Gwen Stefani

April 8, 2006 • Magazine

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani

Sun, 2006-04-09 14:00

Ann John

Never one for restraint, singer, designer, and sometimes actress Gwen Stefani has emerged as one of the more original and veritable fashion icons of today. While her trademark look at the moment might be those bright red lips and Jean Harlow inspired platinum coif, her style has evolved throughout the years. But what has always remained constant is her uncanny ability to mix and match clothes the rest of us would probably never dream of putting together. And like any fashion icon, she’s been often copied but very few can imitate her.

Gwen was born in Anaheim, California in 1969 and shot to stardom with her band No Doubt and their hugely successful 1995 album, “Tragic Kingdom�?. Follow-up records generated more sales as well as four Grammys. In 2003, Gwen released her first solo album, “Love, Angel, Music, Baby” (L.A.M.B.) – an eclectic, well produced mix of radio friendly songs that firmly established her as a “pop goddess”.

While music made her a household name, Gwen’s strongest passion lies in fashion. Always one to keep herself immersed in various projects, Gwen launched her own fashion and accessories label, L.A.M.B. in 2003. A celebrity favorite, it has maintained strong sales and last year Gwen held her first runway show during New York Spring Fashion Week. While there are countless numbers of celebrities branching out into clothing lines, praised Gwen as the “most dedicated of our celebrity designers, and certainly the most talented.�? She in turn tells us “It’s in my blood. My grandma made all my mum’s clothes and my great-grandmother always sewed. Then all through high school and in the band, I made my own clothes.”

About her own personal style, Gwen is somewhat more vague. “It’s always odd to talk about my fashion. It’s something you look at. You don’t need to talk about it,” she says. Regardless, she has been on plenty of best dressed lists and was named as the top fashion by Harpers & Queen in 2005. During her early days with No Doubt, her look was comprised mostly of baggy trousers and bikini tops. While dating Indian band member Tony Kanal, Gwen included many South Asian inspired pieces in her wardrobe. Her hair and make-up stylings have always been bold, at times to the point of overdone. Her hair has gone from blue to pink to an array of other colors before she settled — at least for now — for platinum blonde.

As her body has toned up over the years, Gwen’s fashion choices have become more sartorially tailored without losing any of her daring or flamboyancy. Her favorite designers include the eccentrically originally John Galliano and punk maven Vivienne Westwood. She is just as comfortable channeling 1940s glamour as she is in an Adidas tracksuit. Of course since it’s Gwen, that tracksuit might be paired with stilettos while the dress might be worn with bright red, pointy-toed shoes. She draws inspiration from everywhere – from movies to Japanese street style to Jamaican rasta wear – and combines these influences into a distinctive style that is characterized by eclecticism and also, somewhat paradoxically, by it’s changeability.

Now, five months pregnant Gwen has not lost any of her sartorial sense. These days she can be seen most often in loose pants and long kimono style tops, perfect for both comfort and getting those four stars from the fashion police. Pregnancy hasn’t stopped her creativity either. There’s rumors that she’s in talks with Jane magazine founder Jane Pratt about starting a new magazine. She’d also like to design babies wear for her L.A.M.B. line, because of course the child of a fashion queen needs to look his best too.

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