Since launching her eponymous label, Temperley London, in 2000, British-born designer Alice Temperley has earned a reputation as the queen of quirky, deliciously feminine knitwear, thanks to her signature hand knit, hand crocheted, intricately beaded dresses, which have caressed the curves of celebs Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, Kim Cattrall, Halle Berry, Natalie Portman and Demi Moore, among others.
But Temperley is more than just a one-stitch pony, as witnessed by her expanding international business (complete with jewelry, luggage and the demi-couture “Black Label” line) and her recent ready-to-wear collections, which have riffed on everything from Russian exiles in Paris to the French seaside, circa 1925 to the Mata Hari.
The Fashion Informer caught up with the Central Saint Martin’s-trained designer earlier this month to find out why she’s so inspired by nature (thanks, mom and dad!) and why her nickname is, was, and will always be “Magpie.”
What did you do last weekend and what are your plans for this weekend?
Last weekend I was in Paris Fashion Week. This weekend I intend to go to the country side and absorb some of the amazing spring weather in Somerset.
What is your favorite store in the world?
The Dogs Bollocks [Les Couilles du Chien] on Golborne Road - London's best antiques store.
Who do you consider the most underrated designer, living or dead?
Whoever designed the Ford Thunderbird.
What is your fondest memory from childhood?
A trip through Kenya. My parents rented a car and took off into the Masai Mara with us. I have never forgotten that feeling of freedom.
What is your favorite holiday?
The trip to Kenya I mentioned above...it made me discover and love the wildness of Africa.
What was your childhood nickname and what's your nickname now?
Magpie was and is [my nickname], as I collect a great variety of sparkly things and love roaming around markets.
Beverage of choice?
My father's Somerset Brandy Company's Kingston Black Aperitif - Eau de Vie straight from the still, mixed with apple juice and matured in oak.
For what will you be arrested (hypothetically speaking)?
What is the greatest, or most important lesson, your parents taught you?
Look for freedom in your life and laugh a lot.
What is your favorite mode of transportation?
A pushbike in London and a 1960's Thunderbird in the country side.
What's in current rotation on your iPod?
My husband's playlists.
What is your one can't-live-without-it beauty or grooming product?
If you found $15,000 cash in a brown paper bag, how would you spend it?
Give it to Afghan kids.
Do you play any instruments?
When are you happiest?
When in a hot bubble bath on top of a mountain.
Stay tuned next week for Random Questions For...Zac Posen.