January 02, 2014 London
The unlikeliness of the comatose Sunny von Bülow (it took her 29 years to finally expire) as a muse was counteracted by Jensen's astute mining of her aristocratic WASP lifestyle for Pre-Fall's inspiration: knitwear patterned after the carpets of a grand family estate in Rhode Island; a print based on the deer that would have roamed said estate; prim, box-pleated wool dresses lined in habotai silk; capri pants paired with striped cotton shirts. There on his mood board was Sunny with her signature helmet of lacquered hair, alongside a photo of the equally soignée Carmen dell'Orefice in a camel duffel coat. So far, so elegantly straight.
But Jensen doesn't do straight. Among Sunny's many weaknesses was an addiction to M&M's. Jensen encrusted his shoes with a monochrome version. A classic camel cardigan was reconfigured as a bed jacket with a varsity letter (just the trick for putting a bedridden American aristocrat in touch with her roots). Jensen said he was thinking of the Von Bülows' party lifestyle when he created a print out of diamond studs. In the anagram design he made of the randomly distributed letters in his and Sunny's names, what ironically stood out was a big RSVP. The designer insisted it was mere coincidence, but he couldn't deny that it kind of matched the droll, decadent undertow of the collection.