I saw a Skins confession and a few other comments about this topic and thought I would explore it. The confession stated that they were disappointed that Rich only notice Grace once she became Subrosa.
I think there is a difference between noticing and seeing someone as something more than a first impression. I have a feeling that Rich did notice Grace. She is beautiful no one can deny that. Also while re-watching Series 5 Episode 2 I remember how shy and awkward he was while Franky was telling Grace about his library crush. He was staying near the door and shyly looking at her. He had to be dragged through the door.
**Gif by everything-skins**
I have no doubts that he knew she was a beautiful girl. It’s just that Rich is a stubborn and passionate guy who believed that Grace was superficial, fake, and someone he was not supposed to hang around let alone be romantically interested in. He is supposed to like the ‘Angel of Death’ only to find out she is related to Satan and the one he thought was superficial was actually the kind one.
I think the moment that Grace dressed up as Subrosa did two things. First it got his full attention, because she went all out trying to get every part of his world correct. This is why he asked about the Nine Inch Nails to test her. Grace knew that Rich was too stubborn to meet her halfway. The only way she was going to get to him was to enter his world. It worked.
I don’t mind that this was the way Rich “noticed” Grace. Because it was not Subrosa he fell in love with and it is not Subrosa he asked to marry him. It was Grace. The real Grace. Rich has been consistent in his support of Grace being who she is and showing the real her. Rich is a stubborn guy and Grace got his attention being Subrosa. However it is Grace Violet Blood who is the love of his life. That I think is the most important truth. Sometimes you are blind to see things that are right in front of you until someone dances on a table top singing “Killing in the Name of.”
**Gif of Rich staring was made by daydreamingaway**