As a formidable fashion label that was launched during The Millenium, TEMPERLEY LONDON has made influential waves ever since. ANUSHAY KHAN discovers the world of English Fashion Designer, ALICE TEMPERLEY and her ongoing relationship with Salam Stores in Qatar.
Tell us about the Alice Temperley’s signature throughout the collection.
For us, it is always about comfort. No matter what the embellishment is, we always want comfort to be the first priority. I always hope to create timelessly classic pieces, so, when I design, I never focus on making seasonal fashion. I want my customers to use these pieces in various ways and not treat them as if they are something precious. I want to create different looks using one item and enjoy what they’re wearing. Wear them with a sense of ease.
How do you decide on the names of your collections?
Sometimes, I just know what I want to call my collections. Like my collection coming out in September, I knew I wanted to call it Opium. I had a very clear image of what I wanted it to look like, where I wanted it shot and how I wanted to go about it. For the Summer collection, I knew exactly what theme I wanted and how I wanted it to be influenced by certain paintings. Then, there are collections we name that are inspired by the design process.
What inspires your mood board and what is your design process?
We design our collections a whole year in advance and we always start with a feeling and theme. How do I want my muse to feel? Our muse is the same woman but we always want to know where she’s going, how she’s feeling, what shapes is she looking at and what colours and fabrics does she need to be seen in. Her daywear has to be different than the eveningwear, which is more decadent and frivolous and she wears it in a very Temperley way. We are introducing daywear now which needs to be more functional with a point of difference, using the reference of the theme of reflections so we have a mixture of masculine and feminine cuts with a few accessories, such as aviators, which make you feel like she’s vibing in the 1940’s.
“I don’t follow the trends at all. I travel a lot and I go to places which are up-to-date with music, film, and culture. If you’re living in that environment you pick up what is happening better in terms of colours and cuts.”
For the Summer Collection, we are never as specific, but, we know what element we need in there. This was a feeling of colour, flavor, and graphics. We made paintings around the mood board and started in a very textile way as we tested these prints on jacquard as well. We design everything in the studio; the prints are all crafted by hand and we like that we have this differentiation in the market.
Where do you look to spot ‘trends’ and how do you incorporate that in your own style?
I don’t follow the trends at all. I travel a lot and I go to places which are up-to-date with music, film, and culture. If you’re living in that environment you pick up what is happening better in terms of colours and cuts. I feel like keeping up with trends is not the designer’s role, it’s the high street’s role. You have to do what you feel you should be doing which makes my pieces timeless because I have my own point of view.
I see a lot of sequins work in your collection. What other materials and accessories do you work with which are your ultimate favourite?
I love experimenting with lots of beautiful 1940’s crepes as they are a favourite for me. I love making decorative clothes and that is the direction for us when it comes to eveningwear. We do a lot of tailoring, like big shearling and we have to see what is right for this climate. We have different choices for daywear and eveningwear but the fantasy ultimately comes true through eveningwear.
What inspired the colour palette for this collection?
It comes from the paintings, from the research and from the references of these points. For Summer, for example, the prints were all done in a completely different tone as the colours were bright so the paintings that the designers did were basically the reference points for us. We might pull softer lilacs or unusual greens; it all depends on the collection.
What are your expectations from the Qatari Market and how does this strengthen your ties with Salam Stores?
Salam stores are fantastic to work with and it has been a long relationship with them now. Especially the new store, it feels very contemporary. It’s nice to see the market react this way to our collections because we can see that they love dressing up!
How do you feel about expanding your business to Qatar at Place Vendome?
We are so excited about this! There are so many people now visiting Doha and it just shows how the country is coming on the map with everything; fashion, art, and film is certainly coming into focus.
Do you have any collaborations in the near future?
We have just done the first ever designer collaboration with British Airways First Class.
What else should we look out for when it comes to your label?
We’re very excited about the new collection that’s coming out in September. We want to become more sustainable and we want to celebrate our classic pieces, the heritage, the women, and, of course our muses. We are doing things our own way now and we’re very excited to show that to the world.