American rock star Gwen Stefani's label L.A.M.B. salutes tough girls in a mash-up of multicultural glamour for Fall 2011 on the runway on the last night of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.
Her show celebrated tough girls from around the fashion world. It resembled a rock concert on the runway with a change in lighting, sound and music for each of the six mini-collections she presented.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 17, 2011) REUTERS - Like a DJ sampling tracks, American rock star and designer Gwen Stefani brought a mash-up of multicultural styles to the Fall 2011 runway of her fashion label L.A.M.B. on Thursday (February 17) on the final night of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.
Stefani, who became famous as the lead singer of rock band No Doubt, talked with Reuters Television backstage about her decision to go with global glamour for her Fall 2011 collection.
"We basically divided the collection up into six different categories and had the whole thing be almost like six different little fashion shows. We have hair and makeup different. We have music different. The screens behind the girls are different and it's a lot of work. It's like almost doing six shows in one show, and I don't know whose idea that was," she said, with a flirtatious shrug.
Her label L.A.M.B., founded in 2004, takes its name from an acronym for "Love.Angel.Music.Baby," the title of Stefani's first solo album.
Stefani, who is married to British singer and rhythm guitarist Gavin Rossdale of the band Bush, is also the mother of their two young children. She talked backstage about her music and fashion juggling act.
"We've been in the studio all year doing No Doubt record and the music, that whole thing is just so rewarding, and it's fun to take breaks from that though and come do the fashion thing, and I think it's actually it fuels each other, you know what I mean, cause now I really miss doing that now that I'm doing this," Stefani said. "It's that 'you always want what you don't have' kind of thing."
Stefani talked about her decision to tap multicultural influences on fashion, giving an indication that her concepts of style and beauty are more than skin deep.
"Like all the 'Buffalo Girls' girls are Asian. All the 'Ragga Muffin' girls are black girls. All the English girls have, like, short pixie hair and so it's just kind of fun to be able to be really specific and theatrical about it," Stefani said.
With helicopters buzzing on the backdrop screen, models in her "Soldier Girl" collection stomped down the runway in camouflage prints and khaki wool. Stefani gave the military look some "girly chic" by popping a shearling flight jacket with leather trim over a pleated mini skirt. The styles paid tribute in a visual way to American troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the helicopters and the soundtrack's throbbing bass recalled 1971, the Vietnam War and the draft lottery for some in the audience. In keeping with the 1970s silhouettes that ran like a common thread through the Fall 2011 collections in New York, Stefani showed maxi coats and pleated maxi skirts.
"Ragga Muffin Girls," the second mini-collection from L.A.M.B., featured all black models. This alone set the L.A.M.B. show apart from most of the New York runway shows, where it's still typical to see only a few black women among a cast of 20 or 30 models for a large show. Navajo-inspired prints in silk chiffon and colorful wool sweaters with Navajo designs looked fresh for Fall 2011 - and wearable. This look also played with menswear styles - cuff-link shirts, ties, V-necked sweater vests and skinny pants.
Her "London Girls" rocked out in 1970s-style motorcycle jackets in black leather, stretch leather leggings and bowler hats. These birds also went mad for plaid. They walked tough in plaid punker pants or played the flirt in a plaid crepe dress cut on the bias.
Patchwork sweaters and capes defined the "Buffalo Girls" group, worn by only Asian models - in another example of Stefani's commitment to diversity on the runway. One funky look that worked: a pair of dropped-crotch pants in a bold gauze print.
The "Mod Girls" favored black and white in bold patterns - leopard print, big polka dots and stripes. Their style story was surprisingly bare for Fall 2011. The bustier dress and the bustier tunic stood out. A long black jersey skirt with a high split could be a "go to" piece for a club-going girl.
"Glamour Girls," the night's final look, used black jersey, crepe and chiffon with swinging gold chains for 1970s-influenced party wear. A long tunic dress, wide-leg palazzo pants and a halter jumpsuit would work, no doubt, on young, lean women.
The designer took her runway walk, hand in hand, with her 4-year-old son, Kingston.