When Peter Jensen was growing up in Denmark, Peanuts was called Radishes, reflecting the country’s commitment to healthy snacks for schoolkids. But that scarcely curbed Jensen’s love for the girls in the cartoon. “They were so bossy and opinionated and mean,” he says now. And, for that, Lucy, Marcie, Sally Brown, Peppermint Patty, and all the other Peanuts girls fit right into Jensen’s pantheon of female muses.
Charles M. Schulz’s sense of humor was always a little twisted, anyway. It was lighthearted but anarchic. There were no grown-ups. That’s a tricky inspiration for a designer who’s designing clothes for adults, Yoko Ono and Faye Dunaway being his last two muses. Jensen knew there could be nothing girly or cutesy about what he did. So the inspiration for the 24-look collection got abstract at points: Lydia’s face as a serial Warholian pattern for a pencil skirt; the bow from Lucy’s hair hand-drawn by Jensen as a serial print; same with the daisy, the only flower that ever appeared in Peanuts, here the defining detail on a coat in pink bouclé. And all the colors—bubblegum pink, sky blue, sunshine yellow—were Pantone shades, just like Schulz himself used. But the designer insisted he wanted “a sexy, tomboyish element,” so he made all the knitwear backless, and he injected a note of pure old-school American sportswear in something as basic as a color-blocked shift dress with a huge pocket.
Belle, Snoopy’s sister, infiltrated the collection with her eye writ large. If she is one of the lesser-known characters in the West, she is so famous in Japan that she has her own agent. That leaves us with the feeling that this collection will be very popular with Jensen’s Asian clients.