UP YOUR LOOK
For LOUISE GRAY, A/W11 had a clear starting point. “I took a spot, a stripe, and a check, and then played around,” she says. The result is a riot of graphic colour and volume, with LOUISE pushing pattern to its limits while staying totally in control. Every piece displays her love of experimentation with fabric, and a feel for colour which is entirely her own.
The checks that form the foundation of many pieces come from the plaids and tartans of her home in the North East of Scotland. A red bomber jacket starts with mohair plaid, then LOUISE takes it somewhere else entirely by overlaying a pixellated print of plaid on top, so plaid sits on plaid. This 3D effect is at the core of the collection, like the gold foil spots which are overlaid on top of a plaid mohair coat. The GLASGOW GIRLS, artists who preceded the more recognised GLASGOW BOYS, were on LOUISE’s mind when she was working with plaids, particularly when she hand-smocks them to create panels for dresses, the smocking naturally distorting the lines of the check and creating a burst of energy in the resulting fragmented finish.
For LOUISE, the shirt is a key garment both for the collection and her wardrobe: an empowering piece that’s not a blouse, nor meant to be worn as a dress, but is instead the perfect long layer on which to show the effect of her pixilated patterns. The stripes are inspired by CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH’s building for the GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART, where LOUISE studied and soaked up the graphic lines of the impressive structure. The spots come from the club kids, and it’s as if all the patterns have been blown up and distorted so there’s a purposeful photocopied graininess to the prints, which have been transferred onto shirts to create off-kilter effects.
LOUISE’s knitwear deconstructs the Aran sweater, with the finished garment made from different panels of red green and blue, while a warming deconstructed cardigan has a longer back than the front. Dresses are made from oversized circles, squares and rectangles laid together and then moved slightly off centre, while Indian beading adds another layer to draped dresses which also play with overlaid plaid, with go-faster stripes running down the side.
LOUISE’s boots are by POLLINI for LOUISE GRAY, designed by NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD, and LOUISE is also sponsored by COTTON USA. The cotton that appears in all the printed and beaded shirts is kindly supplied by Supima®
NASIR MAZHAR returns this season with the hats.
The show marks LOUISE GRAY’s fourth season of NEW GEN sponsorship, with the support of On/OFF.