Alice Temperley is not just the quintessential English rose, all flowing hair and ethereal tea dresses, she’s also the ultimate British designer. From regularly dressing Kate Middleton to her latest collaboration with Twinings, for whom she’s designed a stunning chiffon scarf for ladies who tea, her clothes are the ones we want to be wearing at weddings, pic-nics, festivals and all-night parties. In celebration of her 10th year in fashion, InStyle caught up with Miss Alice for a bit of a style chat:
You're celebrating 10 years in fashion - congratulations! What's been your career high in this period?
We are extremely lucky to be here to celebrate our 10th year, I am very proud of what we have achieved so far, it has been an incredible journey. Sometimes it feels like a hundred years and sometimes it feels like we have just begun. It is hard to think of just one moment - there have been many. The first big articles on the company were important moments as well as being worn by some of the greatest names in film and music such as Halle Berry, Demi Moore, Jennifer Lopez and Sarah Jessica Parker. I was incredibly flattered when a dress from my first ever runway collection was worn by Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City.
Where would you like to be in 10 years' time?
I would love to be living in the countryside with lots of children and have a successful, smooth running business that will outlive me.
Who or what inspires you when you're designing?
I find inspiration everywhere. I love trawling through flea markets in London and Paris and I find inspiration in films, music, books and especially from my travels. My notebook and camera are always with me. With 14 collections a year for my Temperley London, ALICE by Temperley and Bridal lines as well as collaborations I have to constantly keep an eye out for things to keep my inspirations flowing.
You've dressed many celebs and even Princess Catherine! Who would you next like to see in your designs?
It is always incredibly flattering to see women in my designs no matter if they are well known or not. I have been very lucky to have dressed some fabulous women throughout the years.
You're famous for your fashion week and birthday parties - what are your top rules for getting ready for a night out?
Always wear clothes you feel are right for you and that you can move around in but do not be afraid to experiment. I always stick to my beauty essentials -red lips, smoky eyeliner and a bit of bronzer.
You returned to London for your autumn/winter show - what was it like to come home?
We are a British brand so coming back to London definitely felt like the right thing to do for our 10th anniversary year. London Fashion week is just getting stronger and stronger so I am thrilled to be part of it again. We have tremendously enjoyed working with different creative teams in New York, but we belong here in London being a true British brand.
Can you give us any hints on what you have in store for us for spring/summer next year?
As always, although I have different inspirations for each season, my designs exist outside of the trend of the moment, I don’t like to confine the woman who wears my clothes to any season or moment, she wears it for love of how it makes her feel and I hope to create timeless pieces. Summer is my favourite time of year, I love the colours and the freedom the sun brings. The Temperley London main line and ALICE by Tempereley diffusion will definitely come from the same Temperley DNA of attention to detail, beautiful fabrics however the ALICE by Temperley is a slightly more casual collection, perfect daywear for women who like to mix things up with a bit of a rock n roll edge whereas Temperley consists of luxurious, exquisite investment pieces.
What's your favourite item in your wardrobe? Your most embarrassing?
95% of my wardrobe is Temperley but I have some incredible vintage Alaia pieces that I treasure and absolutely love my selection of Charlotte Olympia shoes.
I have some rather dodgy dresses in my wardrobe as a result of Glastonbury. Every year, on the last evening of the festival, we all dress up in the most hideous dresses we can possibly find, the men included, and one or two of these might still be found in my wardrobe.
What's an easy and inexpensive styling tip?
Revlon Red lips as seen in my Autumn/Winter 2011 show.
You are the quintessential British girl and you've just designed a gorgeous scarf for Twinings Earl Grey - what inspired the collaboration and the design?
We were approached by Twinings who presented this idea that I found interesting. I liked the idea of doing something with a British heritage lifestyle brand. The print is inspired by the original journey of the Earl Grey blend, as it travelled across the oceans from China to the UK, which can be seen in the compass design. The background represents the key Earl Grey ingredient- the bergamot plant and oil and I also drew inspiration from the era of the Ming Dynasty, known for their beautiful vases which influenced the print’s colour scheme.
Twinings has teamed up with Alice Temperley to bring to life Afternoon Tea. As part of the collaboration between the two iconic British brands, Alice Temperley has created a bespoke, Limited Edition Temperley for Twinings scarf that highlights the journey of the original Twinings Earl Grey from its origin in China to the Twinings store in 1831. The Temperley for Twinings scarf, £115, is available from www.twinings.co.uk
By Maria Milano