Saturday

Interview with Alice Temperley Creative Director of TEMPERLEY LONDON

At the end of 2019, Alice Temperley announced the opening of her new flagship store at the Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue. Bringing the elegant bohemian style to the MENA and the comfortable elegance English brands are best known for, TEMPERLEY LONDON will most definitely carry its popularity and client base to this new market.

Creative Director Alice Temperley had so much to tell us about her story and new chapter in the Middle East.

AM: Please tell us more about your professional background and TEMPERLEY LONDON?  
I started watching black and white classic films around age 11 and became obsessed with the glamour of them; this is when I first started creating garments. The costumes of those films (often designed by Edith Head) were so glamorous it was like escapism into another world and I guess in many ways it still is.

Temperley London launched in the year 2000, with Temperley Bridal not far behind in 2006. I studied for five years at Central St Martins and the Royal College of Art where I focused on textiles. I was making dresses during my student days to pay my way and after graduating worked for a fabric mill in Italy followed by six months in Hong Kong. On returning to London I put my first collection together. It was small with around 25 pieces that I hand printed and embroidered, but I managed to secure about 20 wholesale accounts which was very exciting at the time. It was when I started producing and shipping the collection that I really started to learn about the business side. There were so many logistics to consider. Setting up a business is not easy and being young, strong and driven - and possibly a little naïve also - worked to my advantage.

We are an English brand with our own identity, fairy tale, nostalgia and romance. You can really feel and see how the brand can fully evolve. Temperley is so much more than just the clothing; it’s a mood and an identity.

AM: And how would you describe the TEMPERLEY LONDON woman? 
The Temperley woman dresses with confidence and effortless ease. She is an individual with her own look.  She needs an all-encompassing, functional yet ‘spirited’ wardrobe that takes her from day to night and transcends the seasons. She invests in timeless pieces that will still be relevant in years to come.

AM: To what extent do you follow the latest industry trends?
I have always tried to be true to myself and my family heritage. I am very passionate about patterns, textiles and fabrics as this is my training, so these are my starting points when I begin to design new collections.  I have always approached things in my own way and have never been interested in trends and fads.

TEMPERLEY LONDON Spring 2020 Collection
AM: What would you say is the main inspiration behind your latest collections?
The Spring ’20 collection is a celebration of the decorative and the detail. From Victorian mysticism to tarot cards and elements of the cosmos; the hand-painted prints, bespoke fabrics and artfully placed embroideries depict a marriage of dreamlike, magical motifs that appear both in day and eveningwear in a variety of guises. Italian escapes filled with byzantine tilework, Venetian palazzos and beautifully curated gardens inspire Temperley London’s latest Summer ‘20 collection. Evocative of travel and escapism to warm new climes; the increased daywear offering including new denim styles perfectly illustrates our new vision for Summer 2020; taking us through from Hotel Boudoir, French Riviera, Peggy’s Venice and Botanical Retreat.

AM: From London to Dubai, why is this career move so important for the brand?
The Middle East is one of our most important markets. We have been planning the new store for the last year and it has had its challenges, but the end result is exactly how I imagined it; it’s beautiful.

AM: When it comes to fashion and style, how would you describe Arab women?
I find Arab women to be some of the most sophisticated around the world. I think they can see all the additional work that has gone into the individual pieces. Everything is done by hand; something that makes the pieces more unique.

AM: In what way will TEMPERLEY LONDON satisfy Arab clients? Are you adapting your designs to the market?

We designed an exclusive Abaya for the Middle East previously, but I would love to do more. There are some beautiful embroideries, embellished dresses with high neckline, long sleeves and floor-length pieces in the Spring Summer ‘20 collections which are perfect for the Arab ladies.

Visit temperleylondon.com to shop the latest collection.
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