The latest in Peter Jensen's gallery of unlikely muses is Meryl Streep in her blondest, all-American-est late-1970's incarnation: Manhattan, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Deer Hunter…Particular it may be, but the choice of inspiration also has significant implications for Jensen's business. Think back to the season he was focused on Shelley Duvall, the perfect icon for Jensen's World of Weird. Now look at these clothes, positively Meryl-worthy normal by comparison in terms of accessibility, simplicity, and versatility. "We're growing up," Jensen said, with his trademark gleeful grin. It's true, and he's now enough of an institution that Danish TV hired him as a commentator for the Wills 'n' Kate nuptials.
There was still the odd outbreak of skewed girlishness in Jensen's Resort collection—the short shorts, the little A-line mini, the curious two-dimensional, almost folkloric quality—and his unique color palette prevailed. (As he says, there couldn't be many other designers who do as well with shades like mustard and a blue he calls "Korean Air" after the uniforms of that airline's hostesses.) But otherwise, this was Jensen's most polished, refined collection to date. What stood out was structure: a trim cotton canvas pantsuit in a fantastic architectural print based on photos of houses in Palm Springs, a close-fitting safari jacket with zipped pockets, equally neat trenchcoats, a below-the-knee cocktail dress in basketweave linen over a black tulle petticoat. Add in the capri pants, the ruffled blouses, and the waxed cotton cape that is practically a signature piece, and you had a collection that put Jensen at the forefront of a trend we could label the New Prim, Resort's emerging appetite—in London, at least—for decorum. Mind you, Jensen's always had that in him, but this season, he elevated it to a height of sophistication that photographer Tim Gutt admirably captured in the accompanying lookbook. Gaze upon Iekeliene Stange's blonde beauty and muse, "Meryl, you were never lovelier."