Model walks the runway at the L.A.M.B. show during Spring 2011 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

The much awaited first New York fashion week to take place at Lincoln Center came in like a lion and went out with the L.A.M.B. show on Thursday, Sept. 16, as designer Gwen Stefani shut down the tents with 47 looks for spring 2011.

There were no floral prints or pastel pompoms for this gutsy lady. Instead she presented tribal African prints in bold hues like navy, maroon and deep mustard yellow for the color-savvy, and the black and white options spiced up in leopard, zebra, and ombre for everyone else. A butterfly print, which Stefani said after the show “was an accident but came out great,” was a bit overkill at times in full pieces, whereas it seemed just enough in moderation when holding the look together as a belt or on an African bra top under an open sweater ensemble.

Plaid was a favorite, recognizant of Stefani’s punk No Doubt days. Along with former Spice Girl Melanie Brown and musical legend Debbie Harry of Blondie, No Doubt band members Tom Dumont and Tony Kanal showed their lead singer lots of love backstage after the show. “The show…it was incredible,” said Dumont, the guitarist. “I’ve never been to one before.”

Stefani proved that even a great look can require little effort as a short, bold-colored, off the shoulder frock was easily a charmer, with the flexibility to go from brunch to the beach and straight into a bold evening out on the town. There were lots of ruffles, and layers of ruffles on sleeves and short dresses.

Her best looks were the feminine styles of A-line, maxi and wrap dresses, as well as menswear inspired looks. With all the hanging, draping, and wrapping, braided rope belts hung low on the hips giving shape and extending the ethnic feel to the collection.

Stefani’s husband, musician Gavin Rossdale, sat front row with son Kingston on his lap, the two of them dancing to the reggae beats anxiously awaiting the next look. “I like the long dresses, but there were so many things I loved,” said Rossdale. “I was so happy for her, and they all looked so much like her.”

With singer, wife, mother and fashion designer all on Stefani’s list of achievements, there was a certain comfort in her plaid sets and cropped-tops in seeing that she’s still just that girl who has fun with fashion, likes bare midriffs and baggy pants, and that’s all part of what makes the L.A.M.B. niche so successful.

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