:48 am -

    I am glad I found this forum.
    I like both artists, but not equally; I love Kylie Ann Minogue more and always will. For me, Kylie represents something more for me than Madonna can. I grew up in the U.S. and heard a lot more Madonna played on the radio than Kylie of course. Madonna is a smarter business woman and has a little more control over her creative outlets when it comes to music and fashion. Please correct me if I am wrong too, at any time. Madonna still draws from her “shock and awe” power, originating back to the start of her career. To me, Madonna comes off a bit more pretentious and a little predictable nowadays. That gets old to a lot of us.
    Kylie started off pretty good with the Stock/Aitken sound. After she left that sound things started to get rocky and had troubles with her image, voice and the direction she wanted to go and I believe that led her to be vulnerable to many money hungry producers and managers.
    I have loved her evolution through the years and things keep getting better for Kylie. Her sound, her image and her very sexy videos.
    At the end of the day, nothing is new and everything has been done before…even before Madonna came on the scene. The only difference is who you know and what they can do for you. There will always be Kylie fans and always be Madonna fans who will always argue about who is better and what they are looking for is an “absolute” answer. I’m sorry if this is sounding too didactic, but if Kylie is the one who touches you then she is the “better” one to you; if Madonna touches you more, then she is the “better” one.

    TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THOUGH: I DO NOT THINK BAKER HAS A POINT AFTER ALL THESE YEARS. COME ON…GIVE IT UP. MADONNA HAS A BETTER STYLE AT AGE 50. HER TEAM ALWAYS MAKES HER LOOK GOOD IN HER VIDEOS AND LIVE. KYLIE’S TEAM IS SLACKING SOMETIMES BECAUSE SOME OF THE HAIR STYLES AND OUTFITS SHE HAS ON DO NOT SEEM RIGHT. WHEN KYLIE’S TEAM IS WORKING FULL STEAM, THEY DO MAKE HER LOOK LIKE A GODDESS THOUGH!!

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