Peter Jensen's muses have always been so left field that it came as a surprise to find he'd gone with the Hitchcock blonde for his Resort collection. She's a straight-down-the-line hall-of-famer as far as fashion icons go. But true to form, there wasn't so much that was straight about Jensen's take. For one thing, it was Tippi Hedren as unhinged thief Marnie Edgar that he fixated on, so immaculate on the surface, so boiling with psychosexual fever below. In other words, a woman who was not what she seemed, which made her the consummate Jensen heroine. And as usual, Jensen created for her a collection of "proper" clothes, where seeing was not quite believing. His "plaids," for instance, were laboriously hand-drawn and printed. And the other prints, which have become such a key part of his work and which were here called "Scrapbook" and "Memorabilia," rustled up all sorts of figments of Marnie's tortured psyche, like the set of keys she steals to access a safe. A prim 1950's day dress was cut from a navy canvas so prosaic that it might have graced an attendant in the institution where Marnie would surely end up one day (except that same dress had an oddly sexy notch cut out over one knee).
The cotton twinsets in bubble gum pink, lime, and sky blue were a special request from Jensen's retailers in Japan. "Vitamin" colors, they wanted. And the oh-so-Eisenhower hostess gowns were addressing the needs of Dubai, another market where Jensen has made inroads. The fact that his quirk is traveling so well is encouraging, because the stories he tells with his clothes have become an eagerly anticipated way station on the ever expanding London circuit.