For both Temperley London and Alice by Temperley collections, a notorious princess served as muse: Camelot's Guinevere for the former and teenage kingdom-wrecker Marie-Antoinette for the latter—both carried a punk-chic modern twist.
In keeping with historical chronology, we'll start with Guinevere's Temperley London collection. Hearkening back to the most romantic tale in all of time, Temperley gets points for historical accuracy in her infusion of the love triangle's dark side, creating tension between the out-and-out flounce of tiers of lace, curve-conscious tummy-cinching, ruffles and puff-sleeves here and there, and gunmetal metallics (swords of the Round Table, anyone?), black leather and heavy, Nicholas Kirkwood for Temperley lucite-heel platforms. Temperley's take on animal prints is a unique one, thank goodness--daywear like a drawstring romper, maxi skirt and mini dress with sleeves sported a groovy leopard, like the print we're seeing everywhere, but one that's been dropped in a puddle for something totally different. Then there was the knit dress with a tiger graphic slung across its shoulder, with the bug-eyed effect of an African tribal mask to throw an otherwise ladylike frock delightfully off-kilter.
Alice, on the other hand, focuses primarily on the idyllic mischief of French queen-child Marie-Antoinette, without the pesky fall of the regime getting in the way (Note: These were strictly the sassy garments she was wearing before the guillotine dropped.). Dusty blush shortalls, virginal white lace, and teaset-pattern blue flowers on blouses and shirtdresses outfit the indulgent little girl without a care in the world, while a black-and-white zig-zag gown and plenty of run-around black leather separates blow up her spot. And lest we forget, Marie-Antoinette was, among many, many other things, a revolutionary fashion plate when she arrived at Versailles, and the nod to that aspect speaks to Alice's truly modern approach.
It's not to say these are collections for only those princess-types among us—we have an inkling that neither Guinevere or Marie-Antoinette, during their respective days, fit those cookie-cutter notions either.