This season his woman of choice, American artist Laurie Simmons, played an even more predominant role as collaborator.
The starting point of all of Peter Jensen's collections is always one female muse. This season his woman of choice, American artist Laurie Simmons, played an even more predominant role as collaborator. Simmons' is well known for her specially constructed environments with dolls and oversized everyday objects; works that employ childlike communication techniques but have intensely psychological subtexts. Eschewing the conventional catwalk show, Jensen opted for a civilised presentation - an intriguing installation incorporating elements of the pair's working process. Jensen made doll-size versions of his designs to be worn on model cut-outs, imitating poses from 60s and 70s fashion magazines; these were then photographed by Simmons in dollhouse surroundings. The dolls and large-scale prints were on display alongside real-life models wearing the collection, each of them sporting skewed hairstyles to match that of the cutouts. Enabling Jensen and Simmons to create their own 'world', the presentation technique was perfectly suited to the collection's charming and surreal themes and ideas. The combination of their individual aesthetics and approaches work to positive effect. American classics omnipresent in Simmons' work -denim workwear, gingham fabrics, satin prom dresses, 50s sportswear, skirt suits with bracelet sleeves- are playfully reworked by Jensen, his humorous, modern approach preventing them from being sickly sweet. Accessories always play a key role, here in quirky raffia shoes, a large watermelon bag and oversized pearl necklaces. Simmons' presence is heavy throughout - some elements lifted directly from her works, such as a hand-drawn red floral print, a pink vinyl look and swan motif from her 'Early Colour Interiors' photographic series (1978-1979). It is the dolls and their scaled-down clothing that have the most influence on the designs - simple shapes that seem to sit away from the body and peculiar proportions. Risky maybe but the final result reminds us that Jensen has a knack of producing appealing and wearable clothes.