Alice Temperley was born in 1975, one of four children. She was brought up on her parents’ Somerset cider farm and described herself as “desperate desperate desperate” to get out of the countryside. She got her wish, attending Central Saint Martins in London, and establishing Temperley London, in Notting Hill, shortly after graduation.
Temperley carved out a niche as a “trendy meets traditional” designer, sort of Ralph Lauren with a bohemian edge. Her designs are often intricate, and she is known for her beautiful fabrics and hand-finishes. She was named “the designer making the biggest waves in British fashion” by the US Vogue in 2006. At one time she had three lines, starting with the aforementioned “Temperley London”, the flagship. Eventually, she added two more lines: “Alice”, a modern take on her designs (which ceased operations in 2014), and her very popular bridal line.
The Duchess of Cambridge has been wearing Alice Temperley since her girlfriend-of-the-future-King days. The designer has said, “Kate does wear our clothes a lot, but it’s not planned. You don’t know if she is going to wear something until the photographs appear.” That must make it exciting for the designer.
Kate MIddleton, as she was, wearing the Temperley “Honeycomb” jumper. At one time she had this in both black and ivory.
I like to think of this designer as “Tour Temperley” because some of the Duchess’ most memorable looks come from royal tours. She’s worn the gamut of design from Temperley, from a white blouse for a rodeo to a delicately embellished “swishy” number for a tea tasting. The black and white gown, feminine but restrained, was one of my favorite on her tour of India. Frothy light evening wear is a category of its own.
She’s done Temperley at home, too. In the midst of her lace phase, she wore the elegant black Temperley to the premiere of “War Horse” in 2012.
Temperley has moved her business back to the countryside she was so desperate to leave all those years ago. Which says something about circles and cycles that I am not deep enough to parse.
Spam your Temperley favorites, whether worn by the Duchess or not, in the comments. Maybe throw some bridal wear out there ; ).