NEW YORK – Gwen Stefani (search) is spending $1 million-plus on the debut runway show for her clothing line L.A.M.B., which takes place at 8 p.m. on Sept. 16.
She's banking on generating a superstar-splash at New York City's Fashion Week (search) -- the high-octane biannual trade event that kicked off Friday morning in Bryant Park.
While Stefani is the most deep-pocketed player participating in this season's style circus, she's not the only first-timer brazenly angling to snatch the spotlight from powerhouse fixtures like Donna, Ralph, Oscar and Calvin Klein.
The advance buzz British designer Alice Temperly (search) is cooking up -- as the current favorite of red-carpet trendsetters, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mischa Barton and Scarlett Johansson -- is so deafening that invites to her Monday-night show are more difficult to get than the week's official Lacoste-sponsored goodie bag (which, among other pricey freebies, contains first-class upgrades on Continental airlines).
Equally hard to snag is a seat at the 9 p.m. Tuesday show being presented by avant-garde Japanese design guru Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas.
The quirky partnership, which at its inception four years ago sparked a global craze for Y-3 $500 sneakers, is expected to showcase some of next season's must-have accessories during its first New York outing.
Other Bryant Park virgins -- most notably Doo.Ri, Charles Nolan, Matthew Earnest and Mary Ping -- will be competing for attention with seasoned sensation-makers like Marc Jacobs (search), the downtown darling who last season created an uproar with a provocative collection that many critics (not us!) hated.
Speculation about what surprise Jacobs will reveal when he shows, at 8 p.m. on Monday night, is one of the juiciest talking points among the fashion flock.
Other tidbits titillating fashion followers are the whispers that Tracy Reese, who is always the first designer to zoom in on the trends that will make it from the runway into reality, is working largely in white on a white color palette.
Also, Zen-mistress Donna Karan plans to unveil a collection heavy on doodlelike graffiti when she shows at 3 p.m. on Sept. 16.