NEW YORK — “This makes me want to throw up on the spot!” If anyone other than Gwen Stefani utters those words, it’s a very bad thing. But tumbling from her lips, it translates as: “I like. I like very much.”
Right now, the hyphenated entertainer — lead singer of No Doubt, fashion designer and Hollywood actress — is fingering a 3-by-3-inch swatch of multicolored striped cotton, wondering if it will fit into her spring 2006 L.A.M.B. collection, her fifth since launching the label in 2004. Forget the rock superstardom, forget having Galliano on her speed dial, forget the acting debut in a Scorsese flick. Gwen the Garmento is Stefani’s reality right now. And with L.A.M.B., she’s proving that her design efforts aren’t merely a marketing ploy — the line’s success has more to do with interest from the fashion flock than her fan base.
In town for press appearances to promote her solo album, “L.A.M.B.,” released in November, Stefani is also taking the opportunity to meet in her airy SoHo showroom with her creative team — designer Zaldy and stylist Andrea Lieberman — to present fall’s collection to buyers and editors. Elbow-deep in swatches and sketches, the trio is editing possible fabrics.
When Stefani likes a swatch, she meows. Literally. Or lets out a one-off Gwen-ism — “Don’t even be jealous” or “I don’t think you understand how much of a love situation this is” — that doesn’t necessarily make sense but perfectly gets the point across that she’s happy. For every purr, Zaldy rattles off the fabric’s technical details and marks it with a silver marker. Lieberman then studies it closely before putting it in a “maybe” pile.
“What about viscose?” the platinum pop star asks, rifling through the heap. “I’m a viscose junkie. I love the way she hangs,” referring to fabrics in the feminine. This time, Stefani doesn’t find a viscose, but she does find a white slub that elicits a meow. “OK, when we get to London,” Stefani interrupts the session after almost an hour, “we’re going to jam again.” That means finalizing the technical drawings and sending fabrics for sampling.
Issa Rae stopped by WWD's NYC headquarters to talk about season two of "Insecure," which premieres this Sunday on HBO. Click link in bio for all the details. #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery; Styled by @mayteallende)
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"