>> If you've ever flicked through Peter Jensen's 10 year anniversary book or are familiar with his work, you'll know that his choice of muses for his collections have always been decidedly leftfield. Sissy Spacek, Christina of Denmark, skater Tonya harding, The Shining star Shelley Duval, artist Laurie Simmons (weird but true anecdote - I remember having a convo with Simmons about her daughter, the then "struggling" writer Lena Denham), novelist Dame Muriel Spark and John Waters face Mink Stole are just some of the women that have seen some equally unlikely clothes spring up from Jensen's head. Unlikely in so much that Jensen has a evocatively wearable design language that manages to marry up oddball muse with all-girls-will-heart-this type of clothing.
Therefore we come to his take on the obligatory sweatshirt, a category of clothing that has exploded everywhere with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon at Kenzo having much to answer for. His A/W 13-4 collection of vaguely 1960s dowdy/glam interplays was inspired by an even more unlikely lady - Viv Nicholson, a British woman who won £152,319 in 1961 at the pools and was famed for saying she was going to "Spend, Spend, Spend" hence the slogan. That sum, which was a tidy fortune at the time, soon diminished as she found herself bankrupt four years later and then attempted to capitalise on her "fame" by coming out with a novelty single, appearing in a strip club singing Big Spender and finally writing an autobiography that became the basis for a musical. Nicholson's tale is therefore a blueprint for the fast fame stars that get churned out of today's reality TV culture and media landscape. It's a fascinating one to dissect on an aesthetic level and so it is Jensen investigated the layers of a rags-to-riches trajectory and gently mocks Nicholson's carelessness.
The slogan "Spend Spend Spend" is a strange one to don in London where you could be cris-crossing through all walks of life and happing upon somebody who might be in a less fortunate financial position. "Oh, irony," as one would knowingly say. It obviously isn't a prescriptive message but more like a succinct parable that points out the pitfalls of actioning the statement. Says the fashion blogger, she sniggers. I'm going back and forth with this. I'm just going to run with it. It's a sweatshirt with cheeky backstory and it's available now on ASOS or on Peter Jensen's e-commerce site in both a unisex loose fit or a "mini" tighter fit (the one I'm wearing). Do as the sweatshirt says. Or not. The choice is your's.
Photograph by Phil Oh for Vogue.com
Speaking of spending, I've spent the weekend tidying up the wardrobe in preparation for what I *think* and hope will be a house move (but as I've learnt the hard way - basically, estate agents and some vendors are bastards), and have six heaving Ikea bags of clothes. Sorry to be a buzz killer but I haven't really got any time or energy to put together a full on yard sale so I'm just going for a simple concept, inspired by another overnight star - one pound fish dude from Queen's Market. "£1 skirt, £1 skirt, very very nice, £1 skirt." Just practising my song for the sale. Doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? It's unlikely people will be coming over for my singing skills so come and bag a bargain instead. It's mostly high street, vintage *some* (emphasis on that word) designer (indie/established) and more importantly, cheaper than London charity shop fare. Steve from Style Salvage will have some stuff for guys, but not in huge quantity. In the words of London's market criers - everything must go. That's why I haven't set an end time. We'll be pitching up at 11am in my yard and y'all welcome to come and have a hunt. I might even do as the fish man sings and offer a six for a fiver deal. We'll see how the day goes. There is no contingency plan if it decides to rain other than huddling under umbrellas. Like the price, there's nothing fancy about this at all. Just a good old fashioned bargain.