Last night, Alice Temperley—the wild-haired UK designer best known for her embroidered, bohemian creations—feted the release of her stylish tome, "True British," at an elegant loft space in Soho. The book, emblazoned with a Union Jack on its front cover, documents Temperley's first ten years in the fashion industry, from her momentous debut show in 2000 to her recent appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
Stuffed with hitherto unseen images, the book offers a rare, behind-the-scenes look at Temperley's design process as well as her fashion campaigns and personal life.
The finished project, we learned, represents over three years of work from Temperley and her team. "We started just before the recession hit," Temperley told us. "We had to archive about 300,000 images on our server in chronological order ... The hardest thing, really, is just the editing process, because you've got so many images, and you really want to tell a complete story of the last ten years. The images at the beginning obviously weren't digital, so we had to scan lots of negatives, and then the more recent images are so much stronger ... so it forced us to be very honest about what we were then and what we are now."
Asked what advice she can offer after a decade in the fashion business, Temperley explained, "You should always really listen to your instincts. In the beginning, everything we were doing was really pure and came together kind of naturally. Over time, with pressures in the industry, you start to think 'Maybe we should try other things,' or you try to do too much. Pursuing what you really, really want is obviously going to produce your best work, always, because it's what you're really passionate about."