THERE was a certain back-to-school cool going on at today’s DKNY show – the collection full of bright blocks of colour in sweatshirt, blazer and pleated or asymmetric skirt formation. Cobalt blue, turquoise and red, it was a solid and easily wearable offering with the make-up – eyeliner drawn all around the eye – proving to be the most adventurous and intimidating element. Collars were high, hems undecided and sleeves long and pulled over wrists so that there was a feeling of transition throughout – one part schoolgirl to one part grown-up but not quite sure which yet. It made for fun and awkward charm. Pay close attention and there were bejewelled slithers on those school skirts and pleats elsewhere faded to sheer.
How does the Temperley girl – so fond of floaty silks and embroidered cotton – do winter? In pretty much the same way she does summer, is the answer, with the addition of a louche skinny silk scarf or oversized luxurious coat. The nomadic feel so integral to the brand’s aesthetic manifested itself in heavy jacquards in a range of animal prints, and in full-length colourful intarsia knits boasting geometric patterns. Bold floral embroidery on velvet and sheer chiffon felt opulent but easy, and wrap-front trousers and backless jumpsuits provided an elegant alternative to dresses for evening. From the initial years of the Temperley brand, today’s offering exemplifies not only how far the house has come but also the personal journey of the woman behind it all.
Backstage Alice seemed relaxed and confident as she spoke about the inclusion of some more masculine pieces – “because trousers are just so easy to wear, and you don’t always want to put on a dress” – as well as about her thinking behind enlisting friends including Sophie Dahl and a pregnant Jacquetta Wheeler to take to the catwalk for her. “Sophie just looks so beautiful and I asked and said, ‘Don’t answer, just think about it’ and so she did. And Jacquetta being pregnant, I just thought it was perfect. I wanted to have women of different ages, with personalities. That felt right.” The Temperley woman still loves a floaty dress, but if she wants to wear trousers – or even a silver sequinned culotte suit – she’s going to, and no one’s going to stop her.