The latest lifestyle, fashion and travel trends
Last September, the British Fashion Council (BFC) decided London Fashion Week would become the first of the four global fashion weeks to open its doors, at least partially, to the public.
Last season Henry Holland and Self Portrait hosted four sell-out public shows each, proving the concept incredibly popular.
This season, it’s Temperley London and De La Vali’s turn; each of whom will hold four ticketed runway shows (Temperley’s on February, Saturday 15, De La Vali’s on February, Sunday 16) open to the general public.
“It’s just really nice to be able to show everybody what we are doing,” says British designer Alice Temperley as we meet in her beautiful four-storey Mayfair flagship store days before the show.
Temperley, who launched her brand back in 2000 a year after graduating from the Royal College of Art, was immediately keen when the BFC approached. “It’s really nice to be inclusive of the public. I think everybody has to think about different ways of showing now,” she says. “It’s a really nice way of engaging with people who are really interested. Not just media and buyer types, but actually members of the public. I think brands need to engage more with their consumer and do more in-store events, more trunk shows… and I think this is just a really nice way of doing something different.”
Unlike traditional fashion shows which showcase a next season’s stock (which won’t actually hit stores for another six months), Temperley is showing the public a see-now-buy-now concept of the current summer collection that, following the show, they can purchase at the pop-up onsite at fashion week or shop in store.
“I think showing the collection six months before its available confuses everybody with the amount of social media that’s out there, when people can’t have it straight away,” says the Somerset-born designer. “And really you should be showing your collection to those who are going to be buying it there and then. So I think it’s a really nice concept to work on.”
While the brand has become well-known for its bridal and eveningwear, the public show will in fact comprise 70 per cent daywear.
“I think we are going back to that original feeling the brand launched with. There are a lot more mini dresses, shorts, blouses that are affordable and really, really pretty,” she says. “Really simple, lovely summer dresses and separates. It’s just really important for us to show that we are not just eveningwear.
“Eveningwear obviously sells very well for us, it sells well in the Middle East and it sells well here… but we do amazing tailored coats and leather. We have some amazing leather suits in this collection actually.”
The brand is even launching denim for the first time, by way of jeans, denim jackets and “amazing little high-wasted shorts.”
Not only are the clothes more wearable, but the price points are lower – think £495 and £595 for dresses and jackets.
For autumn 2020, the brand will also be launching its first range of handbags and shoes. The bags won’t feature in the public show (as they are winter collection), but they are available to pre-order online from today.
“With bags and shoes, I quite like very classic, very well made things,” says Temperley, who named the bags in her debut collection after family members. “The bags are just really classic bags. I’m not really a fashion bag person and I want functional, really beautifully made bags that I can wear with everything and all the time.”
The bags start at £600 and come in six silhouettes in three classic colours; Somerset Green, Burnt Umber,and Black.
“We will relaunch them in different fabrics and different colours further down the line,” says Temperley, “but they will always be core collection. They are made in one of the best factories in Italy with beautiful metal ware and they’re just really very well executed.”
Shoes are on the way (think tango dance shoes, and lace-up velvet Victoriana booties), but aren’t available to pre-order just yet.
Entering the handbag market was a long thought-out process for Temperley London, with the brand’s CEO, Luca Donnini, say: ’We thought long and hard, not only to identify the right supply chain and high standard of quality required, but also to be able to understand what our loyal clients were expecting from us.’
For Alice, it’s about ensuring Temperley London’s future by becoming more of a lifestyle brand. “I’ll want to do other categories, so I’m thinking bags and shoes and beach and various other things. In part to make the brand more accessible, in part because if you like a brand and you want to buy into it then it’s nice if they do all those things.”
Will we be seeing Temperley beach bags anytime soon? “Next summer, yes, give us a few months!”