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28 Reasons To Appreciate Zany British Fashion Designer Louise Gray


Louise Gray attending the 2012 British Fashion Awards 2012 at The Savoy Hotel in London.

Image by Ian Gavan / Getty Images

British designer Louise Gray recently announced she’ll be taking a year-long hiatus from her spot on London Fashion Week’s schedule. This is a real shame.


In place of designing for her eponymous label, Gray says she’ll be, “working on design and consultancy projects for major brands, as well as collaborating with my friends in London.”

Even amid London’s bold crop of young, avant garde designers, Gray’s shows always stood out for their sense of near-anarchic fun, a consistent mish-mash of clever tailoring, beautiful prints and then usually a bunch of random shit resembling the detritus of a Supermarket Sweep cart dash — it all (mostly) made sense even though it probably shouldn’t. Here’s some of the many things London’s runways will probably be missing these next two seasons:

1. Hand-drawn crown eyebrows and exclamation mark earrings.

Hand-drawn crown eyebrows and exclamation mark earrings.

From spring/summer 2013.

Image by Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

2. This hair-raising hairstyle.

This hair-raising hairstyle.

From fall/winter 2012.

Image by Samir Hussein / Getty Images

3. And this model wearing something that resembles that cheap fake coral you put in your home aquarium.

And this model wearing something that resembles that cheap fake coral you put in your home aquarium.

From spring/summer 2011.

Image by Ian Gavan / Getty Images

4. I think this is actually the innards of a box of wine attached to a knit sweater here, which is just a fantastic idea.

I think this is actually the innards of a box of wine attached to a knit sweater here, which is just a fantastic idea.

And if it’s not a plastic pouch of wine then it’s a handy inflatable pillow for when you need a little nap here and there. From fall/winter 2013.

Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

5. And I think this is a birds nest, constructed by a bird with a strong sense of color.

And I think this is a birds nest, constructed by a bird with a strong sense of color.

From spring/summer 2011.

Image by Ian Gavan / Getty Images

6. This trash bag take on a belt.

This trash bag take on a belt.

From spring/summer 2010.

7. And this trash bag take on an ostentatious fascinator.

And this trash bag take on an ostentatious fascinator.

From fall/winter 2013. (Once, as a giddy young fashion student, I had to help design an outfit made entirely of trash bags… for a fashion show featuring homeless teens as models. The idea seemed in rather bad taste to me, but there you go.)

Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

8. This fake mohawk on model Kelly Mittendorf, who never seemed to make as much of an impression as her features should dictate.

This fake mohawk on model Kelly Mittendorf, who never seemed to make as much of an impression as her features should dictate.

From fall/winter 2012.

Image by Samir Hussein / Getty Images

9. These brilliant sunglasses, which should definitely replace the basic black shades you see worn all too often on the front row.

These brilliant sunglasses, which should definitely replace the basic black shades you see worn all too often on the front row.

From spring/summer 2013.

Image by Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

10. Another shot of the sunglasses. Also note the lovely cobalt blue beauty mark.

Another shot of the sunglasses. Also note the lovely cobalt blue beauty mark.

It’s a classy touch. From spring/summer 2013.

Image by Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

11. And then this, less beauty marks and more a case of fever. FASHION FEVER.

And then this, less beauty marks and more a case of fever. FASHION FEVER.

From fall/winter 2011.

Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

12. This sheer shift dress with handy mirror panels. Not sure what they’re handy for, exactly, but that’s a minor detail.

This sheer shift dress with handy mirror panels. Not sure what they're handy for, exactly, but that's a minor detail.

From spring/summer 2013.

Image by Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

13. Your own personal supply of toilet roll. Never get caught short again!

Your own personal supply of toilet roll. Never get caught short again!

From fall/winter 2013.

Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

14. And this model bravely soldiering on after her pet piñata blew up. She could use a few sheets of toilet roll to wipe away her tears.

And this model bravely soldiering on after her pet piñata blew up. She could use a few sheets of toilet roll to wipe away her tears.

From spring/summer 2011.

15. These Styrofoam earrings, because pearls just don’t cut it anymore.

These Styrofoam earrings, because pearls just don't cut it anymore.

From fall/winter 2013.

Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

16. And yes, it does say “HEY CRAZY” on those sunglasses.

And yes, it does say "HEY CRAZY" on those sunglasses.

From fall/winter 2013.

Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

17. This commitment to the art of crimping, not to mention the art of nonsensical layering.

This commitment to the art of crimping, not to mention the art of nonsensical layering.

From fall/winter 2010.

18. This, whatever it is.

This, whatever it is.

From fall/winter 2012.

Image by Samir Hussein / Getty Images

19. And this heart-shaped balloon hat. (Also, earrings made out of whistles!)

And this heart-shaped balloon hat. (Also, earrings made out of whistles!)

From fall/winter 2011.

Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

20. Hoop earrings covered in tinfoil that are probably a big seller on Etsy.

Hoop earrings covered in tinfoil that are probably a big seller on Etsy.

Also, this model looks like Mila Kunis. From fall/winter 2013.

Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

21. And this metallic trompe l’oeil take on a jaunty little hair bow.

And this metallic trompe l'oeil take on a jaunty little hair bow.

From spring/summer 2013.

Image by Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

22. This Christmas decoration-style craft project you made at school during art class. Paper chains were always your favorite, after all.

This Christmas decoration-style craft project you made at school during art class. Paper chains were always your favorite, after all.

From fall/winter 2011.

Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

23. Absolutely everything that’s happening here, because it’s all wonderful.

Absolutely everything that's happening here, because it's all wonderful.

From spring/summer 2011.

24. And these tabloid newsprint tights, which are also wonderful.

And these tabloid newsprint tights, which are also wonderful.

From spring/summer 2013.

Image by Stuart Wilson / Getty Images

25. Handy rolls of duct tape doubling as chunky bracelets, because you never know when you’ll need to tape someone to a lamppost (or wrap up a package, I suppose).

Handy rolls of duct tape doubling as chunky bracelets, because you never know when you'll need to tape someone to a lamppost (or wrap up a package, I suppose).

From fall/winter 2013.

Image by Tim Whitby / Getty Images

26. This take on industrial garment shredder chic.

This take on industrial garment shredder chic.

From spring/summer 2011.

Image by Ian Gavan / Getty Images

27. And this bag of penny sweets, including gummy fried eggs which are my favorite.

And this bag of penny sweets, including gummy fried eggs which are my favorite .

From spring/summer 2011.

Image by Ian Gavan / Getty Images

28. But I would trade in a full bag of gummi fried eggs for this amazing bright pink furry bodysuit. Who wouldn’t?

But I would trade in a full bag of gummi fried eggs for this amazing bright pink furry bodysuit. Who wouldn't?

From fall/winter 2010.

In conclusion, Louise Gray’s return to the catwalk cannot come quickly enough.

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