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Peroxide pixie Louise Gray would dress up her Barbie in clothes she custom-made as a child. Yesterday the Glaswegian designer showed 32 cartoon coloured looks for her SS13 collection, modelled by her very own real life dolls. Gray creates outfits that allow women to express their identity with anarchic style and non-conformist grace. Presenting an acid, rainbow washed, sequinned, metallic and lace array of dresses, skirts, jumpers and tees teamed with Brothel Creepers, low heels and brogues, and accessorised with exclamation perspex earrings and patterned tights, Louise balanced her typically bright design aesthetic with a monochrome palette. Basing the collection upon a vintage black and white swimming costume clad Barbie, graphic printed patterns and badges adorned loose-fitting, short-sleeved tops, layered under bras and pleated skirts. Makeup was suitably characterful, framing eyes with an exaggerated shape and drawing attention to each model’s full, muted red lips. i-D online caught up with the designer backstage after the show to discuss the Barbie collaboration.
Can you tell me about the narrative that opened the show? We called it Now What? It’s a statement rather than a question. It’s like, what is now? I looked at all the things from my past and all the different fashion references from the 40s, 50s and 60s. It was more of a collage and jigsaw from all the things in my mind. Just all the things together that I liked and somehow it just became my own.
When did the collaboration with Barbie first happen? I don’t remember the exact date but I was very excited about it. I’ve always been a Barbie fan, as you can tell. So it’s really cool to be able to work with her.
Do you remember your first Barbie? Yeah, she had long blonde hair, I used to make clothes for my Barbie. I loved it, so much fun.
What was your favourite look from the collection? Maybe the clothes in the final look, the silver head sculpture and metallic backed dress.
What kind of girls were you looking to cast for the show? Cool girls, you know, I just want these kind of girls that have got it and have an attitude and do their own thing.
Is there a specific girl who has caught your attention recently? Not necessarily. It’s always a mixture, never usually just one person.
What’s your next collaboration going to be after Topshop and Barbie? I don’t know, I’m going to my bed!
Text: Milly McMahon
Catwalk Photography: Mitchell Sams
See all of our SS13 womenswear coverage here.