Alice Temperley stunned show-goers at her “Renaissance” Autumn / Winter ’12 runway show during London Fashion Week. Inspired by 18th century religious paintings and tapestries, Temperley’s designs celebrated rich opulence in a Doctor Zhivago meets Slavic folklore kind of way.
The decadent show emulated the elaborate designs and ornate details of a polished folk look- printed silk dresses accented by bold hues of lipstick reds, sapphire blues and metallic golds, woolen capes strewn over structured suiting, champagne silk blouses with lace paneling tucked into laser-cut taffeta, satin evening gowns embellished with layers of costume jewelry, burgundy sheepskin coats paired with fitted pencil skirts, and sheer maxis adorned with intricately woven floral appliqués and embroideries. Practically each model sent down the catwalk was accessorized with a Cossack fur hat and long leather gloves, mimicking the styling of the Renaissance era and adding that dose of regal elegance to complete the look.

Between the rich velvets, lustrous satins, sumptuous furs, mohair knits and luxurious leathers, the deeply divine undercurrent of Temperley’s show remained at the helm of the designer’s seemingly obvious muse – a contemporary Russian oligarch who believes a little decadence invigorates the soul (minus the government fanfare, of course). This character depiction would reveal itself not only in her choice of fabric and design, but also in her superbly executed attention to detail, like the jeweled ribbon belts, gold military clasps, leopard print pill box hats and metallic leather cuffs. If a splash of grandeur is the sort of “rebirth” Alice Temperley was envisioning for her collection, then it must be said – fall 2012 is going to be one outrageously glamorous season.