To fully appreciate the Peter Jensen experience, you need to rummage around on your seat and read the program notes, rather than spend the 20 minutes preshow trying to look cool or chatting to your neighbor. This time, what we got was a script-spoof on Hannibal Lecter verbally sparring with Clarice Starling, in which it becomes chillingly obvious that he knows absolutely everything there is to know about the film costumes of Jodie Foster: "The bouncy young girl in Freaky Friday, the street-walker of Taxi Driver, the feisty teen in Foxes This collection looks like you, Clarice."
This is only the latest in Jensen's series of fan letters to oddly chosen American heroines. In other seasons he's had crushes on Sissy Spacek, Tina Barney, and the crazed female characters of John Waters' filmsbut unless you want to draw a complete blank, it's always better to know what he's on about in advance. In this case, it was androgynous eighties tailoring, red-and-white football stripe T-shirt dresses and twinsets, gray sweats, and forties flower-print dresses. Squint at the floral bustier dresses, the high-waist trousers, and bad shoulder-pad jackets, and you could start filling in the Jodie Foster crossword: this one from The Accused, that from The Hotel New Hampshire, the other from The Silence of the Lambs. To be perfectly honest, though, sans prior intelligence, it was just another collection styled with a mild nod toward the eighties. Compared to some of Jensen's previous Summer collections, it missed his usual sunny bounce.