From Norman Parkinson to Guinevere and Arthur, Alice Temperley likes to cast all about for her inspirations. For pre-fall, Spanish matadors have caught the designer's fancy. You saw that most clearly in the elaborate cording and frilling on lacy shifts and the hand-sewn paillettes that detailed dress straps. The bolero was a forgone conclusion, but with its jewel-encrusted shoulders, it stood out nonetheless. Crinkly, oversize fleurettes in chiffon and silk dotted dresses tailor-made for the señoritas in the stands.
Overall, though, this was Alice being Alice—another collection of party frocks, sequined blouses, and a few (perhaps too complicated) knits. The palette may have owed a debt to heady Spanish passions—deep plums, fuchsias, and a brilliant torero-cape red—but Temperley knows what her girls want, and delivers year after year. She's coming up on her tenth anniversary in 2011, by the way, and will move her runway show back to London in celebration. Will that send the designer spiraling toward Anglophilia once again? Time will tell.