Barbie, like Mary-Kate Olsen has successfully transformed from being a children's icon to a muse for artists and fashion designers. She remains central to the aesthetic and psychological development of many talents coming of age on contemporary catwalks. Louise Gray for one, as today's white-hot designer borrows inspiration from the Mattel model, creating three punk cut-up looks in monochromatic artwork.
The blonde bombshell designer's SS13 line-up was a boisterous 80's hip-hop one, set to a pumping, clubby soundtrack. Models' eyebrows were framed by Basquiat's signature cartoon crowns, drawn with eye-pencil. They wore clear plastic geometric shapes in ratted hair and cheerfully coloured brothel-creepers. The clothes themselves were a dizzying blend of mirrored decals and this-is-not-a-hat type headwear by Stephen Jones, clashing colours, oversized forms, layers upon layers of screaming fabrics – featuring tabloid cut-up print – and brightly patterned tights. Garments a little girl would dream of constructing for her dolls from coloured paper, pipe-cleaners, stickers and crayons. But good luck with that – there's only one Louise Gray, even if her handwriting, almost intangiable for its brilliant intuitiveness and authenticity, has influenced countless other designers, not just in London.
Even better than seeing a designer truly relish her job, and living it, it's great to know Barbie prefers Gray's creative concoctions to the airline stewardess, teacher and other uniforms at the back of her wardrobe. She'll be making space for the personal order.