Thanks to Rosie and our friends at Everything In Time, apparently a two-page article and interview with Gwen from backstage at her L.A.M.B. this last September will be appearing in the upcoming February 2011 issue of Teen Vogue. We will have scans available as soon the magazine hits stores.
I canâ€™t say Iâ€™m enthusiastic about the recent celebrity-turned-designer trend. In fact, Iâ€™m a skeptic. Too often I feel people are expected to drop a couple hundred dollars just because X celebrity was good in Y sitcom, thus somehow making Xâ€™s design abilities top-notch. So, though a fan of Gwen Stefaniâ€™s music, I wasnâ€™t sure what to expect when I entered the L.A.M.B. studio.
Gwen and I went straight to posing for the photos you see here, while discussing hair coloring, Heathers, and the time weâ€™d previously met (it was supercool that Gwen remembered me a year later!) When the photographer suggested we look more active, Gwen would say things like that, â€Let me show you this purse!â€ in a sarcastic way that poked fun at how awkward it was to create the illuision of natural conversation through midsentence expressions. Even better was when she pointed to a botched sample bag and smiled for the camera, uttering through clenched teeth: â€See these little dots? They make me want to punch someoneâ€. Her dryly humorous but composed anger reminded me of her attitude in the video for No Doubtâ€™s â€Just A Girlâ€. This isnâ€™t to say she wasnâ€™t stoked about the collection, just smart enough to care about the conditions of her designs. Excited to show it to an outsider and receive feedback, she had stories behind each piece, many of which gave African-inspired fabrics a streetwear shape. A few of my favorite things (Gwenâ€™s not the only one who can reference The Sound of Music!) included an optic bag, a butterfly-print dress, and deconstructed jeans.
In discussing how the brand came about, she said she didnâ€™t want to name it after herself and that she hopes those who buy her clothes do so for the garments, not her celebrity. As Gwen showed me different ways sheâ€™d style a pair of what she nicknamed â€jailbird pantsâ€, an old video Iâ€™d seen on YouTube came to mind: Gwen is 22, pre-fame, and showing the camera a DIY â€jailhouse dressâ€. That use of personal identity is what makes her designs not derive from tabloid appearances but act as a further reflection of her as an artist. Like her music, they embrace a side of her that is unabashedly unique, whether she executes it through kaleidoscope prints or by singing a friendly reminder: â€Itâ€™s my life!â€