Spring 2010 Ready-to-Wear
September 19, 2009 London
She started as a textile designer, and for a while it looked as if Louise Gray's scope was limited to a shift dress with dingle-dangle patchwork on the front. This season, though, the Scottish up-and-comer finally filled in the whole picture of who she is (a punchy young girl with a rebellious streak) and who she might appeal to (like-minded types with an eye for something off-kilter and vivid). She called it Oh No Babe—the words scrawled in handwriting on bustiers and coat linings in honor of her graffiti heroes of the eighties. Best, though, was the fact that Gray had a total look going on, from the brilliant arty-naïf makeup she'd devised with dabbed-on finger paints (genius idea to paint an "earring" spot on each lobe) down to coats and peg-top pants made from quilted fabric burned out to reveal bright contrast linings. There's an energy and originality here that has further to go, but Louise Gray is in her groove now, and like a street Pied Piper of London's East End, she's going to be pulling a lot of followers with her.