As the creative force behind Temperley London for 15 years, Alice Temperley’s privately owned label has evolved from creating 25 pieces to producing over eight collections across three lines. Eclectic, worldly and unique, she infuses her passion into her colourful designs. Sharon Carvalho speaks to her about early beginnings, inspiration and memorable moments
How did it all begin?
I was making and selling things from the age of 11 and this lead me to a BA course in Central St Martins and then an MA at the Royal College. I launched Temperley in 2000, just a year after finishing the MA, with just 25 pieces that I printed and stitched myself. The collection size slowly grew with a Bridal line not far behind, in 2006. Setting up a business is not easy but I think being young, strong and driven, and a little naïve, also worked to my advantage. I have learnt a lot of lessons the hard way.
Describe the woman you design for?
She is feminine, confident and effortless with a modern bohemian twist.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from so many different places. From friends I meet and places I see to music, film, markets and countries.
What is your design process?
It starts with inspiration and we then move to sketching and making patterns in house. We then have a fitting, about six weeks later with the prototypes.Working with my amazing team is my favourite part of the process.
What are your thoughts on the Middle Eastern woman’s style?
I find Middle Eastern women to be some of the most sophisticated around the world. They love colour, pattern, embellishment and really enjoy dressing up, often wearing complete looks from the collection. We designed an exclusive Abaya for the Middle East in our PreFall’15 collection, but I would love to do more.
You are celebrating a big anniversary, how have you and the brand evolved?
I feel incredibly proud and nostalgic about the journey of the brand over the last 15 years. In recent years, we have grown from a British fashion brand into having the potential to evolve into a global luxury lifestyle brand. We are working on an exciting plan for the next five years, which we will be putting into action this year. We have expanded with kaftans, soft accessories and scented candles with ideas to move into further categories in the next few years.
What is your favourite aspect of FW15 trends?
Suits, velvet, multiple textures and layering.
What is your most memorable moment as a designer?
There have been so many incredible moments throughout the years. Receiving my MBE from her Majesty the Queen would have to be one of my most memorable.
Celebrity style you love-
Caroline Issa, Charlotte Olympia, Laura Bailey, my mother and Carine Roitfeild
Five must haves in your closet
A crisp white shirt
A well cut three-piece suit
An embroidered blanket shawl
An outlandish evening dress
A Temperley London kimono
Fashion pet peeve
Not staying true to who you are
Advice to young designers
Intuition is key. And be passionate about everything you do.