The lookbook for Peter Jensen's latest collection was shot against a photo backdrop of the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was the same backdrop that featured in Terry O'Neill's image of his wife Faye Dunaway the morning after she won her Oscar for Network. That picture is the iconic summation of Dunaway's career, so naturally it had to be the launch pad for Jensen's collection dedicated to the actress. That's the kind of guy the designer is—detail-oriented. Maniacally so.
Which meant that flickers of a number of Dunaway's roles shaped the clothes. The split-screen technique of The Thomas Crown Affair appeared as a print on a dress and a blouse, but that item's pussy-bow was borrowed from Dunaway's character in Network. A heart print was designed as a reflection of the relationship between Dunaway and Steve McQueen in Thomas Crown. "Who wouldn't fall in love with Steve McQueen?" sighed Jensen. A belted fake-fur jacket with a muddy camo-like print was also Thomas Crown.Mommie Dearest gave Dunaway her most memorable role as Joan Crawford at the same time that it destroyed her credibility as an actress. Here there was a dress printed with wire hangers, echoing Mommie Dearest's most notorious scene. There was also a sweatshirt embroidered with same. "I like the campness of the reference," Jensen said. It may in fact be a degree of campness that shapes all of the designer's collections—or, at the very least, the ability to fetishize detail to a disturbing degree. Like reproducing in print form the wallpaper in the background of Dunaway's key meltdown sequence in Network.
On the other hand, that disturbing quality is a key component of the errant charm of Jensen's work. You certainly didn't need to know Network to appreciate the shocking-pink sweaterdress in his new collection, but it added a tingle of frisson.