When John Lewis announced last year that it would be joining forces with Duchess of Cambridge-favourite Alice Temperley on a lower-priced line, middle England was jubilant. And as Home Counties ladies with nice hair and manners are the core John Lewis customer, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Somerset collection from Temperley broke sales records on the day it launched last September.
Buoyed by such success, this season the partnership has yielded lingerie and nightwear for the first time – the latter a debut for the designer – which, as the country begins to batten down the hatches for some seasonal hibernation, couldn’t be better timed.
Launching in selected John Lewis stores and online tomorrow, the range consists of 23 pieces inspired by Japanese prints, Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic le smoking tuxedo suit and Marlene Dietrich’s infamous drag turn in the 1930 film Morocco. “The collection epitomises Alice’s vintage, eclectic style, combined with her knowledge of what makes women feel special.”
The retro influences can be seen in the masculine silk pyjama sets in berry and black offset with contrast ivory piping and delicate vintage-inspired, lace-trimmed chemises. A kimono- style robe and the Temperley-designed “night floral” print are signs of Eastern influence on the designer.
“Lingerie is my next love after clothing,” says Temperley. “I think it is what is worn underneath that really inspires a woman to feel beautiful in her clothes – that inner secret glamour. We know that the Somerset woman values beautiful fabric and detail, so I was really happy with the print and lace we have brought into the designs, all in a luxurious silk for an amazing price.”
As well as silken separates, the range offers pieces that – though practical for the chill that the new season will inevitably bring – provide cosy comfort with a touch of luxury. Lounging around in a floor-length cashmere robe is an enticingly decadent prospect.
The lingerie continues the largely monochrome theme of the collection, one of Temperley’s signatures, as well as the retro styling – balconette bras and classic full knickers are available in floral print, cream vintage lace and ivory silk as well as a claret style that carries through the boozy and berry hues of autumn. But what may disappoint the legions with credit cards in hand ready to pounce when the range goes on sale tomorrow is the limited range of bra sizes. Not what you would expect from one of the high street’s biggest people pleasers.