Flashback Friday: Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack Dress And How Very Far We’ve Come From A Cool Britannia

Do you know what was on the back of Geri Halliwell's iconic Union Jack dress?

Flashback Friday: Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack Dress And How Very Far We’ve Come From A Cool Britannia

by Alya Mooro |

It was arguably very specific circumstances which allowed Geri Halliwell's union jack dress to be regarded as really freaking cool as opposed to... well, the opposite.

It’s only Geri Halliwell, only under the umbrella of the Spice Girls and only at that specific time in the trajectory of history/pop culture/the UK (Brace yourselves for this little tit-bit of information I've only just unearthed myself but ummm.... she wore that dress 20 years ago. As in 20 whole years ago. Sobs frantically into the sands of time.) was she able to pull it off and make the union jack dress one of the most instantly recognisable and iconic outfits of all time. Yes, of all time.

So iconic, in fact, the dress has its own Wikipedia page, sold for £41,320 and earned itself a place in the book of Guinness World Records for being the most expensive item of pop star clothing dealt at auction. For reference, it made more than Marilyn Monroe’s white halter-neck dress and Princess Diana’s wedding gown.

And on the back of the dress? Geri rocked a peace symbol. Ahh it just keeps getting better and better. Truth be told if a Geri Halliwell circa Spice Girls equivalent tried to rock that today (yes, I know there is NO equivalent bar maybe a tenuous link to a Little Mix member or two,) they would become a meme before they had even finished pulling the dress over their heads. And yet, Geri made that dress look freaking cool, kitsch peace sign on the back and all.


It was a fitting dress to wear to the 1997 BRITS, considering we were all living peak Cool Britannia at that point: London was the most exciting city on the planet, New Labour meant optimism was rife and the word ‘Brexit’ was not even a glint in anyone’s worst nightmares. The following month, Liam Gallagher and soon-to-be-wife Patsy Kensit featured on the front of Vanity Fair reclining on a Union Jack duvet, and the patriotism continued. Yup, Union Jack’s were everywhere from tops, socks, hats to bags and beyond.

Indeed, those were the times when pop stars were political, had views about the world we live in and weren’t afraid to share them. The Spice Girls themselves had some pretty out-there views, although we wouldn’t have expected any less from them, tbh. They were massive Tories, were big advocates of the monarchy, and of keeping the pound as opposed to joining the Euro.

These days, we’re more likely to be talking about the various states of undress we might find a pop star in, rather than the patriotic stance they’re taking by means of a tiny tea-towel of a dress, and we’re long gone from the days of Cool Britannia and knee deep in a messy Brexit, a pretty dire economic situation and etc.

But in nostalgia we revel and Geri, you will forever be iconic for that dress, that attitude and that moment.

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Follow Alya on Instagram @Moorizzla

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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