September 23, 2009
London Fashion Week: Peter Jensen SS10
I really loved Peter Jensen's spring/summer 2010 presentation at the Institute of Contemporary Arts yesterday. Firstly, it was away from the catwalks (and the associated crowds, queues and depressing fashion hierarchy) and I watched the first half of the collection in relative solitude. Secondly, I've always enjoyed Jensen's playful take on the traditional runway show (see last season's Charlotte Mann backdrops), and this season was no exception.
Collaborating with artist Laurie Simmons, Jensen created pieces from his collection in miniature, and dressed them on tiny cut-out dolls. The miniature cardboard cut-outs were lined up along the mantle, where I later glimpsed Colin McDowell resting both hands and leaning right in to inspect them in detail. Detail is key here, as the tiny fabric garments were not just cut from real-size fabric – rather, Jensen painstakingly scaled down the fabric with tiny knits and hand-stitched embroidery.
The miniatures were shot in Simmons' dollhouse and then scaled back up to life-size portraits, which were dotted around the exhibition space. For the presentation, Jensen sent real-life models (with doll-like cut-out hair) to wander around the rooms and pose next to the cut-outs.
The collection itself was inspired by '50s American classics, so there were lots of twinsets, swing jackets and shift dresses, which were rendered in technicolour glory (think buttercup yellows, poppy reds and bubblegum pinks). The dollhouse theme was further explored with Jensen playing with the sense of proportion and size through the use of giant ginghams, oversized watermelon bags and a super-sized ric-rac motif. It was unashamedly girlish with tulle skirts, ruffles and swan prints, and my, it was pretty.