Thursday 18th April

| BY Paul Toner

So, So, So Scandalous… The Garage Girl Dress Ethos According to Mis-Teeq

When you think back to the trends that dominated the noughties, our vision is hazed by memories of trashy US glamour. The E! network darlings that ruled the screens of yester-years are most known for their Juicy Couture looks. Velour tracksuits in sugary shades of pink and what only could be described as a Millions bubble-gum blue were the go-to for Britney, Paris, Nicole and a baby-faced Kim K. In recent years this early-00s Cali style has crossed the Atlantic in a sudden nostalgic resurgence in the UK. With Ms. Hilton now designing a range for Boohoo, and Baby Phat set to make a comeback, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Baby Phat sphinx began adorning the rear’s of next generation’s Brit darlings. But if you’re looking for some nougties flare to spice up your wardrobe there’s no need to look stateside. The quintessential, effortlessly slick style of been-and-gone Brit girl groups are criminally underrated. But no band has been payed as much dust as Mis-Teeq. Whilst the kids of today may only know Alesha Dixon as that woman off the tele, it was Dixon, Sabrina Washington and Su-Elise Nash who brought the garage girl dress ethos from the clubs of East London to TV screens across the nation.

The group where about dressing to the nines, all of the time. Skimpy wrap tops were a go-to, worn with skin tight jeans or PVC that clung to the body. Mis-Teeq embodied that preened glamour that engulfed the dance floors amidst London’s UKG phenomenon. Whilst for the men it was all about Moschino all-over printed shirts and jackets, the garage girls style ethos was about finding that equilibrium between flashy branding and high-street ‘going out’ clobber.

You just look at the B With Me music video to catch Alesha’s Dior monogram halter top moment, paired with a denim mini-skirt – it’s the perfect mix of luxe and high street, a super-sleek combo for two-stepping into the earliest hours of the next morning. Cargo trousers cut low at the waist were also a favourite of the trio, worn in the video for their throwback bop Scandalous. Revisiting the video today, the kaki strappy corsets and whispy chiffon tank tops don’t fray too far from the sensual vision Charlotte Knowles has curated in recent years.

And didn’t they love a bit of gold. All I Want saw the group sucked into a parallel gold-tinged universe, busting out into an intense choreographed routine, clad in thigh-high boots a similar shade as the backdrop. This bling bling, flashy sort of confidence the colour brings to a garment has been capitalised on heavily by Jeremy Scott at Moschino, whose brash designs are most often dripping in the opulent hue. The girls were partial to a red ensemble also, there most memorable being the 2001 MOBO awards, all three sporting some killer cherry-hued leather – Oops… I Did It Again meets an Aaliyah silhouette, each look would tie in nicely with Shayne Oliver’s chorus of bondage-inspired looks from his stint at Helmut Lang.

Though Scandalous may have been left behind as a floor filler of our school discos, Alesha Dixon has since hinted at a possible return for the group, telling Lorraine Kelly back in 2017 that “it’s just finding that time to do it.” As Dixon said, time is of the essence, so what are you doing? It’s time to start shopping some garage girl-worthy garms for yourself.