Gwen Stefani On Target With Harajuku Mini


Malcolm Maclaren could very well be turning in his grave. Then again, the grand poobah punk provocateur might find the sight of pint-sized schoolchildren clad in skinny tartan bondage pants hooked with pleated half skirts and multi-buckled boots courtesy of a mass retailer utterly subversive.

Mini-me versions of these once-rebellious togs debut today in Target stores as part of the new Harajuku Mini Collection by Gwen Stefani, following a playfully whimsical launch party Saturday afternoon at the Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood.

The grand hall was transformed into a kind of Japanese kawaii Mod girl fantasy-meets-Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But the tall glass jars overflowed with Japanese candies as this is the uber cute and uber cool world Gwen has cultivated with her grown-up girl Harajuku Lovers line. That label launched in 2005, a year after her primary collection L.A.M.B. and named after the style-obsessed zone around Harajuku Station in Tokyo.

This peewee incarnation for Target proves this mother of re-invention has only scratched the surface of possibilities.

The walls of the studio where the party took place were swathed in projections of a cartoonish Tokyo, and massive blow-ups of Gwen's Harajuku characters suspended overhead like those in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

There were plenty of activity tables for the many kids who turned out with their parents: a station where they could draw and apply Harajuku Mini stickers in blank books; a beauty area to have their hair done and dressed up with hair clips and poufy hair bands from the line; a DIY fashion stop, where the tiny guests earnestly embellished T-shirts and bandanas from the line with studs, buttons and other details.


And, of course, there were photo booths like those so favored by Japan teens, where users can choose from a range of fun and silly backdrops and symbols such as hearts, stars and cute creatures to decorate photos. Nina and I lined up as soon as we arrived.

Both off and on the runway, the hall was filled with cute kids. There were several folks I hadn't seen in ages, and here we all were, decades after scoring our own bondage pants at NaNa's, toting around our tiny tots. C'est la vie!

On the catwalk, the mini models sported some fantastic hair thanks to Danilo, a longtime collaborator of Team Stefani, which includes costume designer/stylist Arianne Phillips. She turned out to celebrate in the fruits of her labor in the craziest jacket she picked up in Tokyo, decorated with patches of pandas illustrated in Ace Frehley make-up. 

Gwen's sons Zuma and Kingston were among those who scampered and posed for the crowd and cameras, and they returned to the runway for the finale bow with mom, who was dressed in a psychedlic patterned suit from her label L.A.M.B. and a whopping Indian-style necklace.

From the creatively assembled sushi displays to the Japanese vending machines serving up juices, the bash was flawlessly executed. With the nonstop ska and rock steady courtesy of our deejay pal Scott Oster, Nina certainly was loving every moment.

The collection is for kids ages 1 to 13 and accessibly priced from $4 to $30. I only hope there are a few things left when I finally make it to Target tomorrow. It's online—but only for viewing. Ugh!





Arianne Philips gives her approval.

 


Jeremy Scott and Nina Griffith

 






Designer/stylist Andrea Leiberman and son



Face painting table



Japanese-style veniding machines with Japanese juices



Another shot of Kingstone and Zuma with mom



Bullseye! Jeremy Scott, Gwen Stefani and Arianne Phillips

Posted in Current Affairs, Design, Food and Drink, Music, Style

Leave a Comment