Mel B. in Zuhair Murad at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony.
How does a gay even begin to blog about chit-chatting with one of his tween idols? *Dead* I still remember (OBVI) the first time my ten-year-old self watched (see also: ugly cried; shrieked) the pop perfection known as The Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” music video on MTV. Since that moment, my life has never been the same. Mel B. (oh haaai Scary Spice!) was everything my shy, pimply tween self wanted to be: she had big hair, big shoes, big ’tude, was crazily confident and crashed a chic fete with her homegirls whilst shaking her thang on a staircase, and shouting out her own sassy language (“ZIG-A-ZIG-AAAAH!”). Besides teaching me that “friendship never ends!”, the English gals also gave me the birds and the bees safe sex run-down via their ballad, “2 Become 1”, (“put it on, put it on!”), for which I’m sure my parents were quite pleased. Although Scary Spice and I shared a mutual appreciation for leopard print and a good tongue ring, my “friends” perpetually made me be Sporty Spice :'( (As a result, I still have nightmares of my evil peers ripping apart my pull-away Adidas track pants on the playground). Following Ginger Spice’s devastating exit, I tried to move on: I stored my hundreds of Spice Girl Tiger Beat mags in a drawer, I binged on all of my Spice Girls Chupa Chups lollipops, I perpetually cried myself to sleep whilst grasping my Scary Spice Beanie Baby and humming their immaculate ballad, “Goodbye”. But, as Mel B’s verse in the aforementioned pop gem suggests, I was advised to “look for the rainbow in every storm”… And, thank the gay Gods/90s nostalgia, I found that rainbow illuminating our Spice World once again! If you’re a functioning human being, you KNOWWW that the Girl Power is in the air again, most recently atop massive bedazzled cabs at the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony in which the hotties reunited for a killer performance from which I’m still recovering. I’m even prouder that I didn’t die after interviewing SCARY SPICE over the weekend. Yes, you lot! I kiki-ed with Mel B, all for our dear MTV Style readers, about all things fashion-y, like her winning Olympics look, how she remains so flaw-free, and the return of the Spice Girls. (!!!!!!!) YOU’RE WELCOME.
MTV Style: Let’s talk about how amazing you looked at the Olympics. What’s the story behind rocking Zuhair Murad?
Melanie Brown: My stylist, Stephanie Kradjian, is very much into the fashion world. She knows what’s hot and she knows what designers are up-and-coming and this, that and the other. We only had ten days to actually get the look together, which meant, if it was an overseas designer, I wouldn’t be able to have a one-on-one fitting because of the time. She chose Zuhair Murad. He’s done all of J.Lo’s tour costumes and he’s very much aware of the body, curves and how durable it has to be so you can move in it. Stephanie got a hold of him, and they’re both from Lebanon. It was ridiculous. We gave him like 29 different measurements and sent them to him, he sent us like four or five different sketches. She briefed him and told him we wanted some kind of form-fitting catsuit — so it’d be a bit more of an up-to-date extension of my Spice Girls’ Scary Spice look. The Olympics were on a Sunday, the outfit arrived on the Saturday. thank God it fit! Everything was great. We actually had to send someone over to Lebanon to personally pick it up rather than trying to rely on the customs.
According to your fellow Spice Girls’ tweets, you partied till the crack of dawn in your Zuhair Murad!
Mel B: Well, we didn’t perform until 10:30 at night, but then there was a lock-in because of security. No one could leave the building until 12:30/1 a.m. So we had our own little party in our dressing room. Then the four of us — because Victoria went home with her kids — went on to George Michael’s house party. And yeah, I stayed in my costume! I thought, well, I’ve gone through all of that trouble to get it and the designer really rushed through everything because it was all hand-stitched. So I was like, “Well, I don’t wanna take it off!” So I wore it to the after-party till like 8:30, 9 a.m. the next day.
Who had the most pre-performance jitters? Did Baby Spice stay true to her moniker?!
I think we were all pretty nervous. Just the fact we were balancing on top of cabs. But once we got out on stage, our energy between each other was just on fire. So we just totally energized each other. Nerves got replaced by just being really excited.
What’s your favorite Scary Spice look of all time?
That’s a hard one! During our reunion tour, I really liked these leather pants that Roberto Cavalli made me. They laced all the way up the back and I had a zipper right on my butt-crack. I really loved those.
And what about one you regret?
I mean, I used to wear a lot of hot pants and bra tops, which I thought at that moment in time I was the shit. But not so much when I look back. I’m like, “Oh dear!” But I was very confident, and I still am. I wouldn’t wear anything I feel uncomfortable with.
It’s incredibly unfair that you look even more gorgeous than you did in like, 1996. Spill the beauty secrets, please.
Aw! I always make sure I cleanse. I do a Clarisonic once a week by myself to get all of the dead skin cells off and rejuvenate my skin. I just try to care about myself as much as possible. I drink a lot of water. I make sure I get a good five or six hours of sleep at night, which sometimes can be difficult with kids. I try and work out every other day, whether it’s going for a walk or doing sit-ups. I drink this water called Real Water. It’s got Alkaline in it and it’s really good for your body and your balance and everything. After my last pregnancy which was, oh my God, about a year ago, I really got on board with Jenny Craig and got on the healthy eating plan but not starving myself. I’ve just kind of took a bit more control.
Back to the Spice Girls! What do you reckon is the best styled SG music video?
Well, all five of us would never wear what each other wear. So we’re all really individual and really different. I always think the four other girls look amazing. The video that was the most fun was “Wannabe” because that was straight out of the gate. And the last one, “Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)” where we were all in a gown-kind-of-vein… That one was a little more classy and grown up.
What song is the most fun to perform?
Oh, they’re all really good. “Wannabe” is always a good one and “Who Do You Think You Are?” because it’s upbeat and a bit disco-ish and “Spice Up Your Life”. All of those ones that are uptempo are really good to perform.
Do you ever get tired of singing the same hits all of these years?
Nooo! We wrote them all, so how could you get sick of something that you wrote?
If you could raid any of your style icon’s closets, who would it be and what would you take?
Probably now, because I’m a little bit older, even though she’s dead — Coco Chanel. The jewelry and the Chanel handbags! I’d mix and match it up with a pair of my skinny jeans and stuff like that.
How would you compare your style from today to, say, 1996?
In 1996, I didn’t really care too much. As long as it was comfortable and not much of it, it was fine for me! Nowadays, I think I’m a bit more edgy and a bit sexier and classier. I do a bit more research with my stylist.
Who are your favorite designers?
Oh, I love Tom Ford’s stuff. I just wore an outfit of his the other day. It’s very form-fitting and elegant. And Victoria too! I love what she’s been doing. She does amazing stuff and she always looks incredible.
What are some of your favorite photo-shoots?
The Vogue cover with Mario Testino was a really good one. I just did one recently with my husband for breast cancer that’s coming out in Cosmopolitan. We did a take on that famous Janet Jackson shot where her boobs are being held and she’s wearing a pair of baggy Levi’s. I did it with the curly hair and my husband holding my boobs. That should be out in September.
Your hair nowadays isn’t as wild. Will we ever see the return of the iconic sassy fro?
Yeah, definitely. I like switching my hair up — from going straight to a bit of a wave to super curly. I love all of the different looks. I loved the way it looked in ’96 and I love the way it looks now. I like doing it all.
What are some of your essential hair products?
I use a bit of Bumble and Bumble. I love deep conditioner stuff and oil treatments. I use a hair treatment once a week at home.
Okay, sorry. I MUST to ask… Spice. Girls. Reunion. WHEN/WHERE!!!!!
We launch our musical in December so we’ll be all getting back together then. Then, who knows?
I’d like to passionately insist y’all performing a song or eight at the after-party.
(Laughs) We haven’t had that conversation yet. I think we’re all just pretty high from the Olympics. We’ll see…!