Kate Gilbert reports live from London Fashion Week spring summer 2008
A Collection in 5 acts
Day two of London Fashion Week, and the Peter Jensen collection kicked off in my kind of style. We were escorted to a basement in the depths of a huge office building in central London, where lovely waiters provided us with free champagne and canapÃ©s. Standing in a white room, schmoozing with the cream of London’s stylish folk and drinking bubbly is definitely the way to spend Sunday lunchtime.
Danish designer Peter Jensen is a man who likes his muse’s, and this year was no exception as Mink Stole, star of film legend John Waters’ films, and the various characters she has portrayed was used to inform the collection. This then explains the way this show was splintered into many parts, each different and in their own way unique. Split into five acts, the first was based on Mink’s character Dottie, a Baltimore housewife who is driven to the edge of sanity by a psychopath stalker. This was shown in a series of outfits combining denim and beach print (Jensenâ€™s own prints are important to his collections), which had a 1950’s feel. Crease-front jeans, neck scarves and patent loafers were seen along with pale blue cords and a patchwork cotton sweater.
Part two, also based on a suburban housewife, had a more feminine feel. Lace knit twin sets in mustard and blue and lace trimmed slip dresses; but what really stood out were the bubble gum dress and jacket; a pink crepe de chine dress with a large collar covered with hundreds of candy coloured beads, followed by an entire waist length jacket covered with the pink, orange, blue and green beads with swirls of bronze and gold. Whites and creams were the palette in Act 3, with cute high wasited lace dresses, a gorgeous white voile baby doll with floaty sleeves and matching bow headband and a white frill hooded jacket. All had a real summer vibe and showed a nice use of texture. This was followed by a selection of pearl raincoats with integrated hoods and matching bonnet separates.
Act four saw mod looks hit the catwalk, with dark denims in skirts, dresses and corsages. Tight black trousers hung just above the ankle and grey over-dyed gingham shirts and bomber jackets were very wearable, with great netting bow headbands and hats (think ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’). Several outfits were accessorized with police department necklaces, and backcombed hair that would make Amy Winehouse jealous, all giving off an edge of rebellion. After the dark denims had left the catwalk (which looped in angles around the room) the scene shifted back to serene femininity with a series of simple dresses and evening gowns. A flamingo pink, strapless tulip mini-dress, and full length shantung evening gowns in peppermint green and jade, and violet and amethyst blue, created lovely flattering shapes.
The collection used a varied and interesting selection of subtle colours, but in particular the use of pinks, greens and blue had a sugary summer feel to them. The clothes were nicely tailored and the outfits were well pieced together, creating a very wearable collection (and that’s not the champagne talking I promise).