Kim Wilde: ‘I have auctioned my most expensive costume’

On your new LP are songs like “Love send him back to me” and “Storm in our hearts”. Have these songs got a bigger meaning for you, after your split with long-term boyfriend Calvin Hayes?
I wrote these songs over a year ago, and back then everything was alright between us. But notwithstanding they are sad love songs, that surely mirror my current feelings.

Until recently there was talk of a marriage of you and Calvin. How did you overcome the sudden separation?
I simply went back to work. Momentarily I am touring all over Europe, to promote my new disc “Love moves”, and soon my new tour is starting. I hope to play with you in Germany soon. I think you shouldn’t lock yourself in the house and wallow in selfpity. It wasn’t easy for me but one has to take it in their stride. Life goes o. My father gave me some good advice. He said: “Go out and don’t hide yourself from life. Meet some nice people and do something. Don’t pull back because then the pain will never go away.”

In Hertfordshire you have bought yourself a house from the 16th century. Has the renovation ended by now?
No, my friends and I are still working on it. Momentarily I don’t have so much time, but I hope to have it ready this year. When the renovation is done, I’d like to have one big and two smaller rooms. In the big room I will have a gallery for my big oil paintings. In the other my music room, where I can compose and write lyrics and a working space where I can paint without being disturbed.

What kind of paintings do you make and do you hang them up?
I mostly like to do portraits, often myself as well. I give my paintings awa yto my friends or my parents. But I don’t hang them up myself. I wanted to use one self portrait on the cover of “Love moves”, but it seemed to daring to me, because I didn’t wear much on this portrait…

Most of the time you live in St. Johns Wood, in London. Do you like the city?
Yes, I find London very exciting. I am a bit partial, because I was born in London. London is the most important city in England, a metropole, where all the threads come together. There are some beautiful sights to be seen, such as Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben or the Houses of Parliament. It’s just the traffic and the smell of the city get on my nerves. To save the environment I often cycle or use the Underground. Besides I have a bit of fear, because in my neighbourhood there have been some break ins. When I read about it in the newspaper I had some extra precautions made on my front door.

Do you like to go out or do you prefer to have a quiet evening in the house?
It depends. In fact I love to go out, to eat in a good restaurant, after that to dance in different clubs or simply to go to the cinema. Often, when I don’t like to go out, I stay in the house, take a bath for a long time and read something or listen to music. I don’t have the feeling I miss something when I don’t go out.

Do you buy your clothing yourself or do you get a lot of it as a present?
Partly, partly. I love Italian fashion, because it’s chique. I am good friends with the Milanese fashion designer Alberta Ferretti. She often gives me pieces from her collection, like recently a really great beautiful black jacket. I wear them during my performances. But other than that I don’t value designer labels much. I don’t have my outfits tailor made, aside from a few exceptions. I just buy them in stores. Now that we’re talking about designers I have to think of Katherine Hamnett, who I admire. She has an enormous sense of style, makes aggressive fashion and when she advertises she still pays attention to the environment. I think that’s very admirable.

Is black your favourite colour?
Yes, always has been. I think nothing can go wrong with black clothing. Black fits all, it combines very well with white, red, brown or beige. I have a lot of black trousers and minis in my closet. They are comfortable and easy to wear, super for in the house and when travelling. When you wear silver jewellery or funny accessories, it looks even more classy and individual.

Do you have a piece of clothing that you especially like?
Yes, my white Levi’s jeans jacket. Bright jeans material has been in fashion lately. I do have the jacket for over six months now. I also like my black jeans jacket I bought at “Agnes B.” in Paris.

What is the most expensive item you have ever purchased?
A tailor made costume by Azzedin Alaia. It’s the fashion creator who has also made the new stage outfits for Tina Turner. The costume cost more than 1000 pounds and consists of a grey skirt and jacket. The worst thing about this was that I was very bored of this item soon and I didn’t wear it very often. After a while I had it auctioned for charity. I often give clothes up for auctions. Then other people have a use for them.

Do you need a long time in the morning to decide what you’re going to wear?
No, because I choose them the night before (laughs). I am very spontaneous with fashion and often wear what comes up in my mind.

Do you also wear gym shoes from time to time?
Yes, because they are comfortable. To always have to wear pumps would get on my nerves. I like the sneakers by British Knights the most. They are totally indestructable.

What would you never wear?
I have to consider first… A “Fido Dido” T-shirt with a cartoon character on it. I find them impossible.

Do you collect watches?
No, I only have two: one costly red gold Ferrari watch and one black Sport Swatch, given to me by my father Marty. I mostly wear a bracelet watch, because I don’t want to ask for the time all the time.

Is there an article you always take with you?
I always have my lipstick from Yves Saint Laurent in my handbag. It’s a little luxury that I allow myself. I love bright red lip gloss. Dark red on the lips looks too harsh.

Do you read a newspaper daily to keep up with recent news?
Of course I am informed about what goes on in the world, but I’m certainly not an expert. I leave that to others. I don’t get in a state of panic because of the news. I often get the feeling that people watch the news to have something to talk about the next day. They can’t change world politics, for instance in Iraq. I think it’s really important that people do considerate things in their own lives and in their own neighbourhoods. There are so many little things that don’t seem important, but they are. For instance that you don’t keep the water running when it’s not necessary or that you sort out garbage and bottles and don’t throw anything on the streets and so on. I recently saw someone throw a Coca Cola can out of his car window. I really objected to that.

Do you write about such themes in your songs as well?
Not directly but on my new LP is a song called “World in perfect harmony” which is roughly about this. It may sound a bit naive, but I would like for people to live in harmony with one another. I am optimistic and I believe tha tit could work if people would take an effort and show their good will.

Do you support environmental organisations like Greenpeace or the World Wildlife Fund?
Yes, I am a member of Greenpeace and have often bought books that support the WWF.

Do you have a fear of AIDS?
Not really. Years ago, when the theme AIDS was associated with horrific stories in the news, I was affected by the panic. Of course this terrible disease shouldn’t be underestimated, it can strike anyone theoretically. But I try to protect myself as well as I can. I believe that AIDS can be cured within ten years from now.