Photo: John Parra, WireImage
Before Gwen Stefani‘s Spring 2011 L.A.M.B. show at New York Fashion Week, I caught up with her to chat about her new set of Harajuku Lovers fragrances, Wicked Style, launching November 1. The singer-designer-mother-beauty icon was as calm and collected as could be just minutes before her ethnic-inspired collection was set to walk the runway. Gwen was more than happy to explain the process behind creating fragrances and how her family life affects her creative lifestyle. Read on and prepare to get inspired.
Is it strange to work on five fragrances at once? Whats the process like?
Its really hard. I mean I think perfume generally is quite challenging. Its so abstract and you think you like something right away and then you wear it and then ‘oh my god its bugging me’. Its really challenging I think, so yes, doing five at once is even worse. Especially knowing you have the personality of each girl that youre trying to fit in the perfume and make it as true as possible to the personalities of each name of the fragrance. Its crazy but it’s super fun and it’s also the greed in me. I love being able to say I have five new perfumes. And they all kind of work together theyre all about being sweet and happy and summery.
How do you decide which ones to wear now that you have so many to choose from?
With everything, it seems like I always get into one thing and then I wear that until I burn out and then I’ll go on to the next. Im not one day this one, one day that and then the next. I’ll be like ‘oh my god’, and then I’ll ask myself, ‘why am I just only wearing this one?’ and then I’ll discover a new one and I’ll be into just that one. Thats always how I am with everything even clothes.
After having two kids, did the way that you design clothes and fragrance change?
I think it definitely affects my designing when Im pregnant for sure. Because everything looks really tiny and Im like ‘ah no it needs to be bigger, its too tight’. Fragrance for sure, as well, because your sense of smell is ruined when youre pregnant and it makes you want to puke when youre smelling fragrances. I can’t even wear perfume when Im pregnant. With the designing I really wanted to start L.A.M.B. because I knew I wanted to have a family and wanted to be able to do something that I could do at home feel creative and have a creative outlet but have my kids around. It was a plan I had a long time ago and now Im actually living it so it’s kind of surreal and sad at the same time that all that time has gone by. And now here we are. I have a 4 year old!
What was your favorite fragrance growing up, and what are your memories associated with it?
I didnt wear a lot. My mom really didnt wear a lot of perfume. She had Chantilly sitting on the toilet. It smelled really good. Then I got more into Rasta oils and things like that. Then when I started working at the makeup counter thats when I started discovering fragrance. At that time it was all about Opium and Obsession and all those fragrances from the early 90s. So thats kind of my journey. And then to be able to do my own fragrance? I just never thought I would do it. I just thought why would I have some fragrance named after me? Thats silly. But then when I had L.A.M.B. it all kind of made sense. Kind of the reward of having a clothing line is having a fragrance.
You obviously have a great design aesthetic. Can you tell us a little bit about the design of the bottles?
I really love that part of it. With the first L.A.M.B bottle I just kind of summed up everything I loved, and the Rasta colors of course came to mind. To me that bottle is so hot, I just loved it. And now these. I remember meeting with Coty the first time and saying well if I did Harajuku it would have to be the girls. And I remember back in the day, I think it was Avon that did those bottles a long time ago that we were inspired by, from when I was a little girl. They used to have something similar, not as cool. Its like a very vague memory. I thought it would be so cool to do the girls like that. They look like works of art. Actually I have the big ones that we have in the ad campaign at my house. Im going to install them they look like Japanese art.
You have a very signature look the hair, the lipstick, the fragrance. If you had to pick one thing for the rest of your life to stick with which one would it be?
It’s really hard. I dont know. I probably dont think I’ll be blonde for the rest of my life. I cant imagine, maybe I will be. I can’t think any further ahead than after the show. I dont always wear red lipstick people think they see me every day but they dont. I change it up but my husband really likes the red. So I’d have to say Id probably have to keep the red because I want to keep the marriage going.