Alice Temperley: Catwalk diffusion
Don't you just love it when our favourite designers diversify and introduce more affordable diffusion ranges?
Alice Temperley, famous for her gorgeously covetable, intricate beaded dresses with their signature femininity, is the latest catwalk star to produce a relatively affordable sister range.
Ever since she launched her Temperley London label 10 years ago, Alice (35) has been the darling of Brit celebs for her hippy-chic dresses, which are full of nostalgia and feature exquisite craftsmanship.
Word spread to the US, where Scarlett Johansson, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker and Halle Berry quickly identified the Somerset lass for her intriguing red- carpet skills, and Alice's New York shop in a converted loft on Broome Street has become one of Soho's coolest shopping destinations.
Next stop Dublin, where the lower-priced label, Alice by Temperley, now in its second season, is causing a frisson among price- conscious Irish shoppers.
Many, including myself, have admired the ready-to-wear range for special occasions, but the arrival of her diffusion range at Brown Thomas now makes her a day-to-day fashion friend.
Strong on prints and famous for her knits, Alice's tribal-print knitted tunic is one of the least expensive pieces in the collection at €195 and the same tribal theme works really well on the strong cape, a good buy at €260.
You can tame the tribal dress with patterned neckline and sleeves (€230) by adding black opaque tights and heels.
Shifting up a gear, the studded-down-the-front cape at €520 is reminiscent of those worn by the English 'bobby', or policeman in the 1960s, while the military coat in marl grey has that magpie effect that Alice is famous for, with gold military-reference embellishments.
The shapes are girlie and young, hemlines are short, waists are nipped and trousers are low-slung.
There is a strong element of textural luxury running through the affordable diffusion range, similar to Alice's four other collections: the ready-to-wear Temperley collection; her exclusive Black Label range of decorative dresses, the luxurious wedding gowns and the quirky accessories label sold via her online shop since launched this summer.
Alice's website, Temperley london.com, is one of the most entertaining I've come across, with a video clip in which the designer brings you to her favourite hunting ground, Portobello Market, close to her Notting Hill home where she works in a series of mews houses, the façades painted in the Union Jack.
The True British theme, which runs across the Alice and the mainline Temperley range for autumn winter, was inspired by Norman Parkinson prints that Alice was invited to view in Somerset where they had been held in a private collection.
Legendary for his work on 'Vogue', Parkinson wore a Kashmiri wedding helmet when he went out shooting and inspired by his humour-filled images, Alice factored in references to english memorabillia and heritage in the two collections. The capes in the little sister collection are go-see cute.