Runway review: Jenny Kee
Jenny Kee at fashion week
\A model showcases designs by Jenny Kee on the catwalk. Photo: Getty Images
Surrounded by sweet smelling gum tree branches, the riotous prints that first made Jenny Kee famous in the 70s were celebrated. Models standing as still as statues on blocks were draped in layers, hoop skirts, tights and knits in a cacaophony of colour, clashing prints and blatant, vibrant chutzpah. It was a delight for many reasons.
For one big reason, the whole installation with its scarf strewn gum trees was less fashion and more, well, art. Generally fashion has too many commercial pressures to simply be extravagant or bonkers or just fun. The collaboration with Romance was Born, who opened this year's fashion week with a bang, who styled Kee's show (which includes nearly 30 years of archived prints) was indeed a perfect match, creatively and perhaps also in the way they see the world.
The collection reminded me of the happy pants my mother dressed my brother and I in when we were kids. Loud, nonsensical and statement making, they really did make you feel blissfully happy. Which is exactly the sentiment one feels in the revival of Jenny Kee. It's her first solo fashion week show since 1981, but looking at the prints featuring in just about every other collection at fashion week thus far, I think we will be seeing more of Jenny Kee. Besides, the woman put Princess Diana in a koala jumper. Eternal kudos.