by Michael Miller.
Remember last season’s fashion week, when everything was doom and gloom and designers sent what looked like funeral gowns — everything but the veil — down the runway? Well, yeah, the fashion press is still talking about The End of the Fashion Industry and shoppers are about as confident as a couple of kids at a middle school dance. Still, maybe it’s the effort that counts. For her part, Gwen Stefani was definitely trying to lighten things up with the presentation of her clothing line, L.A.M.B., at Milk Studios on Thursday.
The whole ’80s vibe was pounded pretty hard into everyone’s heads with some of the stupider moments of that decade (*cough* Africa by Toto *cough*) blasting through loudspeakers…
The models came out with their hair done up in big pompadours wearing oversized t-shirts hanging off of one shoulder, big ass shoulder pads, and even bigger stilettos. Yeah there was some black, but it was sexy black, not someone-just-died black. Stefani appeared with her own big pompadour and electric blue eyeliner. Everyone cheered and Stefani gave a small grin.
“People are concerned about price points, but you can’t stifle creativity,” Stefani’s publicist Paul Wilmot said.
Fine. Whatever. But it’s sort of true. L.A.M.B. is almost senselessly retro. In her clothing, Stefani doesn’t give a shit about anything: what other designers are doing, what trends are big right now, the deep melancholy pervading in the industry, certainly not reporters, not even motherhood.
“The only thing parenting has to do with my collection is that the babies aren’t in my stomach anymore,” she said, entirely slate-faced. Reporters and cameraman bombarded Stefani and she fixed her gaze into an emotionless stare.
Finally, when some poor assistant brought out her two children Kingston, 3, and Zuma, 1, (they’ve both got the beginnings of blonde pompadours too!), she can’t contain the happiness on her face, becoming just about as energetic as her clothing. This fashion week might be as sober as the last one — well, not if you’re a Voice correspondent — but L.A.M.B. was definitely a sunburst of excitement.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 11, 2009