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Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. offers a multi-culti finale

Designer Gwen Stefani walks the runway with her

Designer Gwen Stefani walks the runway with her son, Kingston, after the L.A.M.B. fall 2011 collection show during Fashion Week Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) Credit: AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. runway show was the last big show of the week at Lincoln Center, and who better to host such a blow-out affair?  Stefani offered up a throbbing bass beat, and retina-blasting visuals projected from a large screen--serving as a backdrop for the models, the video played throughout the show, exploding with images of what looked like army choppers over Vietnam, London protests and moody close-ups of models blinking and writhing.

Oh, yeah, and there were clothes, too. A zillion outfits (give or take an "illion").

What sets Stefani apart from other more suspect "celebridesigners" is the fact that she has a genuine, unadulterated style all her own, and it comes through in her line's eclectic mix of ensembles and silhouettes.  There were menswear-inspired outfits, with cutaway jackets, button-down shirts and ties (one plaid version had a decidedly Little Lord Fauntleroy edge to it).  Nipped jackets and flouncy minis looked cozy in bold houndstooth.  Chola girls get their due, with plaid shirts, ovresized-slouchy sweaters and a massive camel coat with lapels that might just take flight.

A series of black and white outfits bore graphic, geometric prints. And an homage to the Hollywood Blonde included a series of slknky long black cocktail dresses and gowns with scads of long gold chains dangoing down the front.

One of those dresses had a serous sausage casing problem in back, caused by weird elastic seaming that squeezed right round the butt.  Of course, the point of all of this is not to show off the delicate tailoring and craftsmanship of these clothes.  But to celebrate in a multisensory way the sheer love of fashion and creativity that keeps people coming back to Lincoln Center twice a year.  Till next time....

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