As I entered the Lincoln Center Box Venue for the L.A.M.B. Spring 2012 Presentation to the sound of Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas,” I couldn’t help but smile despite the fact that Creative Director Gwen Stefani was noticeably and regrettably absent this season. Once I finally made my way past the velvet ropes into the packed house, it was clear why this was one of the week’s most eagerly anticipated shows.
The collection’s inspirations were the Rat Pack, high voltage, and maharaja. The latter two seemed to influence the collection more. The palette was primarily graphic in black, white, and grey and while there were a few primary-hued striped separates, the greatest voltage came in the form of vivid totes and sky-high platforms, accentuating the looks with the ubiquitously vibrant pops of cobalt, coral, tomato, and yellow. Stripes, checks, and plaids gave the collection an added whimsy, but what was most successful here were the aboriginal references in dyeing and prints with an array of shibori and ikat skirts, tunics, and caftans; it appears that the reoccurring tribal theme will remain strong through next Spring—albeit, in more muted shades. These were very Gwen-like pieces!!! I can just imagine her sourcing these materials at some fabulous Indian bazaar or late night open-air market and styling them for an impromptu concert.
As one would expect, the silhouette was quintessential Californiagirl, signature boho-chic with a rockabilly undertone. Jumpsuits, cocoon sweaters, cargo shorts, maxi columns, rompers, and trapeze dresses were relaxed, comfortable, and fun with a hint of edginess. Oversized handbags, chunkier heels, menswear pants, quilted bomber jackets, and contrasting trims toughened up the more playful elements in a bubbled striped tank dress, a zigzag eyelet mini dress, a bib front flippy dress, a beaded jumpsuit, and a ruffled chiffon blouse with mini checked pants.
My favorite looks from the L.A.M.B. Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection included: the drawstring zigzag drapey dress with black bottom border, black Midori shoes, and black Darlong satchel; the silk ribbed tank, striped mini cargo shorts, grey Alma shoes, and tomato square Santals bowler; the woven animal print sweatshirt and long underwear-inspired pant, coral Analesse shoes, and tomato Khasi satchel; the black quilted lambskin moto jacket, ruffled zigzag skirt, and black Midori shoes; and the ruffled sleeveless blouse with crunch collar, paperbag waist mini skirt, elephant Mollie shoes, and black Hmar clutch. No doubt these 29 looks will have all of Gwen Stefani’s fans “rocking steady”.
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