NEW YORK – Gwen Stefani put on an encore for the fashion world Thursday night, the last big event of New York Fashion Week.
Stefani sent out mostly African-tribal looks, including some flirty dresses with mixed prints, a short shift with full mosiac-pattern beading and a white tuxedo with hand beading down the sides of the legs of the skinny trousers. There were some softer, pretty looks -- a silk chiffon dress with ruffled shoulders, among them -- and she even sneaked in a tailored menswear-style pantsuit.
Mel B. snapped a photo of a plaid bustier top and matching pants.
This marked the return of LAMB to the main runways of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week after staging much smaller presentations in recent seasons. Husband Gavin Rossdale, and sons Kingston and Zuma cheered her from the front row as Stefani, in a wild-print peplum jacket and a plaid skirt-pant combo that pretty much only a rock star can pull off, took her bow. (Her No Doubt song "Hey Baby" was playing in the background.)
In an interview Wednesday, Stefani said she was nervous but excited about the spring collection, which underwent a lot of last-minute changes, all for the better. "I love doing a fashion show. It's more dramatic, more theatrical. ... It's great."
Once it's done -- as she's taking her bow -- she is usually fighting off some tears. "I try not to cry. It's not that I'm so happy or so sad, I think it's just the natural release."
She's been doing concerts and other musical performances for so long that they no longer make her nervous, she explained. "With fashion, I'm now asking if I can play in your house, even though I didn't grow up in your neighborhood."
Make no mistake, though: She's no fashion novice. Other celebrities have come and gone, but Stefani has remained committed to LAMB, which retailers have said performs when it comes to sales.
Stefani said she has spent the past two weeks in Canada working on the line. One of her favorite pieces of the season is a butterfly-print, scoop-neck dress that was born out of a scrap of fabric. Fashion is funny that way, she said, with ideas and inspiration coming from unexpected places.
But the tribal look is one she's always wanted to tackle. "I've always wanted to do the tribal thing but it's pretty hard to get right. I think we've got it."