Designer Louise Gray was in town this week along with a busload of other Brit fashion stars, winged in for a seasonal gathering by the London Centre for Fashion and Enterprise. We met Gray for the first time earlier this year, a flame-haired soft-spoken Glaswegian who started out as a hand embroiderer, and has quickly built her obsession outwards into full-blown, gorgeously textured and endlessly playful collections. She makes quirky, colorful clothes to fill her own closet, working on instinct rather than second guessing the needs of some imaginary woman, or fabled inspiration. Gray is essentially her own best muse, and readily admits to wearing all her designs pretty much all the time.
The Spring 2010 collection is called "Oh no babe sorry 'bout that," although honestly there is nothing to apologize for here. Gray has a penchant for bustiers and peekaboo cut-outs (there is a sweet heart-shaped hole in one dress), but always undercuts the bodycon clichés with clever tongue-in-cheek reworkings, spray painting upside down hearts where boobs should be, and graffiti-ing shirt dresses with X-marks-the-spot abandon. She worked with famed stylist Judy Blame on the accessories, and it's almost as if the pair found a madcap, kindred spirit in their collaboration (see Diane Pernet's video of Gray explaining their handiwork here). That sense of humor spills over onto to the shoes she designed with Nicohlas Kirkwood too—each pair comes covered in pink and blue rosettes made from corner store baggies.