Go look for Louise Gray backstage and you'll need both luck and perseverance, the designer segues so effortlessly into what she puts on the runway, it's a game of "spot the difference."
That is a great thing, of course. Not only does Gray stand so wholly inside her work that she's inseparable from it, it's an expression that darts out of her without seeming to break sweat. She is a natural-born creative.
A reference this season was the Happenings movement of New York 1958-1963, as well as the work of Barbara Kruger, of whom Gray was wearing a t-shirt. Yet the Scot's vocabulary, as authentic as cult club-influenced London names such as Rachel Auburn, is so strong, nothing is ever literal.
Gray named her three patterned cloths this season 'Piercings', 'Giraffe' and 'Tube Map', the double jacquards of swing coats, shift dresses, matching jackets and skirts. Elsewhere there were patchwork knits, sunglasses-with-eyelashes in collaboration with Lunettes Kollection, and shoes by Robert Clergerie.
Stephen Jones told Dazed Digital last week of his love for Louise and here he offered a conflation of corner shop plastic bags as couture headwear, in line with the collection's cellotape-stacked bracelets and roast platter belt styling, a pound shop sweep on a Western ornamental buckle.
After all that, Gray titled the collection 'Hey Crazy.' There's a fine line between genius and madness – Louise is definitely the former.
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