And so it begins. The possibility that resort/cruise/spring collections could come together and sprout another fashion week in London. What were collections previously presented as cookbooks have now begun to emerge as shows and presentations. Roland Mouret showed his resort salon-style yesterday inside his store, and Peter Jensen followed up with a static presentation in the light-filled Elms Lester Rooms. This potentially is a preliminary state of pre-collection week in the making. Tom Ford’s interview with Tim Blanks for Style.com has provided a lot of quotable nuggets. His comment about cruise presentations throws up a lot of food for thought. “Cruise is now shown with these giant productions means it’s no longer what it was supposed to be, which was clothes that were maybe not strong enough to show but were your real bread and butter, the clothes that women wanted to wear. But now that they’re being shown, they’ll have to be amped up, and women won’t want to wear them anymore.” Or in other words, as told to Alex Fury by a fashion editor, that the two main ready to wear collections have become like haute couture and pre-collections were like the ready to wear.
None of these semantics really matter to the end customer though. And is Ford’s prognosis correct when he says women won’t like it when the clothes are being amped up. Or furthermore, are the clothes actually being amped up to suit their more dramatic show environment?
Away from the grand masons and big wig brands, where this may be the case, Peter Jensen is a designer who long ago reconciled himself with making clothes that women want to wear. Having ceased showing on-schedule at London Fashion Week, he has opted for strong look books and presentations that still convey the spirit of his contrarians of his female muses, who inspire every collection. Every collection be it pre-fall, resort, spring/summer or autumn/winter have equal weighting for Jensen.
And so we were presented with resort 2014, dedicated to Yoko. As in Ono. Doesn’t really get bigger than Yoko, in comparison to some of the muses, which Jensen have focused on in the past. Stylist Shirley Kurata street casted a room full of Yokos, to stand still in clothes that bear references to Ono’s work and persona. John Lennon taking a bite out of her £200 apple at the Indica Gallery in 1966 manifests itself as a cornerstone print in the collection. Lennon also climbed up a ladder to see the word “Yes” projected on to the ceiling and decided Ono was worth staying for because of its positivity. Hence why Yes Yes Yes appears on a sweatshirt. Jensen simplifies Ono’s book Grapfruit, with instructions for performance art, into a cute knit. Ono’s famous Cut Piece creates slashes at the back of sweatshirts and scissors printed across a skirt. Even Ono’s face is interpreted as an abstract repeat print of centre-parted wavy hair.
There’s almost something naively direct about the way Jensen has been inspired by Ono. That’s the appeal of Jensen’s clothing though. There are no lofty pretensions just a direct call to wear. Apparently Ono is fully aware of the collection. I hope she’s chuffed.