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Located off the ever-hip Upper Street, Angel Central Shopping Centre (formerly known as The N1 Centre) has a vibrant and stylish collection of shops, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and music venues under its roof.

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Spice Girls – How They Changed The Pop And Fashion Industry

When looking back to the 90s, there are few musical acts more iconic than the Spice Girls. The group came out of the bag swinging and dominated the charts with their irresistibly catchy songs and lovable personalities.

As well as producing music that never left the charts, the girls were well known for their strong fashion choices and for influencing a generation of young girls when it comes to what to wear.

We’ve decided to take a little look back at one of the biggest pop acts of all time and how they helped change the pop and fashion industry forever.

Who Are The Spice Girls?

Unless you’d been living under a rock during the mid to late 90s, we’re almost certain that you know who the Spice Girls are.

But for those who don’t, here is a brief rundown of the group.

The Spice Girls were a group of 5 female pop artists who quickly became a household name when they hit the music scene in the mid 90s. The group was made up of 5 distinctive personalities, Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), Mel B (Scary Spice), Mel C (Sporty Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) and Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice).

The girls got their nicknames from an interview with Top of the Pops magazine and the names stuck, each representing the girl’s personalities and reflecting in their outfits.

Spice Girls achieved a huge amount of success during their run, selling over 85 million albums worldwide and becoming the best selling female group of all time in the process. To top it all off, they even had their own movie with 1997’s Spice World, releasing shortly after the album of the same name.

This kind of global domination hadn’t been seen since “Beatlemania”, and were Britain’s biggest export during the turn of the century.

The Music

Spice Girls released 3 studio albums over the course of their initial 6 years run, with Spice in 1996, Spiceworld in 1997 and Forever in 2000.

Their hit singles include “Wannabe”, “2 Become 1”, “Say You’ll Be There”, “Spice Up Your Life”, “Too Much” and “Viva Forever”. We can almost guarantee that you will have heard most if not all of these iconic pop hits, and they’ll be stuck in your head for weeks.

With a focus on upbeat music and catchy hooks, the group appealed to a largely female fanbase and their “girl power” attitude had a big impact.

Spice Girls heavily pushed the idea of “girl power”, both in their music and their way of life. The message was featured throughout their music and merchandise to empower young girls, teenagers and adults. The song “Wannabe” is considered to be an iconic girl power anthem and for good reason.

One of the things that separated the Spice Girls from other groups at the time was the focus on equal mic time for each member, opting for individual lines rather than supporting one lead vocal. This attitude meant that the girls were really a group, rather than a solo act with backing singers and each member had their own recognisable voice.

The Fashion

Each member of the group had a very distinctive personality and the style to go with it, departing from the typical organised fashion that similar groups were wearing during that time.

Posh Spice wore a range of black designer outfits (mostly little black dresses) with a choppy brunette bob and high heels. Scary Spice rocked a huge afro to match her “in-your-face” attitude, and became synonymous with clothes featuring an animal print.

Sporty Spice opted for a “sporty” look, wearing her hair in a high ponytail and a variety of tracksuits and running gear. Baby Spice often dressed in pink, pastel and white outfits, going for a “girly” look and sporting the iconic blonde pigtails.

Ginger Spice embodied the group’s “sex appeal”, going for unique and bold stage outfits and rocking bright ginger hair.

The band often turned heads with their bold fashion sense, and Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack dress that she wore during the 1997 Brit Awards even sold for £41,320 to the Las Vegas Hard Rock Cafe during a charity auction. At the time, it was the most expensive piece of pop clothing ever sold and is a showcase for how popular the group really was.

As well as rocking their iconic stage outfits, the group often wore a range of different fashion choices that have seen a resurgence in recent years. Some of these include platform shoes, overalls, tracksuits, denim on denim and upper arm jewellery.

Walking down the streets in the 90s you were almost guaranteed to see essences of the Spice Girls’ fashion sense, and we’re sure that you’d spot something familiar walking down the streets of London today.

The Legacy

The huge amount of success that the group managed to achieve in just a few years as an all female act paved the way for modern female groups such as Little Mix, Pussycat Dolls and Fifth Harmony.

Their popularity didn’t go unnoticed either, and spawned a range of different groups trying to emulate their success like Girls Aloud, Sugababes and Atomic Kitten.

Despite hailing from Britain, Spice Girls’ music managed to hit all corners of the globe and many female artists have cited them as a big influence, including Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rita Ora, HAIM and Adele.

Demand for the group to reform was so high that the girls got back together in 2007 for another world tour, including 17 dates at The O2 Arena in London. The return also saw the release of a new single “Headlines (Friendship Never Ends), and the group finished up their tour in February 2008.

Spice Girls are still a highly sought after group, with fans eagerly awaiting news of another comeback tour or reunion, and we would personally love to see the group get back together for one last run.

The Spice Girls Exhibition

If you’re looking to get another fix of Spice Girls fever, be sure to check out #SpiceUpLondon – The Spice Girls Exhibition.

The Exhibition is running from 28th July to 20th August and features hundreds of the group’s iconic stage costumes, as well as a range of memorabilia and merchandise. Cost of entry is only £10 for adults and £5 for children, promising to be a vibrant and colourful feel-good time for people of all ages.

This event is located at the Business Design Centre in Islington and is a must-see for anyone looking to “spice up” their life. Will we see you there?

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