Friday, 10 February 2012

Geri Gets Patriotic With Next

Geri Halliwell has recreated her Union Jack dress for Next, available this March for a real British Summer celebration.
I remember that first moment in 1997 when Geri Halliwell performed at the Brit Awards in the iconic Union Jack dress. She totally stole the show and it was the first time I had seen a celebrity show such pride for England with 'Cool Brittania' before Blur/Oasis. 
We all know the story about how her sister Karen just helped Geri sew two tea towels together to get the dress and the rest is history. 'That' dress, went on to sell in auction for a whopping £41,320!  

Geri Halliwell performing at the BRITS in the Union Jack dress (1997) Photo: Rex

Geri performing at the Spice Girl reunion tour. (2007) (Getty Images)
In 2007 Geri resurrected the dress once again when she performed for the Spice Girls reunion concert. The Swarovski-embellished design was conceived by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli and was notably sleeker, sparkly, more stream-lined and well, expensive! It still didn't capture our hearts as much as the first dress though as this one was unobtainable and lacked that 'Geri' cheek that we all locked onto. This was older Geri doing a gig and not the 'I'm proud to be British' brashness that we had seen before.

This year is almost 15 years later, Geri and Next have exclusively created a new collection of Union Jack pieces. The range includes a host of printed items including a stunning bikini, bold vests, t-shirts, a maxi dress and not to forget the stand out, fully sequined mini dress.

Prices start at £18 and the collection is available in selected stores and online from early March. The Union Jack collection is Geri's latest range with Next and adds to her existing swimwear, lingerie and dress collections.

"The Union Jack dress was my favourite stage outfit and with everything that is happening this year such as the Olympics and the Jubilee it just felt the right time to design an updated version of the dress for my range with Next" Halliwell said in a statement. Well, with street parties being lined up and so much activity for England this year I can certainly see this range being a hit.
But, will the thirty somethings like me, who became fascinated by Geri's GIRL POWER, now want to deck themselves out in outfits that are louder than and normal Next range we have seen? We don't have the same figures as when we were 16, no matter how patriotic we are feeling, and flags? well I don't think they ever really looked good on anyone as a pattern. Let's have a look at the collection...

All pictures (c) Next

Jersey maxi dress £38
This a long beach dress that is sure to make you be seen wherever you are on the beach. Not one for Marbs, but you can see girls wearing this for our upcoming fun events. The emphasis on 'fun' here as it's definitely not an everyday attire. The holiday destination Benidorm comes to mind, then you wouldn't need a towel to save your bed you could just lay the dress flat on one till the morning.

Strappy sequin dress £199
Much more like the Cavalli 2007 version with sparkly sequins, it appears a good length with wonderful stretch material that holds you in. I love the cowl neckline for a cheeky cleavage line and this dress doesn't see quite as garish. The Ascot commentators will be quaking in their boots at the sight of these popping up everywhere in terms of high fashion, but it is more wearable than the full length maxi. I would wear this, but I might need some Champagne to help me celebrate. Lots of it. Perhaps one for the Queen's Jubilee. For the price and the fact that I wouldn't wear it everyday, it would have to be an event worth being 'iconic' for.

                                                    Cowl back sequin dress £48
This is a cute little holiday number for holidays and not so imposing. I like the abstract flag design and the price is good. Looks a little short though and not sure about that cowl open back, I can see bra strap lines hanging out in clashing colours as we speak. The sequins make the dress that little bit more special than another brand. I would wear it but I would play it down with flat shoes and some long waves in my hair like Geri.

                                                         Bikini top £22
                                                         Bikini briefs £18

I have to admit, I love this bikini. I always used to see girls in America with their flag on one and never saw any British style ones. The briefs are not too skimpy and the top really holds the boobs in great. No dodgy shape for uneven tan lines. Win!

                                               Jersey t-shirt £24 Denim shorts £30
Fun and comfortable, lots of women on the go will probably team this with leggings. I would say go for it if you have toned arms and a flattish stomach. (Not me then).

  Jersey t-shirt £24 Denim shorts £30
I like this t-shirt. With skinny jeans you can Kate Moss this one up and make it look cool. Denim shorts are lovely. Great price on both. I would wear these on a casual basis.

So, I'll tell you what I want what I really, really want... Geri Halliwell to stop looking so damn good and showing me up, oh and I'll have the nice strappy sequin dress please. I've decided that maybe it is time to live out my Geri persona once and for all, just maybe NOT with the 5 inch red platforms.

The dress goes on sale from March for £199 online at NEXT ONLINE or call 0844 844


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