Yesterday saw the launch of one of fashions’ most exciting collaborations when new concept fashion brand ‘Somerset by Alice Temperley’ went on sale in John Lewis stores across the land, including in Norwich.
Something of a style coup for the department store, the new label by leading British designer Alice Temperley was created exclusively for John Lewis. Usually found dressing celebrities including Kate and Pippa Middleton, Emma Watson and Keira Knightly, this is Alice Temperley’s first ever collection for the UK high street.
Somerset by Alice Temperley, named after Temperley’s beloved home county in the South West of England, will be supported for AW12 by a multimillion pound advertising campaign fronted by one of the UK’s most celebrated models Lily Donaldson.
The collection arrived yesterday in 29 John Lewis stores (including Norwich) and online, with a second phase dedicated mainly to party-wear launching in early October.
The 60 piece collection, which will also include a full range of accessories, draws inspiration from established Temperley handwriting with accents including Victoriana, Bohemia, lace, military, embellishment, monochrome, chiffon, animal print and leather. From beaded Indian evening gowns to sheer paneled two tone dresses, the collection will exhibit classic and much loved Temperley favourites.
Price points ranging from £29 for a scarf, £99 for a day dress to £1,000 for a luxurious thick sheepskin coat mark the collection out as accessible whilst retaining high-end detail and design.
Alice Temperley, MBE commented “We have spent the last ten years building our lines and Somerset will compliment our existing collections; it is a very accessible product that will take our aesthetic to a wider audience.
I wanted it to be very much a collection of essentials and to design a collection that would provide a feminine and functional wardrobe for women in their everyday life. This collection is all encompassing, effortless and draws on our classics.
John Lewis is a great partner as it stands for quality and is a trusted staple in everyone’s lifestyle. Integrity is paramount and as an independent British brand, we are thrilled to work with a trusted British retailer.”
After seeing the collection first-hand yesterday I can confirm that it is full of gorgeous pieces. Aside from the obvious high quality and design elements, the main plus-point that struck me was the accessibility. These pieces are shaped to be highly flattering, making them suitable for ‘normal’ women, of all shapes and sizes. They are also extremely good value. An elegant, yet simple floor-length black evening dress that you could pull out year after year and dress up or down with accessories retails at £150, while shorter dresses start at under £100. For what are essentially investment pieces that won’t date as seasons change, these really are good prices.
I love the combination of the modern with motifs from bygone eras. I noticed elements from the 1800s (Victoriana), the 1960s, and even the 1980s in pieces throughout the collection. My favourite items included updated 60′s-inspired designs that have just a touch or Jackie O about them (for example, the Cocoon Jersey Dress, £120) and the victoriana styles with a dash of the funereal about them (the Silk Lace Dress in black, for example, £160). Tracey Ria from John Lewis was modelling the Angel Sleeve Long Dress in black (£150). It looked absolutely stunning.
There were queues outside yesterday when the collection launched at John Lewis in Oxford Street. In Norwich, you can browse the collection right now in relative calm. Fabulous. Shop now while they have all sizes available.
John Lewis Norwich.
All Saints Green, Norwich, NR1 3LX.
Tel: 01603 660021.