Kylie Minogue's stylist WILLIAM BAKER is keen to steer his famous client away from her "sex symbol" image - he's even auctioned off her legendary gold hotpants for charity.

The skimpy hotpants were credited with rejuvenating Kylie's career after she wore them in the steamy SPINNING AROUND video and her bottom became a celebrity in its own right - but long-term friend Baker now wants to give the pint-sized singer a more French feel - in keeping with her Gallic lover Olivier Martinez.

Baker explains, "What an impact those hot pants made. But I want to take her away from the sex symbol thing now. She loves French sophistication and I think it's perfect for her - especially as she's with Olivier, a French movie star.

"We spent three days shopping in Paris recently. We didn't even go out in the evenings as we were so busy having appointments all day. Shopping has become increasingly difficult for Kylie - it's now like a military operation."

Minogue was reportedly spotted looking at wedding dresses with Baker on their trip - prompting speculation the singer is preparing to wed her actor boyfriend.

01/07/2003 17:25