Alice takes us on a journey through Seventies art and film.
With its lush fronds and louche styling, the Palmae design story evokes heady evenings whiled away amid palm trees and desert oases. The print at the heart of the story epitomises Alice’s talent for weaving disparate references together into novel designs.
To create it, Alice looked at the work of Miriam Schapiro, the pioneering feminist artist; the New Decorativeness movement and Death on the Nile – fusing them to achieve a fresh, contemporary result.
Rewatching John Guillermin’s 1978 film adaptation of the Agatha Christie classic inspired Alice to design a foliage-based print suited to evenings in low-lit lounges full of palm trees, mosaic-inlaid tables and flickering candlelight. Schapiro’s geometric pinwheel and fan collages informed the composition, as did her clean lines and bold colouring.
For spring summer 2022, the Palmae story includes four pieces: a jacket, trousers, print dress and strappy dress. The tie-waisted jacket and wide-leg trousers in luxurious crepe-backed satin offer an easy, modern take on the day-to-evening summer suit. The strappy dress trails languid elegance, while the print dress offers a more covered-up (but no less breezy) sophistication.
Here, Alice offers a window into the creativity behind the new print.
How did you dream up the design?
‘I was drawn to the beautiful palm tree-lined sets of the Seventies film Death on the Nile, particularly how the leaves furl and fold so elegantly, in a way that could perfectly frame the body.'
‘The ornate mosaic furniture visible through the breaks in the foliage also piqued my attention as we’d been looking into the New Decorativeness movement — I particularly admired the graphic collages, so there became a kind of visual fusion of imagery that inspired the checkerboard treatment.'
‘Animal prints are a quintessential Temperley wardrobe staple and we experimented with compositions of folded leaves that mimicked and followed the grain of a zebra print.’
Where was it created?
‘The outcome of the design process was painstakingly hand-painted by our textile designer in-house.’
How long did it take to get this print just right?
‘The original artwork took about three days, then the composition was tweaked to suit the angles and dimensions. The tailored pieces and dresses were cut from the same repeating square design, so it needed to engineer perfectly — which happened over the course of about two months.’
In four cohesive yet distinct styles, the Palmae print celebrates blossoming femininity and freedom; both fundamentals of the brand.