Interview - Peter Jensen

by Penny Martin .

 

Penny Martin: When did you first move into your studio? 

Peter Jensen: We moved in about a year ago, though we've been in the same studio block for about four years now.

Penny Martin: What made you choose it? 

Peter Jensen: The price! But also because the block is home to Emma Cook, Shona Heath and Abake, so we knew we would be in good company.

Penny Martin: What are the different roles of the people working in your studio? 

Peter Jensen: The three main people are Peter, Gerard and Alex. Peter and Gerard are the bosses and Alex is the assistant, but tasks are not divided - everybody does a bit of everything. Also, we always have placement students who are essential at show time to the smooth running of the studio.

Penny Martin: Please describe what happens there on a typical day. 

Peter Jensen: Peter gets in about 7.30 or 8 am - he is a very early riser. He listens to bad Danish music (so no-one else has to later on) while he organises what will happen that day. Alex arrives about 9am and has a coffee with Peter and they talk nonsense for a few minutes before starting to sew samples and any small production orders that need doing. Once Gerard comes in, everything starts happening at once - sewing, faxing, telephoning, cutting, drawing... A short lunch break and some more coffee, then our stylist Lucy might come in to tell us her news and talk about the new collection and the show. All the time samples are being sewn, toiles are being fitted, print designs being discussed, orders packed and prepared. The day usually ends around 7pm, though often later around show time.

Penny Martin: How did the appearance/décor of your studio come about? Did it evolve spontaneously, or was it designed? 

Peter Jensen: When we moved in, it was quite dark and divided up so we ripped everything up and out, painted it white for maximum light and varnished the floor for maximum sturdiness. It is now one large space with a small cupboard for storage. Though not exactly designed, we did have the luxury of at least planning where everything would go - we moved only across the hallway.

Penny Martin: Is there something about your studio that inspires your work or is it purely a practical space?

Peter Jensen: We arranged it to practical constraints but all the time were aware that we needed it to look nice, so research and drawings go up on the wall, and clothes hang from the ceiling to remind us every day where to find inspiration. Everything in the studio has been collected over time by Peter, so though it is fairly utilitarian, everything has its own story - the table that once lived as a door, the Danish-designed trestle table from Peter's past. Various things like stools and lamps have made their way over here from other people's studios (Shona always has heaps of stuff to give away) so in that way it is testament to our friendships and working histories!