NEW YORK — Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. collection was the marquee name on the opening day of New York Fashion Week, and she packed the biggest venue at the Bryant Park tents Wednesday night with fashion insiders, celebrity friends and even her 1-year-old son, Kingston, who sat in the front row on the lap of daddy Gavin Rossdale.
The show was the most highly stylized on a schedule that also saw spring previews from BCBG Max Azria and Nicole Miller, among others. The clothes ranged from retro mod frocks to wearable sheath dresses, all shooting out onto the runway against a black-and-white video backdrop on models wearing clunky heels.
A handful of the outfits were costumey _ particularly a double-breasted coat in a black-and-white check that Stefani called the Abingdon Road coat and a pair of matching short shorts.
Stefani might be able to pull this off onstage, but the average woman would have trouble wearing it, no matter how cute it looked on the runway. Overall, though, Stefani, along with stylist Andrea Lieberman, offered several looks that were in step with her young, hip customer, including a military-inspired jacket with a peekaboo neckline worn with a plaid pleated dress, and a houndstooth beaded shift dress with a pleated cape jacket.
L.A.M.B. has been one of the few celebrity brands to find a success at high-end retailers, and it has gained the respect of the fashion industry. She launched the label with a big Fashion Week show two years ago and has done smaller previews since then. The big difference between that first big catwalk event and this one, Stefani noted, was that she wasn't scrambling for accessories: L.A.M.B. now makes its own.
The very first shoe on the runway was a yellow, green and black platform pump called the Kingston.
"We're still learning, but we also have accomplished stuff that shocks me. I don't want to brag, but I'm feel pretty proud of a lot of this," Stefani told The Associated Press earlier this week.
Some of the audience appeared to agree, with a standing ovation from the celebrity section, which included Eve, Sean 'Diddy' Combs and actress Sophia Bush.