Leeds to host Spice Girls exhibition

It's been 15 years since the Spice Girls, featuring Leeds lass Mel B, had their first number one hit with Wannabe.

And Leeds City Museum is celebrating "girl power" in style – by opening an exhibition set to delight fans of the fiesty fivesome.

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Spiceworld: The Exhibition, which will open at the museum on January 28, features an extensive collection of Spice Girls memorabilia owned by Yorkshire's ultimate fan Liz West.

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Liz became hooked on the band at the age of 11 after buying their debut album Spice – and closely followed the antics of Baby, Sporty, Scary, Ginger and Posh as they rose to global superstars.

She now owns almost 4,000 pieces of official Spice Girls merchandise,

including clothes worn by the band during their 1990s heyday.

Items set to go on display at the exhibition include the Union flag boots worn by Geri Halliwell in Spiceworld: The Movie, Emma Bunton's blue sequin dress from the 1997 Brit Awards and Mel B's trademark giraffe print catsuit, complete with 'Mel B' crystal-studded belt.

Liz said: "Popular music is directly related to people's personal histories and whilst the Spice Girls connect with my own youth, I hope the exhibition will act as a trigger to allow the public to recall past memories.

"I am looking forward to seeing the public's reaction to the Spice Girls exhibition – it will be a great experience for all the family."

The Spice Girls – Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown (Mel B) and Melanie Chisholm (Mel C) – leapt to fame with Wannabe in 1996 and enjoyed a string of hits, including Spice Up Your Life, Say You'll Be There and Who Do You Think You Are.

They split in 2000, two years after Geri left the band, but reunited for a brief spell in 2007.

Mel B was born in Harehills and grew up in Burley. The 35-year-old now lives in Los Angeles with husband Stephen Belafonte and daughters Phoenix Chi, 11, and Angel Iris, three.

Leeds City Museum's curator of exhibitions Helen Langwick said: "The Spiceworld exhibition will be a fun way to start the new year and we are excited about it coming to Leeds City Museum.

"Whether you are a Spice Girls fan or not this free exhibition is sure to trigger lots of memories from their heyday when you couldn't move for seeing and hearing them seemingly everywhere.

"This will be the first time this amazing collection has been seen together in its entirety anywhere in the world so we are really looking forward to it."

Spiceworld: The Exhibition will run from Thursday, January 20 to Sunday, July 3.

For more information on Leeds City Museum, visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/citymuseum

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