After an intense month of fashion served up every which way, creative solutions to the challenge of how best to present your wares tend to stand out. There's the million-dollar spectacle à la Chanel, of course. There's the bright-idea-on-a-budget ingenuity of someone like Patrik Ervell. And there's always film, which has been used to increasingly great effect. But Peter Jensen took things one step further (or is it back?) for Fall 2011. His lookbook is a set of film stills from an imagined production, shot by photographer Autumn de Wilde in—where else?—Hollywood.
Jensen's muses are some of fashion's most left field. For Spring, Shelley Duvall was the inspirator. For Fall, it was Anna Karina, the sloe-eyed beauty who starred in Jean-Luc Godard's most famous films in the early sixties (she was his wife at the time). Karina is Danish, like Jensen, but she got her "stage" name from Coco Chanel when she was modeling in the late fifties. And maybe her style (she was a poster girl for the French New Wave) helped trim some of the usual whimsy from Jensen's new collection. There was definitely a less decorative, more functional—maybe even more commercial—edge to the clothes, though the designer insisted that was also the influence of the American sportswear he'd been looking at. It's also his 10th anniversary, so he's been reflecting on his own archives, focusing and refining his signature style. For instance, Jensen resuscitated a cape from a shoot he did with Tim Walker for British Vogue a few years back.
Jensen followers can rest easy, though. There was still plenty of whimsy, from tip (bouclé pompom hats) to toe (colored Chelsea boots). An Umbrellas of Cherbour print—referencing the classic French movie famous for its color and its leading lady, Catherine Deneuve—was cut into a cotton shirtdress. Another print featured Google maps of the Hollywood Hills. Karina's early-sixties style was reflected in details like sailor collars, or pieces like the bonneted raincoat and the simple shift shapes with beat-girl tights. Jensen's own fractured fairy-tale signature was more obvious in the quilted corduroy suit with its trim of fake fur, or in the Harris tweed cape and bonnet paired with Bermuda shorts. But then he delivered a black silk sheath veiled in a navy dévoré shroud. The grown-up glamour of that notion suggested a route to Jensen's next decade.