NEW YORK – Rock star Gwen Stefani (search) didn't break any new fashion ground with the debut of her L.A.M.B collection — but she didn't stumble either, showing everything from track suits to evening gowns that were in line with many of the spring trends.
Standouts during Friday's show at New York Fashion Week (search) included a backless silk halter gown with a train of fabric flowers and a red, green and gold zip-front jacket worn over a silk chiffon rasta gown with tiers of chiffon.
A jersey tank gown covered with the L.A.M.B. logo in a graffiti style was "Gwen chic," said Glamour (search) editor in chief Cindi Leive.
Stefani, no stranger to performance, wasn't satisfied with the minimal stage most designers use during the shows for buyers, editors and retailers. She added souped-up cars to the catwalk, silver streamers on the ceiling and stardust on the runway.
Music star-turned-fashion designer Sean "Diddy" Combs was in the audience to cheer on Stefani, as were singers Ashanti, Lenny Kravitz and Faith Hill.
Stefani, in a gold bikini top, tank and track pants, strutted the full length of the runway after the show and stopped to kiss Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour.
The exuberant scene was in stark contrast to Ralph Rucci's serene couture collection. Rucci showed a taupe pintucked suede dress with a cashmere coat lined in embroidered silk paisley, and a suit worn with an embroidered chiffon blouse.
Earlier Friday, Ralph Lauren embraced the suits, longer dresses, higher waists and nautical touches seen elsewhere for spring. But despite the ruffles and eyelet, the collection wasn't too frilly.
Lauren said he was going for "a carefree, sexy spirit."
The look was contemporary and fresh due to the contrasts, such as the swing skirt paired with a crisp button-down shirt. But unlike other designers who send out highly stylized outfits that pack a dramatic punch but would never be seen on the street, Lauren's opposites actually complemented each other.
As snappy as Lauren's collection was, Donna Karan's was artistic. She dubbed it "brush stroke" and said she was inspired by New York's modern art.
"Everything is fast and moves forward with a stroke of shape and a splash of color," her notes said. "Classics are infused with new light and air. A pure silhouette raises the waist and floats like a cloud."
Karan was extremely successful in getting movement from her clothes. The tulip skirts sashayed down the runway just like the models. Tulips, though, are a hard shape for anyone without the slenderest of hips to wear.
For everyone else, Karan featured a different silhouette. Jersey dresses had a thick black bow to give definition to the waist, but a free-fall back to get that swing.