StyleList caught up with Gwen Stefani for an exclusive interview backstage during the Spring 2011 showing of her clothing collection, L.A.M.B., at New York Fashion Week.
On the runway, the star’s signature glam-punk style was firmly stamped in the collection of colorful African-inspired prints, and models sported the same kind of bold red lip the No Doubt lead has turned iconic.
But when asked about that trademark lip, Stefani says it has everything to do with rocker hubby Gavin Rossdale’s weak spot.
“I don’t always wear red lipstick — people think they see me every day, but they don’t! I change it up. But my husband really loves the red, so I keep the red because I want to keep the husband,” laughed Stefani.
Another thing she loves? Spending time with her sons, Kingston, four, and Zuma, two. She even takes them to the spa with her — the trio have recently been spotted getting manicures and pedicures together. “I just like to do anything with them,” she said. “If they want to go with me, they can.”
In fact, Stefani says that her dream of being a mom was the driving force behind her becoming a fashion designer in the first place.
“I knew I wanted to have a family, and I wanted to be able to do something I could do at home and still have a creative outlet and have my kids around. It was a plan a long time ago, and now I’m actually living it — so it’s kind of surreal and sad at the same time because all of that time has gone by. It’s the whole reason I started L.A.M.B.,” said Stefani.
Having seen son Kingston sitting front row on daddy’s lap Thursday, rockin’ a pair of punk pants for the show — we’re willing to bet there will be plenty of inspiration for mama in the years to come.
The designer is set to launch new limited edition versions of her five Harajuku Lover fragrances — called Harajuku Lovers Wicked Style — at Sephora in November; the scents are part of Stefani’s Japanese-inspired Harajuku Lovers line of clothing and accessories. The fragrances, which look like dolls, are inspired by the individualistic street style Stefani was in awe of when she visited Tokyo for the first time in the late ’90’s. The scents were all formulated in collaboration with expert international perfumers, who have designed for prestige houses like Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Audigier.
“When I designed the bottles, I sat down and tried to think of what really summed up everything that I love. When I was a little girl, Avon used to have something similar to the girl bottles, but they weren’t as cool,” said Stefani. “The bottles we used in the ad campaign look like Japanese art, and I’m totally putting them in my home. They were expensive!”
Though funny enough, Stefani never imagined herself a fragrance designer.
“People were asking me for years if I would have a fragrance — and I’d be like, ‘I’m in a band, why would I have a fragrance? Why would I have a fragrance named after me, it’s silly, why do people do that?’ It never clicked. But now being able to do a line and have fragrance and have clothes, it’s all part of the layers you wear, and it makes more sense,” said Stefani.
Each Wicked Style set Harajuku Girl has a distinctive costume, make up and scent that are referred to with different collectible names.
Love, a fruity floral created by perfumer Maurice Roucel, is dressed as a “Sweet Lolita” with school girl knee high socks, a dress, blouse and petticoat as well as rocking horse shoes. Lil Angel is a sparkling floral by perfumer Celine Barel, and dressed as a “Gothic Lolita,” complete with smoky eyes, deep lipstick and black outfit edged in floral lace, with wooden platform.
Music, a woody floral, was created by perfumer Adriana Medina, and the “Visual Kei” shows off an extravagantly detailed outfit that is a nod to a current movement in Japanese music where artists outfit themselves in similar style. Baby is vanilla floral created by perfumer Honorine Blanc, who just recently designed YSL’s Belle D’Opium revamp. Pastel layers outfit the “Kawaii/Decora,” as do plush fur toys and statement jewelry.
G – which stands for Gwen – rounds out the collection with a fruity floral blend designed by perfumer Christelle Laprade. Apple, peach, pineapple, watermelon, peony, raspberry, musk and water accord lend sweetness. “Omotesando” is the leader of the fashion pack, standing brightly in yellow, with blonde locks and a green dress accented by plaid tights the Hollaback Girl could easily step into and pull off herself.
As for her own trademark platinum blonde locks, Stefani surprisingly says that she doesn’t want to be constrained by being blonde her entire life. “I don’t know if I’ll always be blonde. Although at this point, I honestly can’t think any further past the end of my show!” said Stefani.
Her personal hair stylist Danilo who prepped models close by backstage and has worked with the star on her music videos and red carpet appearances for years, says he bets Stefani will never actually make good on thoughts of changing hair color.
“I call it the Marilyn-Madonna effect. Gwen is the iconic platinum blonde of today,” said Danilo. “That hair works just as hard as she does. Her fans expect it.”