May 30, 2012
London has a well-deserved reputation as a home for experimental fashion designers. One of the interesting effects of Kate Middleton's emergence as a much-scrutinized English style icon is that she's helped to shine a light on a different brand of London-based designer. Alice Temperley is paradigmatic of this type: Her clothes are purpose-built for a certain kind of English lifestyle, one in which summer weekends are taken up with formal weddings in the home counties, and wherein "appropriateness" matters, and quite a lot. Temperley's Resort collection hit all the right notes for that customer: Taking inspiration from the English café society of the fifties and sixties, she reduced her signature frippery and crystal embellishment and focused on luxe materials and soft, flattering cuts. The details mattered here. To wit, one of the fabrics developed by Temperley this season, a paneled satin stripe, was made from strips of appliquéd fabric; another material, a textured viscose used in flared skirts and dresses, had a luxurious density. Elsewhere, lace-dappled dresses and blouses came off diabetically sweet, but they'll sell. To a Middleton sister, perhaps.