Richie Sambora’s White Trash Beautiful: Not at all trashy, occasionally beautiful

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Instead of fussing over models backstage, Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora and Nikki Lund — designers for the White Trash Beautiful brand — hung out in the front row of their own fashion show, gabbing with actress Heather Locklear, Sambora’s ex, and other friends before the lights went down.

And the runway presentation, which closed the Sunset Gower Studios Fashion Weekend on Sunday night in Hollywood, echoed the designers’ easy-breezy attitudes.


The line’s Spring 2011 collection was full of airy, colorful boho maxi dresses; tighter T-shirt jersey frocks with beaded fringe, a la Pocahontas; sari-style layering tunics; and suede and leather raw-edged skirts affecting Raquel Welch in ‘One Million Years B.C.’

The line was, surprisingly, wholly un-trashy. Still, a little last-minute backstage micromanaging would have made all the difference.

While many of the pieces themselves were on-trend in an Urban Outfitters-cum-Rachel Pally kind of way, the show’s awkward styling knocked many of the ensembles down a few pegs.

There were too many fussy necklaces, cheap-looking belts and silly blinged-out shoes, especially considering how ‘done’ the models’ hair was (in really cool multi-braided side-ponytails -- see photo below). Fringey silver earrings just don’t feel modern — especially when there’s already so much going on.

Too much action is also the collection’s downfall. There’s an instinct to hyper-embellish classic silhouettes. A denim shorts romper, for example, has enough going on without adding a panel of strange, contrasting fabric down the back panel.

But where the designers (Lund and Sambora?) succeeded was in creating a handful of feminine looks that felt young and kicky. Some of the best skinny cargo pants I’ve ever seen walked the runway — cut beautifully to hug, not strangle, the thighs. And there were many floor-sweeping, rainbow-hued dresses that felt chic and sunny, but also rock-star-cool.

-- Emili Vesilind

(bottom) Sambora and actress Heather Locklear’s daughter, Ava Sambora, who walked the runway for the second season, is seen backstage. Credit: Getty Images