I'm going to start this review by apologizing profusely to Alice Temperley, because her gorgeous spring collection did not have my full attention. And that's not because it was boring. Just the opposite, in fact. Held in a grand hall in the British Museum, models entered through a central door, walked a circuit in front of the audience, then went to stand on the stairs in a lovely tableau. There was drama, there was sparkle, there was visible nudity under many sheer looks. But Pippa Middleton was in the front row.
Pippa quietly snuck in before the show started and a pair of guards stood in front of her until everyone was seated. I'm not sure the room really realized who was there until the photogs figured it out and all lenses were suddenly aimed at her. She looked fresh-faced and lovely, and smiled throughout the show, obviously liking what she saw. And here's what she saw: Alice Temperley is a girl's girl and you're not going to find menswear or anything severe here. She's all about flow, movement, and a wink of sex appeal, this season offering some short shorts, low cuts, and lots of transparency. The inspiration was Grace Kelly in High Society and movie stills of Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface.
There wasn't much casual about the collection. Any number of dresses could have been worn to say, a royal wedding reception--think lots of shiny silk, head-to-toe beading, and the sheerest of chiffon. Silk organza, tulle, and applique flowers all added to the air of pure womanliness. And the beauty look was my favorite of all the shows I've seen. Models sported chic head wraps, somewhere in between a full turban and a head band, sunglasses, and the most vibrant red, glossy lips. The whole effect, when contrasted with Temperley's signature pastels, was pretty magical.
So was seeing the sis-in-law of a princess, and the most famous bum in the UK.
**All runway photos: Imaxtree