After two weeks of Collections crammed with machismo-oozing menswear (well, maybe a few too many skirts, 'skorts' and beaded kaftans to qualify as 'macho') it's pleasant to get back to good old-fashioned frock-watching - especially the newly-minted season of Resort, where rhetoric is abandoned for simple, honest-to-goodness saleability and wearability. Sometimes, it's nice when a dress is just pretty, without layers of hidden meaning.
London's Peter Jensen never makes you delve too deeply into the inspirations behind his very many very pretty garments. In fact, he lays it out plain and simple in the title. This one was called Meryl - and yes he meant Streep, whose keynote characters provided the inspiration for 2012 Resort. Of course Jensen isn't channeling Mama Mia Meryl, or Streep as pin-neat Prada-toting editrix Miranda Priestly. It was Streep's earlier - dare we say kookier? - incarnations that inflamed his aesthetic. Her tone-on-caramel-tone Kramer Vs. Kramer wardrobe was one, reflected in the buttery Werther's Original colour of a glazed cotton mackintosh, the fluttery blouses sported in Manhattan emerged in creamy silk with tie-necks twinned with sensible knee-length tweeds, and even that fluttery lilac bridesmaid gown sported by Streep in The Deer Hunter was updated, the colour in a bib-fronted silk tea-dress, the ruffled sleeves in a sleek black number.
As a palette-cleanser after an especially arduous and oft-overblown menswear season - to to mention an antidote to the pomp and schmaltz that will no doubt flow freely come next week's haute couture collections - it was perfect. I saw the clothes up-close but off-person, on a rack just prior to Jensen shooting these images in-house. They were charming, wearable and covetable - but these images give them added pizzaz. Credit where credit's due: alongside Jensen's fashion talent, Tim Gutt was the photographer changed with capturing Meryl Mark 2, and Iekeliene Stange the model channelling her look with eerie accuracy. A distinct and most-welcome change from the usual blank-faced lookbook stares and straight-up shots, it must be said.