William Tempest: New York Fashion Week & The WGSN Awards

15 Sep


(C) William Tempest


Over the past week one of my favourite names in fashion popped up three times in my inbox, in emails extolling his huge leaps forward in the industry this year. William Tempest is on a speedy trajectory to world fame and fortune. 

I first met William in February 2009, at the Metropolitan Hotel where he was showing his first stand-alone collection prior to his first show the next day. His collection really stood out, with its ingenious cuts, opulent fabrics and avant-garde shapes, and some of the prints (abstracted digitalised prints of scenes from Hampton Court Palace) really took my breath away. He shuffled into the room unassumingly, a little shy but full of quiet passion for his outstanding collection. I took my snapshots back to the Vogue offices and wrote a brief ode to the collection. Meanwhile, his show was a storming success, Browns bought 8 pieces, and stars like Alexa Chung started wearing them. 

The following season he brought his SS10 collection into Vogue House, and once again I was enthralled by his architectural silhouettes. And frankly, gagging to wear them all, a true sign of a hit collection. Like another favourite of mine, Mark Fast, he showed total disregard for ‘tradition’ is using a satisfyingly shapely model for his subsequent SS10 show, and suddenly his clothes were everywhere. Now his clothing is stocked in Harrods and has a host of famous fans – Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss, Erin O’Connor, Paloma Faith, Leona Lewis, Emma Watson.  

So the first email I received announced his nominator for the WGSN award for Best Emerging Brand of Retailer, the winner of which is to be announced on 10th November at New York’s Waldorf Astoria. The second was from the man himself with the lowdown on his next show, then just days away. And the third was from a friend in New York, unsurprisingly raving about his SS11 show on Monday, a highlight of the New York Fashion Week schedule despite a collection of thoroughly British themes of Pre-Raphaelites paintings and Victorian romanticism. Again, an unexpected palette and simultaneously historical and avant-garde shapes set his collection apart from those of other newcomers, and I hope he gets his prize on 10th. Richly deserved, don’t you think? Look at these, my favourite looks  

(C) William Tempest


(C) William Tempest


And check out those shoes, a collaboration between William and  Deborah Lyons from Mechanté of London – watch this space for more on Deborah’s stunning shoes…  

(C) William Tempest


Check out his collection archive at http://bit.ly/9PyRcG


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