Gwen Stefani Fronts Elle U.K., Opens Up About Fashion Design Process

gwen stefani
Photo: Matthias Vriens McGrath
/courtesy of ELLE magazine
Gwen Stefani lands Elle U.K.'s April cover.

For its April issue, Elle U.K. is giving us two female rock icons for the price of one.

Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson interviews pal Gwen Stefani exclusively for the magazine, which features the platinum-blonde cover star channeling Jean Harlow with side-parted curls, a glam taupe chiffon dress, and red heels.

Posing for lensman Matthias Vriens-McGrath in a sexy black jumpsuit and the same striped Prada number worn by Amanda Seyfried for the U.S. Elle cover, Stefani speaks exclusively to Elle U.K. and Manson about her family life, fondness for British culture, and style secrets.

Not surprisingly, the L'Oréal Paris spokesmodel—who also praises Pantene shampoo and her pink-dipped John Galliano wedding gown—swears she couldn't live without her signature bold lipstick.

She also opens up about wearing makeup for husband Gavin Rossdale, not wearing high heels until she hit her 30s, and plans for her L.A.M.B. line.

"I started L.A.M.B. because I thought the music would be over," she tells Manson.

Amanda Seyfriend Elle magazine

Photo: Matthias Vriens McGrath/courtesy of ELLE magazine

Stefani backs it up in Elle U.K.

"I thought, I’ve got to do something. I know I’m going to have kids; I know [music’s] not going to last forever. I needed to do something that would fulfill my passion because I don’t feel self-worth unless I’m doing stuff.

"It’s not even close to being where I want it to be yet. [Fashion] is very, very hard to do well, but I’m learning. I’m really making collections now, I’m playing the game of fashion designer. When I first started I really couldn’t say [I was a] fashion designer because it just wasn’t right, I wasn’t one. But now I’m getting to the point where the last collection we did was a disaster until two weeks before–I had to fly to Montreal and review the whole collection–and it ended up being one of the most cohesive collections we’d ever done.

Despite that success, the singer is reluctant to compare herself to other designers.

"I’ll never be that kind of fashion," she says. "Those people know how to cut patterns, they’re draping; this is a different kind of design. It’s not the same thing. I’m not there every day, doing fittings, pinning things. I have three meetings a week. I’ll say, ‘OK, I’m into this theme right now,’ and go through the color palette and choose tones that I like. And then they come back and we tear it all apart and make it better. It’s more being an editor, in a way.

"I don’t really think about anything else except designing for myself. I think what would look good on me and what I would wear."

For Stefani's full interview and shoot, visit Elle U.K. online and pick up the April issue, out March 9.