The Gavin Style

by Lisa Ferri aka Starsloan
America OnLine “Style Channel”

Gavin Rossdale: (ga-vin ros-dal) – noun, 1) Lead singer and frontman of uber-pop-grunge band Bush; 2) Two parts Seattle grunge, one part British invasion–blend slowly with a healthy helping of chiseled cheekbones and lovelorn lyrics. Shake well before serving. verb, 1) To incite, arouse or otherwise entice females via visual stimulation and audio assault. The final frontier in grunge-rocker evolution is upon us–and he’s dating No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani. Laid back, slightly aloof, pretty but obliviously so and continually crooning about personal angst, Gavin’s no counter-culture curmudgeon. In addition to playing the perfect pouty prince of grunge, Gavin is the ultimate “real” boy. At the first sound of his angelic, angst-ridden British accent, visions of Gavin dance through my head. Maybe it’s the soulful searching in his voice, or maybe it’s the way those cozy cords fit him just so. One way or another, with Gavin at the mic, it feels like love every time. Breathe in, breathe out? Anything you say, baby.

Gavin’s gift for grabbing the attention of female fans wouldn’t get him anywhere if he weren’t also style savvy. That’s not to say he’s particularly polished or couture crazy, but for the style he’s got, he wears it well. There’s a fine line between rocker chic and rocker bleak, and Gavin navigates it like a pro.

Translation: There’s hope. So grab your boyfriend, turn up Bush’s latest release, Razorblade Suitcase, and read on. HAIR: Let’s be blunt: The boy has luscious locks. Granted, he has genetically great tresses, but there’s certainly some styling sensibility at play as well. Our gal on the scene, Bokhee, of New York’s Bumble & Bumble (212-521-6580), recommends mid-length to long layers with shorter layers in the front. And rev up the razors for the Rossdale look: Cut into the curls with a razor for a softer silhouette. Try Bumble & Bumble’s Tea Tree Oil Shampoo ($11.99), with natural antiseptic action to help balance oily or dry hair. For boys (or girls) with curls, try Bumble & Bumble’s “DeFrizz” ($9.99), which allows you to “defy frizz” and manage your mane. And finally, a product made with rockers in mind–Brilliantine ($11.99): a styling creme for curly hair, which gives a “languid, slept-in, sexy look” that screams grunge. (And it has sunscreen protection for those long Lollapallooza sessions in the sun.) Should a straighter effect tempt your tresses, try Bumble & Bumble’s “Styling Wax for Men” ($14.99). HARDWARE: As Gavin will tell you, it’s the little things. . . .

A Wage Slave Zippo lighter ($20, available at 212-533-1362) has a way of saying “underpaid and misunderstood” like nothing else. Also, look to Hard Candy Nail Polish’s newest invention–Candy Man Polish for Men ($12, available at Bloomingdale’s)–to give you that alternative edge. Gavin’s particularly partial to “Superman” (steely blue), but also try “Dog” (metallic purple) or “Cowboy” (pure metallic gold). And every self-respecting alterna-guy has gotta have an authentic Harley Davidson chain link belt to hang from his slacker belt loops ($15). FOOTWEAR: If you’re going to be a rough-and-tumble grunge guy, you’ll be needing some rough-and-tumble wear for your tootsies. Try Jean Baptiste Rautureau’s Wagner Desert boots ($200, available at Otto Tootsie Plohound), Puma’s lace-up ankle boots ($98) or Harley Davidson’s leather biker boots ($130). When you’re not necessarily in need of hard-core stage gear, go nouveau slacker nation with NoName’s hipster sneakers ($110, available at Otto Tootsie Plohound), reminiscent of those seventh-grade gym-class sneaks but with rubber roller treads. SHIRT(S): Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t–the boy has one heck of an upper body. And he does a darn good job of showing it off. Gavin’s got that great combination of broad shoulders and post-adolescent lankiness. J. Lindeberg’s new line features an acrylic and wool blend army-inspired, button- down, long-sleeved shirt ($165) in keeping with the Alternative Nation ethos. If the slacker look is what you want, there’s the Wage Slave crop-sleeve, cotton twill, postal-worker inspired version ($45, available at 212-533-1362)–sort of Cheers’ Cliff Clavin with an edge. Also, check out Diesel’s long-sleeved, “Partridge Family” print, button-down, ’70s-collar shirt ($105)–and make it two sizes too small, to give it that “I inherited this from my brother” appeal. Or, if you’re feeling timid, there’s always the Grunge Rock Poster Child look: long-sleeved T-shirt with a short-sleeved tee over it. Try the Wage Slave versions (available at 212-533-1362): long-sleeved cotton tee, $25; short- sleeved cotton tee, $15. PANTS: You have two options. The first approach is the ultimate blue-collar couture: slouchy jeans or cozy cords. Try Diesel’s thin-wale corduroy five-pocket pants ($89) for a greasy mechanic mystique, or their polyester/cotton blend, rose-colored, flat-front pants ($119), with a little room in the bum. Otherwise, increase your hipster factor with something slightly more cutting edge. Try straight-legged, slim-fitting pants with tuxedo stripe accents. J. Lindeberg has several interesting options: Try their cotton/Lycra low-riding tuxedo-striped pants ($185) or their denim tuxedo pants ($185).

Gavin, the Grunge Great. He’s the Brit who does the Seattle sound better than our home-grown boys do. He has the magic to sell millions to the mass market and the wisdom to know that sales alone do not seal your fate on the pages of music history. Genuinely talented, truly ambitious, armed with foresight and beautiful to boot. I don’t know whether to offer him a job or make him my boyfriend. Gavin, a word of encouragement: The maidens of MTV are anxiously awaiting your next move. And as for your current honeybun, a word of warning: Watch your back, Gwen!