This label's commercial success is the result of the quality and excellent skills of its designer. Alice Temperley studied at Central Saint Martins in London. There she specialized in textile technology and printing processes, convinced that mastery of these areas would open up new avenues in creation and design. And such was the case, as her expertise in these departments brought her early recognition and a slew of awards, including the Innovation Prize given by Central Saint Martins.
It is no accident, then, that one finds in her garments a taste for work well done, for meticulous dressmaking that brings together the most traditional processes and the most complex and innovative techniques.
This blend of quality, aesthetics and technical rigor has resulted in an extraordinary label, one that is astounding both in the commercial and visual sense. She is nothing less than an international reference of British fashion.
What inspires you?
Everything around me: travel, music, film and my large library of things I have collected since I was a child.
What is your dream as a designer?
To be able to have the time to continue to do what I enjoy. I think it is very important to keep your vision and identityas you grow. Also, I would love for these clothes to be treasured and worn for years to come, to survive the tests of time, timeless and well-made.
What has been the most important achievement of your career?
To still be here, doing what I enjoy.
How important are trends?
I do not follow trends. If you are following trends, then they must be already around and therefore already dated. Designers work so far in advance that they should follow their vision, not a trend prediction. Too many people are obsessed with following or hitting trends. Fashion design should be about individuality.
Fashion has always reflected a certain era. What does fashion reflect in the twenty-first century?
Unfortunately, it has become faster and faster and louder and louder. In my view, less time is being spent on the craft and on making beautiful things. It is all about who has the biggest marketing budget, who puts on the craziest show. To me, all of this is less about beauty; it is less about the wearer. It is about egos and big business, and that is a worrying trend. On the other hand, fashion has gotten a much broader audience, meaning that people in general care more about an important part of life. Clothes and other fashion accessories have an influence on how you feel and how you are perceived. More accessibility in that respect is a good thing. Also, it seems that at least the developed markets are less ruled by labels and big brands. People are getting more individual; they better understand what design and quality is about and are less directed by marketing ploys and insecurity. That is a good trend, and I hope it continues. Of course, there is also a strong experimental side to fashion in the twenty-first century, and that is needed to advance things. However, I feel there is a general focus back onto what really matters to people when they choose their fashion. In my view, while interesting to watch, the space age/experimental lady that is currently being portrayed is going to be a very lonely lady. I hope that fun, wildness and beauty win in the twenty-first century—a renaissance of style and beauty.
What book would you recommend to every fashion designer?
Fashion in Film, by Engelmeier.