Alice Temperley is crazy about winged things. In her new London flagship, a stunning six-floor Georgian that was once home to the Queen's couturier Norman Hartnell, there are parakeets painted on the walls, eagles woven into the lace that covers the windows, butterflies everywhere, and an arrangement of racks that looks like a huge birdcage. Wings are a tidy metaphor for a career that has taken flight. They also provided a key motif for Temperley
's pre-fall collection in the feathers that were printed on silk satin. If there was something kind of cinematic about the result, that fitted with the designer's claim that she'd been obsessed with movie costumes while she was working on the collection. She also mentioned the photographer Horst, and the spirit of his chiaroscuro portraits of screen goddesses from the thirties infected the languid glamour of Temperley's evening looks, such as the pieces with black cutwork on an ivory base, the copper-on-black and bronze-on-navy cocktail dresses, the tulle with swags of delicate appliqué. With their clean column shapes and graphic contrasts, there was a distinctly Art Deco feel to these clothes.
The rest of the collection was a succinct roundup of Temperley's best sellers—knitwear, fluffy angoras, buttery leathers, lace detailing—but all of it with a new depth and detail. Her diffusion line Alice has clearly freed her to fly with her signature collection.