"What is there not to like about Ms Ross?” was the very perceptive question the designer, Peter Jensen, responded with when asked about the inspirations behind his 1970s inspired Spring Summer 2014 collection. After all, Jensen has a point: no one does diva like Diana.
Referencing the first lady of Motown is a departure from Jensen’s usual interest in less-mainstream icons. Take for instance the genesis behind last season’s line, Vivian Nicholson, who won a serious amount of Lottery money in 1961 only to end up destitute a couple of years later after famously remarking that she was going to, ‘Spend, spend, spend!’ With Diana’s glamour serving as inspiration, the down beat chic of last season is replaced by womanly sophistication.
Sequins Sparkle On Peter Jensen's Mood Board For Spring Summer 2014 (Peter Jensen)
The playful, 70’s inspired pieces range from printed t-shirts - destined for cult status - to metallic party dresses, evoking the legendary studio 54. Each look represents in-depth methodical research undertaken by Jensen. In quintessential left-field style, everything from famous stage costumes to a duffle coat the leading lady once wore to return a VHS to Blockbusters have been resurrected and redefined - think sequin heavy separates and striped duffle coats.
Sleeve Details Debated On Peter Jensen's Mood Boards (Peter Jensen)
For the printed tees and dresses Jensen has teamed up with his close friend and artist, Julie Verhoeven. The prints range from larger than life images of Diana’s visage to a dress covered in a series of lips, lifted from her album cover for Silk Electric.
Seventies Prints From Peter Jensen's Mood Boards (Peter Jensen)
It is however not all glitz and print. Easy wearable laser cut detail jackets, tops and skirts round off a collection which puts the verve of the disco era, its freedom and fun, firmly at the centre of proceedings. When asked why Diana Ross, the designer explains, “I love the 70s, the disco, the freedom, the songs and thinking about Diana Ross dancing the night away after performing for 800,000 people in Central Park in the rain." Anyone donning the party-ready, pleated metallic finale dress will be instantly transported right back to that moment.