|Written by Nicola Hyland|
Tell me what you want, what you really, really want! The Spice Girls – now Spice Women - are making a comeback! AskBronny visits zig-a-zig impact on fashion to predict Spice 'style'.
Everyone has a skeleton in their music closet and, I must confess that when the Spice Girls were in their heyday, I was a bit of a fan. Like the way that thirty-something’s affiliated themselves with a specific character in Sex and the City [e.g. "I'm definitely a Samantha" or "She's such a Charlotte"], young gals found in the Spice Girls an ideal models of true Girl Power. Arguably one of the most famous manufactured bands in history, the Spice Girls were marketed to represent the range of male fantasies. The sporty one, the posh one, the baby, the scary one and the, ah, "spicy" one – each girl had a distinct persona, with a defined look, personality and themed wardrobe. So which one were you? (Come on, you know you thought about it…)
Okay, okay – so the first word that comes to mind when you think back to Spice Girl fashion is probably not 'classy'. Big hair, big make-up and big cleavage, these girls were not exactly Germaine Greer’s ideal feminist role models. They had a few number-one hits, briefly made A-list pals, toured the planet and made a predictably abysmal film about their fabulous lives. Their music was hardly lyrically challenging, they were renowned for massive tantrums and diva demands and cracks appeared long before the second album. After the break up of the group, only one seems to have continued to grace the cover of the British tabloids – and only then because she married someone ten-times more famous. Ten years down the track and the new Spice Girls are made up of single mothers, recovering-bulimics, failed solo-artists and laughing stocks.
So will their reunion be met with a mass of adoring audiences and kick off a whole new generation of little Spice fashion clones? Well they will with a bit of fashion advice - from the most reliable source, of course! Here's a few tips for the fabulous five and any prospective clones who want to update their own Spicy style:
Are you a wild child, with a passion for ethnic threads and jungle vibes? Scary Spice had the most intimidating style of the bunch, with trademark curly horns, tangled hair, leather pants and fur bikini’s. Fortunately for 'scary' girls like Mel B, animal prints are stealthily creeping back onto the fashion palette – fashionistas Eva Mendes and Jessica Alba have embraced this look a lot of late. Since green fever has taken over the planet, a wider ethical consciousness is spreading into the fashion industry. Take heed Scary – wear faux fur to avoid a fashion faux pas! Take a leaf out of Stella McCartney’s book and wear animal-friendly threads, like vine-leaf espadrilles and fair-trade t-shirts.
I loved Scary's tamed silky locks in their promotional pic and hope this is a sign of a tamer Scary. After the disaster of dastardly Eddie Murphy, Scary will need a dose of 'yummy mummy' style and so I suggest Mel follow Gwen Stefani’s fabulous post-baby example. The new Scary should be sleek and sexy – a femme fatale with life-experience – and please throw away the horns!
Fancy yourself as a bit of a Lolita? Do you have a wardrobe filled with cute baby-doll pinafores? Well, tie off those pigtails, because Baby Spice might be the most dominant fashionista in the new and improved Spice Crew. Emma Bunton was initially labelled ‘Baby’ because she was indeed the youngest of the five; although now she has hit 30 and is about to be a mother, she might want to ditch the innocent guise. Let’s be honest - the 'Baby' fantasy was a little dodgy – a grown woman with lollypops, knee socks and cutesy outfits? Yet, while the Harijuku girls continued to embrace this style, the renaissance of a more subtle version of 'cute' in fashion may have come at just the right time for the Spice Girl Reunion.
Big for upcoming seasons will be the Smock dress and Baby will be able to shield a post-baby body with the Empire lines and full-skirts. The sixties 'mod' look will look great on Em, with long locks and short geometric dresses anticipating her role in the Pink Panther sequel. The fifties-style housewife dresses favoured by Scarlett Johansson will also be a great look, with cute wedge heels or ballet flats. Whatever you do, Baby, just don't try on the platform trainers again – Urgh, not a good look…
More at home in Gym gear then Gucci heels? Then you might be following in the athletic allure of Sporty Spice – Mel C. Poor Sporty had a bit of a rough ride in the Spice Girl wake – taunted as 'Porky Spice' and dogged with rumours about her sexuality, Mel has been the least willing to reform the band. And with good reason – since the late nineties, Mel has gone through a huge style transformation, abandoning a punk look during her mildly popular solo-career for a softer feminine look that includes covering the numerous tattoos gained in her 'Sporty' phase.
I think Mel has never looked better then in the press conference pics – her long straight hair and thick fringe a vast improvement on the uber-tight high pony-tail, also looking classy in black tailored trousers. I recommend Sporty ditches the brand-name trackies and tank-tops forever [all too Vicky Pollard for my liking.] Team jeans with Chuck Taylors or Keds and a cute hooded t-shirt or smock top, for a 'Casual Spice' flavour. Urban sportswear need not be an androgynous unisex look, with Stella McCartney's Adidas and Karen Walker's sports ranges flouting femininity for those style-conscious gym-bunnies. The only Spice Girl without any baby spices, at least Sporty can leave the other mothers at home and paint the town in 'Single Spice' red.
Are you a tempestuous red-head, who likes to be outspoken and only overshadowed by a dazzling cleavage? The Ginger Spice we knew then is a poor drag-queen parody of the Geri we know now. With her union jack jumpsuit, streaked flaming-red hair, sequinned ruby platform boots and a truckload of make-up, Ginger Spice was clearly the most ambitious fashionista of the group. Playing on the whole 'fiery red-head' persona, Geri hid low-confidence and an over-eating addiction with flashy, over-bearing gusto that saw her as the first evictee. Suddenly the curvy redhead was a pencil-thin blonde, with a frightening tan and an addiction to Yoga.
Since becoming a mother to Bluebell Madonna [I'm serious], Geri has also toned down her wild-child image. At the Spice Girl press conference, Geri shone with a new 'English-Rose' persona, with soft curls, minimal make-up and a vintage white Maxi Dress. I think this look is perfect for the new Ginger Spice – a subdued and fanciful boho-look, with long paisley Maxi dresses (so hot right now!) and spring tones. Just as long as Emma does not let Geri name her baby.
She doesn't come for free, she’s a real lady. Anyone who saw the Victoria Beckham - 'Coming to America special' will realise that Posh Spice is a true enigma, albeit a rather loaded one. The serious one with the brunette bob, little black dress and trademark pout, Vicky Adams was quite different to the skeletal universal celebrity we somehow still know as Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham. Since assuming the throne at Beckingham Palace, Victoria has bred three sons, dabbled in fashion design, made a shameful and short solo music career, befriended Tom Cruise’s wife and somehow become a major style icon. The 'Pob' is the haircut of the moment, while her high-waisted skirts and tailored smock-dresses are proving equally influential. It’s pretty hard to get over the fact she has a waist size smaller then a football and a weird scowling habit, but surprisingly Posh does seem to be quite, well, amusing.
I think, to be taken seriously, Posh should really put her boobs away. They only make her freakish thinness more absurd and detract from the thought put into her always well-tailored outfits. I think she should turn down the orange factor in her fake tan and invest in some smiling lessons. Of course, singing ability was never Vicky's strong point, but this only makes her status as a style icon more important. My last piece of advice: cake. Yes, cake will surely solve all of Posh's problems.
Okay, so now I will shamefully admit that Geri was my favourite, back in the day. I even had the hairstyle, with that odd blonde streak right in the front. I knew the dance moves to "Stop!" and all the lyrics to "If you wanna be my lover". While I probably won't go and see them in concert, I can’t wait to see what their new 'improved' images will be. Does Girl power last forever? AskBronny thinks maybe yes.
|"Money has nothing to do with being stylish. It's about being born with that inner eye and having the confidence to convey a sense of yourself outwardly. You can't buy that. It's genetic." Sarah Mower, Fashion Journalist|