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July 24, 2009

My Muse: Revisiting Spice Girls-Era Victoria Beckham

Welcome to the fourth instalment of 'My Muse', which sees well loved fashion bloggers recount what they learned from their first style icon. We've seen Kelly Kapowski, Cher Horowitz and a Vietnam-era "Donut Dolly" honoured, and now...drumroll...we bring you Posh Spice.

Coco from Coco's Tea Party, a 3-year-old site that brings all the necessary doses of the Olsens and Anja Rubik, explains why Victoria Beckham spiced up her life back in the '90s.

It was the mid-'90s and it was love at first sight; she was wearing a little black dress and I was probably wearing pyjamas. It was the first time I’d ever seen The Spice Girls, who were performing on 'Top of the Pops'. There was Baby (I liked her bunches but she was too childish), then there was Ginger (too tacky), Scary was scary, and I had no intention of ever wearing sportswear. That left the one on the end pouting in the black dress: Posh Spice. We were a match made in heaven.

Her style opened up a whole new world to me - one filled with glamour. No one in my family was particularly interested in clothes, so to see someone deliberating over 'the little black Gucci dress or the little black Gucci dress' was a completely new experience.

Posh quickly became my style icon. When I discovered The Spice Girls I wasn't even 10, so my wardrobe consisted of my school uniform and leggings. This isn't to say I suddenly started wearing short black dresses. I wouldn't have been allowed. But I wanted to. Instead, I copied her attitude, the pout and the peace sign, and I'm sure I bored my family with chants of "Girl Power".

As I grew up my taste changed; I discovered Kate Moss. I had a new icon, and this time I emulated her style. For a few years I would devour images of Kate, breaking down her style and trying to recreate it on a Topshop budget (it's a shame I loved her before her collection for the brand). I had completely moved on from Posh.

When I look at Victoria Beckham now, I have mixed feelings. She wears great clothes, but I find her style extraordinarily rigid. There is nothing natural about her. Every outfit is planned to precision, which sucks out any originality. Her look screams money but it doesn't necessarily say style.

Despite this I have a lot of respect for Victoria. She was always the least talented of the group (though none of them were that skilled, let's be honest), but she made the best of what she had, and she ended up being the most successful. She's worked hard, she's made mistakes (that icky phase of hair extensions) but in the end she got what she wanted: a place in fashion. And that took real Girl Power.



This piece accurately captures the influence of the Spice Girls, and especially Posh Spice, on 20-something women...whether they grew up listening to tapes and CDs of the Spice Girls in the US, UK or the Middle East...

What fun it was to covet Posh's style...her cute mini dresses, strappy sandals and sleek bob (pob? hehe) even when most of us were stuck in school uniforms, had plenty of baby fat and usually flyaway, unmanagable hair.

I am going to be listening to Spice Girls on my iTunes for days to come now!

posted by Anonymous

Glad to know I wasn't the only one obsessing over Posh...I think her true calling was to be a designer and not a singer anyway, so I'm glad her line is doing so well.

posted by

You're absolutely correct about Victoria .

posted by Camelle Daley

So interesting that each of the Spice Girls has something in their to relate to pretty much everyone! Scary and Posh are the ones who really stood out for me (back in the days when my wardobe was school uniform, jogging bottoms and shell suits LOL).

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