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Gidget Goes Punk

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

When Gwen Stefani takes the stage in her signature pigtails, crop tops and boyish hip-huggers, many SoCal girls recognize her Gidget-goes-punk style as their own.

Even before No Doubt’s “Tragic Kingdom” topped the Billboard charts in recent weeks, her hard-edged girlie look had momentum.

The checklist:

* Bleached blond hair done up in elastic bands or barrettes.

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* Black nail polish.

* Brash makeup.

* Vintage-style glamour dresses.

* Heavy-soled creepers.

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* Baggy boy’s pants.

* Tiny midriff-baring Ts.

But with the Grammy awards scheduled to air Feb. 26 and the Anaheim-based band up for two awards (best new artist and best rock album), insiders expect Stefani’s fashion following to explode in numbers.

Heathyr Lawrence, who designs a hip and humorous line of clothing and accessories for women called Mantrap, says, “I’d love to get ahold of her.

“I saw Gwen in concert last summer, and her whole thing is oranges,” the designer adds. “I’m dying to make her a ball gown that has something to do with oranges. . . . Maybe I’d make her a little orange purse with a zip top. We’d have green leaves in her hair.”

Lawrence says she can see why Stefani, 27, has spawned so many look-alikes.

“She dolls up, but at the same time she has this dude-boy sense. She’s a stud muffin girlie girl. For her generation, she’s a leader.”

Holly Sharp, design director for the junior line GirlStar, says the part-tomboy, part-glamour-girl stems from the punk movement of the early ‘80s. “A lot of those kids who were 13 or 14 back then have grown up, but they’ve kept that London influence with the creepers and the [body] piercing.”

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Now they’re young women who appreciate feminine styles, but don’t want to sacrifice their punk / street roots.

"[Stefani] might wear a ‘40s polka-dot dress,” but, with bleached white hair and harsh makeup, “she brings a hard street look to it,” Sharp says.

For GirlStar, Sharp creates tough-and-tender styles that celebrate glamour and strength, including pink satin board shorts, girlie dresses made of the same nylon found on guys’ board shorts, cropped message Ts and hip-huggers.

“The [crop top exposes] a beautiful part of the body,” she says. “It says youth and rebellion. At a certain age, you can’t wear it.”

By showing off her stomach muscles Stefani is saying, ‘I’m in shape,’ ” Sharp says, not “battered and tattered” like the rock-stage persona of Courtney Love. “You know [Stefani] wears those clothes on weekends. It’s not a costume.”


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