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The Story Behind Ginger Spice's Union Jack Minidress

The Untold Story of Ginger Spice's Itsy-Bitsy Union Jack Minidress

Geri Halliwell Horner, affectionately known as Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls, spoke with Vogue about her iconic Union Jack minidress, what girl power meant in the '90s, and what it means to be sexy in your 30s.

"The '90s is very much like the '60s. It has a real strong flavor," says Geri. "The music was great. The fashion was great. You had the Calvin Klein simplicity, the tracksuits, Kate Moss, Oasis, the Spice Girls. It was a really, really flourishing time." Imagine being in your 20s in the '90s? What a time. The Spice Girls first album came out in 1996, and it was a huge success. Geri's life was just starting, and she got an incredible opportunity to perform at the BRIT Awards. Geri knew this was the beginning of something major, it was her moment, and she was going to make the most of it.

"I remember this little black Gucci dress got presented to me," Geri recalls. "It was a 1950s Marilyn Monroe-shaped swimming costume." Although Tom Ford was working with Gucci at that time and made the fashion house very sexy, Geri thought the vintage construction wasn't really saying much — so, she personalized it with a Union Jack tea towel. Upon sharing her creation with a stylist, the stylist said "You cannot wear that. It's racist. It's national front." The National Front was an extremist party that existed in Britain, which was very racist. And Geri was like "No. Stop. We celebrate all cultures," so she put the peace sign on the back. "The length of the dress is sexuality," Geri says, "and the big red boots say — you're not going to mess with me either." The next morning, the picture of Geri in that Union Jack minidress was on the cover of every newspaper — "That dress really became the identity of girl power."

Watch the full video yourself for Geri's take on the Spice Girls reunion tours and how the three versions of the Union Jack dress helped her find the gift of age, the evolution of being a woman, and the stillness of your matured sense of self — it's so beautiful.

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