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London Fashion Week: Temperley Casts Real Women on Diverse Runway

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Notting Hill-based British fashion designer Alice Temperley stayed true to her hippie chick signature floaty dresses with a nod to neoclassical architecture at her London Fashion Week (LFW) catwalk show on Saturday (September 15). Asymmetric, obtuse cuts and shimmering geometric patterns defined the pieces ranging from kimonos, jump-suits, capes, floor-skimming gowns to maxi-length dresses. Very Ibiza and very Cleopatra.

Why do we have to cast girls that are so young to show clothes that they don’t necessarily always buy.ALICE TEMPERLEY

As if echoing fashion industry’s quest for diversity on the runway Temperley also drafted in models of all ages, professions, shapes, sizes and colour including mum Diana; Peaky Blinders Actress Helen McRory; singer Corinne Bailey Rae; British-Indian composer Anoushka Shankar; pregnant model Arizona Muse; erotic photographer and director Ellen von Unwerth; model Sam Rollinson, musical director and fashion DJ Mimi Xu; Game of Thrones actress Nathalie Emmanuel; DJ Mary Charteris; food and wellness writer Jasmine Hemsley; model Alice Dellal; and Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.


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Speaking about her decision to cast such a varied catwalk Temperley began rhetorically: “Why do we have to cast girls that are so young to show clothes that they don’t necessarily always buy, so I wanted to show various ages.

“People that were actresses, musicians, chefs, DJs, the different kind of range of people that I had and they’re the real friends of mine that actually wear the clothes, that I consider muses, that I love them wearing the clothes. But I wanted to do, like, phase it in, do half models, half muses and just make it more personal. I just think it’s more real than seeing yet another fashion show with yet more young girls with yet more dresses and it doesn’t need to be on young girls. You know, other people can wear it and that should be sort of shown, I think.”

In February 2018 model Adwoa Aboah, British Fashion Council’s (BFC) Positive Fashion Ambassador announced BFC’s intention to become the most diverse catwalk. LFW is currently second in the world for the most diverse runway shows. In February 2018 for the third season running, London’s runways were the second most racially diverse with 34.6% of castings representing models of colour, a 3.6point increase over Spring 2018 and a 6.2point increase over Fall 2017’s 28.4%.


Temperley London muses include Amber Heard, Arizona Muse, Olga Kurylenko, Kate Hudson, Laura Bailey and Florence Welch, some of whom graced her catwalk or were perched on the front row at this show.

Temperley, arguably the queen of bohemian luxury described the collection as “light, colourful, playful, based on neo-classical architecture with all the line drawings and the boldness and just really light and just real fluid”.

In 2012 the label launched Somerset by Alice Temperley, a collaboration with John Lewis. It became the fastest-selling collection in the department store’s history.

  • London Fashion Week runs from 14 – 18 September 2018

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