Gwen Stefani’s Galliano wedding dress is headed for the V&A
Gwen Stefani on John Galliano's genius and her plans for her L.A.M.B label.
The daily diversion for show-weary fashion editors at the moment is counting up the references to, and photographs of John Galliano's genius in the April magazine issues, (sent to the printers pre-scandal) hitting the newsstands this week.
Latest to fall foul of long lead times is ELLE magazine's exclusive interview with Gwen Stefani in which she chats to great friend, Garbage front-woman Shirley Manson, about her fashionable life.
SM: "What have you worn over the years that you've thought, 'F***, I looked good!'
GS: My wedding dress.
SM: That wedding dress was insane! [John Galliano] is one of the greatest living designers.
GS: Oh, for sure. When I got engaged and someone told me that John said he would make my dress, I was like really? I said I wanted it to be over the top, but not traditional - I wanted it to be everything. But how do you tell this genius over the phone? He was, like, OK, and sent me these drawings of this unbelievable, perfect dress. It's going into the V&A now. I didn't wanna send it because I was scared it would get ruined. But it's a work of art, it needed to be seen."
Stefani, who name-checked both Galliano and Vivienne Westwood in her song 'Rich Girl', has been a lifelong lover of fashion, revealing how her mother nurtured her eye from a young age, encouraging her to make her own clothes.
But the musician, designer, actress, mother and style icon explains that a classic mid-life wobble turned her hobby into a second career.
"I started L.A.M.B because I thought the music would be over. I thought 'I've got to do something. I know I'm going to have kids; I know [music's] not going to last forever."
Usually, when a celebrity starts a fashion line, there's a queue of people around the world willing it to fail (see Lindsay Lohan). But Gwen Stefani - who somehow manages to pull off being a girl's girl, and one of the boys - seems to be the exception.
Since launching L.A.M.B (short for Love, Angel, Music Baby, the name of her debut solo album) in 2004, she has quietly plugged away at making it a successful enterprise, but explains that she sees herself as more of an 'editor' of fashion unlike other, classically trained designers.
"I'll never be that kind of fashion… Those people know how to cut patterns, they're draping; this is a different kind of design. It's not the same thing. I'm not there every day, doing fittings, pinning things. I have three meetings a week. I'll say, 'OK, I'm into this theme right now,' and go through the colour palette and choose tones that I like. And then they come back and we tear it all apart and make it better."
L.A.M.B has become a celebrity favourite, most recently photographed on Rihanna, and Stefani reveals how she has big plans for the label: "It's not even close to being where I want it to be yet. [Fashion] is very, very hard to do well, but I'm learning. I'm really making collections now, I'm playing the game of fashion designer. When I first started I really couldn't say [I was a] fashion designer because it just wasn't right, I wasn't one."
The full interview appears in the April issue of ELLE magazine, on sale Wednesday 9th March 2011