Gwen Stefani “All Tied Up” at L.A.M.B. Fashion Week Show


Gwen Stefani
L.A.M.B. fashion show
Milk Studios
Thursday, February 11

Somewhere in here is a trenchant quip about Gwen Stefani getting “all tied up,” but it is out of deep, California sisterhood that I will not sink to it.

Thursday afternoon at Milk Studios, on the opening day of New York Fashion Week, the No Doubt queen unveiled her L.A.M.B. clothing line’s Fall 2010 collection, a crop that seemed equally inspired by industrial femininity and light bondage. In contrast to her previous Spring 2010 looks of animal-print jersey dresses and demure lace leggings, she favored cropped tweed track pants, high-waisted black leather slacks and shorts, sharply cut asymmetrical dresses in bold psychedelic patterns, and repurposed belts–tons of belts, in fact, slung every which way on the retro-coiffed models to an effect that looked both constricting and Rambo-esque awesome.

It was a terrific collection of intricate details; the pieces can be worn independently and effortlessly, which speaks to the design identity that L.A.M.B. has come to earn independent of its rock-star creator. Stefani opened the line in 2004 to some skepticism–did any celebrity not spawn a clothing line last decade?–but the line has steadily grown ever since; its garments, handbags, shoes, and fragrances are all sold at Bloomingdale’s and a cheaper line, Harajuku Lovers accessories, was introduced a few years ago. L.A.M.B. is interwoven with Stefani’s musical loves–past collections have featured rasta-inspired stripes and Tragic Kingdom-era schoolgirl tartan, and even the name recalls her solo debut (2004’s Love Angel Music Baby). But L.A.M.B. couldn’t survive on her pin-up power alone. She’s managed to maintain an exciting, enduringly cool label, and it’s yet another reason to admire her–and the audience at her show clearly did, breaking the usual steely detachment of Fashion Week shows to giggle and clamor for her photo when she emerged for her post-show bow, a moment of levity in an otherwise grave day darkened by news of British designer Alexander McQueen’s suicide.

Now when is No Doubt coming out with a new album, again? Because from the look of these clothes, it’s gonna be hella tight.

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