September 15, 2005
Hours before her first-ever runway show would begin, Gwen Stefani was hurtling through back-to-back interviews in Roseland Ballroom's basement. "My inspiration for this show is the same as it's been all my life," she said. "A little Sound of Music, some Orange County chola girl, some Rasta, and a bit of The Great Gatsby." Given all of the press she's done in anticipation of her L.A.M.B. runway debut, it's no surprise she has the sound bytes and fashion shorthand down pat. Soon after the lights dimmed (just shy of an hour behind schedule), the first three influences became clear. Remakes of the von Trapp family's greatest hits blared from the speakers, four O.C.-ready low-riders parked along the room's perimeter bounced on their axles, and a bevy of beauties, their hair in cornrows and their lips lined in dark pencil, hit the glitter-strewn runway in red, black, yellow, and green knits. The Fitzgerald reference was mostly lost on this observer, but no matter.
Stefani is the most dedicated of our celebrity designers, and certainly the most talented. She waited four seasons before she brought her collection to the catwalk, and it paid off. Not only was it wide-rangingencompassing day (cashmere cardigans) and evening (scallop-hemmed cocktail dresses), sporty (tracksuits) and elegant (thirties-style siren gowns)it was also well made. Standouts included versions of the silk crepe tank dress the singer wore last week to Fashion Rocks, a python-print group, and wool admiral jackets. This multitalented star deserves a hollaback to the runway, and this Roseland spectacle was worth the wait.