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Stefani is Critics' Sacrificial L.A.M.B.

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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THE FLOCK Rossdale, Kingston, Stefani

(Photo: Joe Schildhorn/PatrickMcMullan.com)

A few seasons back, IHT fashion critic Suzy Menkes had some words of wisdom for celebs with designer dreams: "Don't quit your day job." But there she was, front row and center—an apparent glutton for punishment—at Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. show last night.

There was plenty of fodder, should she choose to blast the rocker/designer again. As Stefani showed off her looks—a dizzying array of tweeds, school-boy jackets, and tiny ties—the video show on the runway and the deep bass emanating from the speaker system served as a major distraction from the clothes. The lighting was so dim the crowd could hardly make out the blaring checkerboard prints. Nonetheless, Stefani's team was brave enough to invite both Menkes and the New York Times's fashion bulldog, Cathy Horyn, neither of whom are known for mincing words when they aren't thrilled with a collection.

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During the show Menkes squinted and scribbled some notes before sighing, putting away her pen, and deciding to take snaps of the models instead with her disposable camera. Diddy, also front row, gave Gwen a rousing standing ovation, while Gavin Rossdale handed little Kingston to mom for her on-stage bow (complete with baby-size sound-blocking earphones). It was a rock 'n' roll moment custom-made for the celebrity baby blogs.

Outside, when asked how she enjoyed the collection, Menkes quipped: "I'm nearly deaf."

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