Alice’s Wonderland

Alice Temperley shares her favourite UK destinations, inspirations and festival tips.

Cider buses, Glastonbury, Tiny the Shire horse, Agatha Christie and picnics on Burrow Hill. The world of Temperley is a heady mix of British bohemianism and old school glamour. With Glastonbury Festival round the corner, designer Alice Temperley created a special Yurtel wristband for us to help celebrate the 50th anniversary. We chat to her about creativity, inspiration and returning to her Somerset roots.

How has the outdoor Somerset life influenced you?

I grew up on my parent’s cider farm overlooking the Somerset levels. We grew up with the changing seasons of the farm, lambing, apple picking, festivals, boating on the floods, picnics, riding and swimming on the surrounding moors. For me space, views and enjoying the change of seasons here are hugely important to my life and creativity. When I lived in London I often had to escape to re-set and now I live here full time I wonder why it took me so long to come home.

What are your top tips for festival fashion?

Comfort is number one, fun layers for the clothes and for Glastonbury bring footwear for mud or dancing and walking around for miles. Ponchos or blanket shawls to sit on are great and a small cross body bag for essentials so hands are free is a must.  You can always pick fun things up on the vintage stalls so you don’t have to pack too much.  

You spent many summers working on your family’s cider bus, do you have some memorable Glastonbury Festival moments?

When I was little (I’ve been to 40ish Glastonbury’s so that’s about 200 days on the festival site), I remember some people were naked and there were lots of horse and wagons, loud dub tents and illicit trading at every gateway. People used to party all night and it was wild. Things are much tamer now it’s fenced and controlled and late night sound systems are only allowed in certain areas. Some of my stories are hilarious, some tragically funny, and a lot are about the loos, including drowning in long drops and peeping toms with mirrors. There are too many to write down. It’s a festival about freedom and liberation and I have seen my fair share of it all.

When my parents had their first bar at Glastonbury 50 years ago it was from a horse and wagon. All the kids slept in the wagon. Now 70 people work on the family bus and the third generation are starting to work on the bar. Controlling the teenagers at this one I’m not looking forward to!

How do you connect with nature?

I walk for miles on the moors, coast lines and forests and ride my shire horse Tiny. We also like to get involved with planting on the farm and apple picking for a dose of childhood nostalgia.

Being a West Country girl do you have some favourite hidden gems you can recommend?

Wells and Glastonbury reclamation yards for house stuff. Dennis Chinaworks for their pots and secret glass shop for bargains. Pip’s railway carriage is a great place to eat near our studios and Mallinson’s woodland retreat is great for adult trips in incredible tree houses.

You’ve a ‘Made in Britain’ ethos – how has that changed the way you work?

We make what we can here in our Somerset studios for bespoke or with excess fabrics. We have just started working with Fox Brothers who are making fabric for our ‘Made in England’ suits.

We’ve made outerwear and rugs in Dorset and leather Love bags in Yeovil. Some of our plain and printed evening styles are produced in the UK. Temperley are trying to do as much as we can here to increase our production in the UK.

What’s inspired your most recent collection?

Spring Summer was inspired by Agatha Christie as seen through the lens of a 1970s film such as John Guillermin’s atmospheric Death on the Nile with textiles inspired from the New Decorative movement of the mid 70s.

What would be your favourite luxury camping trip?

If in England – on my secret beach, fire and cooking and a cosy bed in the back of my Chevy van. Simple and private. Or Samburu, Northern Kenya with Helen Douglas-Dufresne and 30 camels.

What are your favourite spots for alfresco dining?

Hix in Lyme Regis after long cliff walks. The Anchor in Seatown after work. The top of Burrow Hill for a picnic on Cider Bus Saturdays.

If you could have a weekend away in a Bell Tent anywhere in the UK where would it be?

St Ives on a private beach overlooking turquoise waters.