If you've got to grow up, grow up in style. That is wbat tbe new cool Kim Wilde has done, as you can see from our pictures. Gone are the jeans and T-shirts, which went with her old, teenaged image. The new Kim is wilder and sexier.
Her new leather look is stunning. Kim says: "It's a bit like coming out of the closet - being myself. I'm exposing a lot more of myself now than I did in the past."
But it's not just her clothes that Kim bas changed. She's left home and bought her own London flat. She's started to write her own songs after the hits started to dry up a bit. And she has a new record company. She is 24 In November. Marty Wilde's little daughter isn't a kid anymore.
"I never used to pay any attention to my image, or style," she says. "I wasn't interested in it. "I'd been pronounced a sex symbol and I didn't want to propagate a myth by wearing miniskirts and showing off."
But last year she decided that her image did need changing, after all. "1 gave up worrylng about being misunderstood," she says. "I guess it's what is called growing up in public. It wasn't enough just to be me anymore."
For ordinary people, changes of image happen with hardly a thought. Not so with pop stars. For them, such thlngs need careful planning. So her record company, MCA, recommended that Kim should visit XL Designs/Big Features.
They did the latest videos for Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Nik Kershaw. And they take their designing seriously, as one would expect for a firm which charges around £5,000 a week.
Managing director Tom Watkins says: "It was a real challenge for us to do somebody as blantantly commercial as Kim. But she was really constructive."
Kim says: "We discussed various images. I told them I admired some of the cartoon women of the Sixties - like Barbarella and Batwoman. Those girls were good, but they looked capable of being naughty."
XL also designed the cover for her latest single and shot a very wild video to go with it.
"It's called The Second Coming, which is very appropnate," says Kim. It has been suggested that her new ideas are the inspiration of her long-term boyfriend, saxophonist Gary Barnacle. That makes Kim furious.
'There is this myth that women can't do anything spirited without a man behind them," she says. "In my experience it is usually the other way round."
Kim has plans to extend her wild look to her performances.
She days: "My favourite singers, like Tina Turner, Gary Glitter and Prince, are all exciting visually. "In the past I haven't been confident enough. Hut next time I go out on stage I'm going to give it the treatment."
Well, if the music is as stunning as the look, the Second Coming of Kim Wilde will make the teen T-shirt days seem as exciting as breakfast porridge.