Alice Temperley is a name synonymous with beautiful whimsical dresses and modern bohemianism. Inspired by British Heritage, there’s something about the hand-worked embellishment, artisan techniques and ultra feminine aesthetic that really strikes a chord with Middle Eastern women.
Having returned to London from Dubai, where she launched her brand new store in The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue last month, we caught up with the designer get the lowdown on her latest Arabian Adventure just before her AW20 presentation at London Fashion Week. From the designer’s packing list, to her go-to hotel and her new Middle Eastern shoe discovery, it’s all here…
Tell us about your Dubai itinerary?
I was in Dubai for a week – it was a busy schedule of back-to-back appointments, interviews and meeting wonderful people. I started off with a lunch co-hosted by my amazing friend Rosemin, followed by an in-store event in our new store, which is in Fashion Avenue at The Dubai Mall. I was very excited to meet with the customers and show them the new offerings from the Spring 20’ collection. We also shot our Summer 20’ campaign in Bab Al Shams, Resort & Spa – which is such a beautiful getaway from the bustling city.
Is there anything you do in preparation for a trip to the Middle East?
I always pack lovely clothes to wear for breakfast lunch and dinner – it’s a treat for me not to be running around and not in my studios. I love spending a lot of time with my son Fox before I travel. I always make sure to bring him back fun little things from wherever go. Even if it is dates and a little camel figurine from the airport.
How does your Middle East wardrobe differ to your London attire?
There is so much glamour and style it’s inspiring – that’s why I love coming here and dressing up for every occasion. On a regular day, you’d probably find me in my self-proclaimed uniform – if I’m being functional, I wear our tailoring pieces often in black with flats and a red lipstick. It’s easier to work on the collections if I am wearing muted colours.
What was on your packing list for this trip?
My Leica camera, if I wasn’t a designer, I would want to be a photographer; Red Eau De Toilette from Hôtel Costes; Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red – the name says it all; wireless Headphones to listen to my music; Smythson Portobello Sketchbook, always handy for sketching and writing, and Liudmila shoes which I discovered while in the Middle East.
Roughly how many times have you visited the Middle East?
Maybe about 12 times now?! I travel to the Middle East to see the stores, meet with press and for select bespoke appointments which I enjoy as it allows me to have one on one time with my customers. I would love to go and explore more – sadly I never seem to have enough time.
What is it you love the most about visiting the region?
I find Middle Eastern women to be some of the most sophisticated around the world – they love colour, pattern and really enjoy dressing up, often wearing total looks.
Which is your favourite hotel to stay in when you visit Dubai, and why?
The Four Seasons Hotel Dubai. It’s such a relaxing retreat with a spa which is a great escape should time allow.
Where did you dine on this trip?
We hosted a lunch at Gaia restaurant which has a striking Mediterranean menu, and another at Amazonico which has a colourful and vibrant cuisine inspired by the Spanish and Brazilian culture.
Is there anything you always do when you’re here?
I’ve always wanted to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi but even finding an hour to go and see it is always hard. Next time.
You’ve just launched a new store in the Middle East – was it a long time in planning?
I’m very excited. The Middle East is one of our most important markets. We have been planning it for the last year and although it has had its challenges, the end result is exactly how I imaged it.
Are there any exclusive pieces in the store for the more modest Middle Eastern customers?
We designed an exclusive abaya for the Middle East previously, but I would love to do more. There are some beautiful embroideries, embellished dresses with high necklines and long sleeves, and floor-length pieces in the Spring Summer 20’ collections.
- Words by Elaine Lloyd-Jones
- Images: Supplied, GoRunway.com