Tuesday September 26, 2006
LEE TSE LING takes a look at what female designers want to wear.
One common factor binds the distinct styles of British designer Alice Temperley, actress-model Milla Jovovich and her best friend Carmen Hawk together: the labels – aptly eponymous – are complete reflections of the women behind them; they are clothes that the designers themselves would want to wear.
“I wanted to design pieces that I would feel comfortable having in my own wardrobe,” says Temperley. Other women who would want her work in their wardrobes? Celebrities Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Hurley and Jemima Khan, to name a few.
Temperley, a graduate of the Central St Martin’s College of Art and the Royal College of Art, established her label in 2000, a long time in fashion years compared to the new-ish kids on the fashion block, the dynamic duo of Jovovich-Hawk.
In her Autumn/Winter collection, Temperley delivers signature dresses in jersey, print and chiffon encrusted at the hem and neckline with the handcrafted work by which she made her name.
Temperley’s dresses are accompanied by chic, 1940s-style jackets, cropped short to show off the higher waists. Higher hems and binary colour schemes – black and white, midnight blue and silver, pink and black – further collude to create a strong silhouette.
Inspired by the fashion of the 1950s and 60s, their collection is a hodgepodge of maxi, midi and mini mod dresses, frilled silk, voluptuous velvet and piped tweed, among other things. Topping the confections off are all manner of delectable, decades-old headgear: pillbox hats, lace caps and funky fedoras.
Their website states that the label – stocked in the United States, Europe and Asia – reflects “their style, passion for knowledge, education, love of music and taste for irony” and is “a fundamentally personal and emotional outlet for expression”.
Not everyone agrees with this design ethos. Laird Borrelli has this to say about Jovovich-Hawk’s Spring/Summer collection on Style.com: “The inspirations came a little thick and fast. The show featured a soundtrack of punk covers by Nouvelle Vague, hit some of the right notes but Jovovich-Hawk haven't yet made the song their own.”
But then who needs tuning if London’s Harvey Nichols, Barneys NY and Fred Segal are all singing along?
A selection of pieces from Jovovich-Hawk and Temperley’s Autumn/Winter collections were recently showcased during a fashion show at the TriBeCa boutique (located at Suria KLCC). The shop also carries pieces from Lanvin, Matthew Williamson and Diane Von Furstenburg.