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Peter Jensen: Fashion in Motion

The Danish designer celebrates ten years in fashion with a retrospective exhibition and catwalk show at London's Victoria & Albert Museum

The V&A is hosting ‘Fashion in Motion’ a series of live catwalk events featuring some of the greatest designers of our time. On the 18th November it’s Peter Jensen’s turn to showcase his work from the past decade as he celebrates the 10th anniversary of his label. As well as the event, a book of Jensen’s work is also being released to coincide titled ‘Peter &’. It delves deep into previous collections, as a scrapbook of photos, essays and inspirations to catalogue Jensen’s career. 

The Danish-born, London-based designer is famous for each of his collections being based around a particular female mused from film characters, family members even historical figures. Jensen manages to create garments that are both wearable but still break convention by combining strong colours with cheerful, sophisticated designs. Dazed caught up with the designer to talk about how he selected the pieces that are to be included in the show and how his muses help him to focus his collections.

Dazed Digital: You’re celebrating your 10th anniversary at the V&A expo, did you ever think your label would become such a success?
Peter Jensen:
You know what, I never think about it in that way, maybe I should but I have always looked at it being a job, god that makes me sounds like a happy hippy, I'm not. I still think we have a long way to go but maybe if we are still around in the next 10 years, I will say, 'no I never thought that it would be such a success', but I'm happy now because I'm rich and famous and can retire in a couple of years.

DD: What can we expect at the Fashion in Motion event?
Peter Jensen:
It will be a "best of" from the last 10 years with all the backdrops from the shows and outfits all put together for the event by Lucy Ewing. It is like putting out a "greatest hits".

DD: How have you selected the designs for the Fashion in Motion event?
Peter Jensen: 
We hung up the hole archive from the first collection "Mary Miles Minter" to the very last "Nina" in one room and then we did the looks on lovely lovely Erika Wall, whom makes everything look sooo good. Lucy Ewing is doing the styling, because she did the first of many seasons for PJ, so we thought that would be the best way.

DD: You’re known for basing your collections around particular female muses, does it help your designs to have a clear focus? Is there anything else that inspires your work outside of these powerful women? 
Peter Jensen: Yes, it does help me focus on what I'm doing, it is like working with a set of rules, which can be a challenge a good and a bad one, but mostly good. I like all the women that we have used as a muse they all bring something new to my way of thinking and the way I view fashion. And yes, I love watching tv. I think it's great.

DD: Tell us about the book that’s being released to coincide with the show? What was it like creating a tangible scrapbook of your work? Did you want to reveal everything or hold things back at all?
Peter Jensen: 
It was good fun to go back all the press books, the shows, the garments etc. and it made be realize that there are some vain people out there in the fashion world and let me tell you it is not the designers. You can tell yourself who they are...

I love the text in the book which is done by Emily King and Susannah Frankel, they are both strong stylists and very clever women. We tried to do the book in a way so it made sense for anyone new to our work, so it starts with the first collection and ends with A/W11 "Anna Karina", we didn't include the resort collections as they will be in the second addition.

Fashion in Motion is at the V&A from Friday November 18, 2011. More info HERE