NEW YORK — Gwen Stefani rocked the runway Friday night, unveiling her spring 2006 L.A.M.B. collection in her first-ever fashion show as the finale of New York's Olympus Fashion Week. The flourishing fashion designer not only debuted her new clothes, but also new music, weaving in three songs destined for the sequel to her solo album.
Stefani's collection — which was previewed at the Roseland concert venue, instead of the usual Fashion Week encampment at Bryant Park — lured the likes of Diddy, Ashanti, Lenny Kravitz, Bijou Phillips, Damon Dash, Kelly Osbourne, Scott Weiland, Faith Hill and Nicky Hilton, not to mention countless buyers from nationwide department stores and boutiques, plus fashion editors such as Vogue's Anna Wintour (who was seated next to the singer's husband, Gavin Rossdale, in the front row).
Interspersing snippets from "The Sound of Music" with her own music, Stefani presented some of her favorite cars, clothes and music on an unconventional runway that wasn't even really a runway at all, but more like the floor of a haunted garage. Four models emerged from pimped-out Cadillacs, which were initially covered with white sheets (to remind folks they were there, the car horns honked intermittently throughout the show).
The clothes themselves combined some of Stefani's other favorite things. One of the looks combines garden party with reggae; she calls it "Rasta Gatsby." Another, named "Pirate Trooper," draws inspiration from Vivienne Westwood's buccaneers and paratrooper jumpsuits. While many models did the usual stomp-walk down the stardust-flecked walkway, a few got into the groove and danced a little, especially when one of Stefani's new tunes was playing.
"I have a bunch of leftover tracks from making Love, Angel, Music, Baby," she said. "And two months ago, Pharrell called me up, he was like, 'Come down to Miami and write some more songs!' And I'm like, 'OK!' I went down there and wrote four songs and played three of them tonight. They're really fresh."
Besides previewing "Candyland," "Breaking Up" and "Orange County Girl," Stefani also snuck in a new song from Rossdale's new band, Institute, called "When Animals Attack." "It was a surprise," she said. "He didn't know about it. I bet he was like, 'Whoa!' "
"It was nice of her to put it in," Rossdale said. "I think she wanted to do something sweet."
"That was probably my favorite part of the whole thing," Stefani said. "Besides 'The Sound of Music,' of course. The Julie Andrews part was the best."
Come back later this week for a full-length feature on Gwen and her foray into fashion.