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What was the best 2000s fashion shop?

January 7, 2024

There were many fashion brands in the 2000s. One 2000s fashion shop that stands out in particular is Temperley London by Alice Temperley. Her style is romantic and glamorous, with day and evening dresses alike featuring beading, sequins, silks and satins. The brand was launched in Notting Hill in the year 2000. It has gone from strength to strength since then. In the 2000s, the style chimed with the boho crowd, but it is individual enough to not look dated.


Alice Temperley was born on the 22 July 1975 in Somerset, UK. Her parents had an apple orchard and from that, they made cider. Alice’s father, Julian, is now an award-winning cider producer who runs 130 acres of orchards. Her mum was creative and encouraged her children – Alice has three younger siblings. There was no telly in the early Temperley home, and the kids mostly drew or did sewing projects after school. It was “wonderfully simple, liberal and free”, as Temperley says. She walked through fields on her way home and rode horses over the moors. Her mother was just as creative and stylish as her daughter. Her wedding gown had a train of peacock feathers.

2000s fashion shop – Temperley Inspiration

Temperley is inspired by designers of the 1920s and 1930s. It’s very different from contemporary fashions of  high waisted jeans, crop tops, and baby tee. The clothing always start with the fabric, and the design follows afterwards. It is the sort of thing that she, herself, would like to wear. When she was in her teens she had a scrapbook of designers including Paul Poiret. One of her earliest misdemeanours was cutting up her mum’s favourite 1920s beaded lampshade to made a necklace when she was very small. She then went on to make and sell beaded earrings as a teenager. She also loved making clothes and wall-hangings, and re-designing her bedroom.


Temperley loves to party and has an annual big bash for her birthday, sometimes held on her parent’s cider farm. However, though she is close to her parents she hates it when people assume that her success is down to their money and connections- or her husband’s. She is an extremely hard worker, not just a creative with a lot of ideas. However, her image as a stunningly beautiful and gloriously dressed party girl is a great advert for the brand. And there’s no denying that she is incredibly rich – whether privately or due to her brand’s success. She owns an eight-bedroom home in Somerset that once belonged to Lord Beaverbrook, and has other properties in London, including her business premises in a cobbled mews in Notting Hill, which is three houses in a row. 

Studied at the Royal College of Art

She studied at the Royal College of Art and Central St Martins in London. Temperley London, her 2000s fashion shop, was set up in partnership with Lars von Bennigsen, who was her boyfriend at the time, in 2000. It was a year after she graduated. She met von Bennigsen two years previously whilst she was a waitress in Mayfair, a job she took while studying. Like most designers, it was Alice Temperley at the kitchen table with a pair of scissors at first. But von Bennigsen was a banker, who left his job to shape the business. It grew pretty quickly from there.


The couple went on to marry in 2002, in a huge 1920s vintage clothing themed bash that was covered by Vogue. The bride and all her friends wore Temperley London, of course. They have a child, born in 2008. His name is Fox London Temperley von Bennigsen Mackiewicz. He’s known as Fox. Although that might seem like a pretty arrogant thing to call your child (the “London Temperley” part does stand out, as a reference to her label) it also seems like a good indication of her sense of humour. And Fox is a pretty cool name, on its own. By now, the couple are separated. At present, Alice Temperley runs and owns the company herself. 

2000s fashion shop – Scattered around the world

In 2003 the brand had its first fashion show in Notting Hill, London. From the start, her dresses sold for about £600 each (about £920 today) – they were always a luxury item. By 2005 she was showing in New York, which she did regularly until 2011, as well as one showing in London and one special tenth anniversary showing held at the British Museum. Rather ahead of her time, Temperley London skipped the catwalk shows from 2009 to 2011, presenting four collections as multimedia installations instead. By 2012, Temperley London had three couture lines. These were Temperley London, Temperley Bridal, ALICE by Temperley, plus a John Lewis high street collaboration, Somerset by Alice Temperley.


The range is stocked in many high-end department stores, and has several boutiques, including the flagship one in Somerset, one in Mayfair, and in Los Angeles, Dubai, Dohar and online.

2000s fashion shop – Bridal

One range which Alice is very excited about is her bridal range. Many people were coming to her hoping that she could make a bespoke wedding dress. So many that she set up a bridal department in 2006. Of course, the ethereal floating designs, romance and decoration really lend themselves to wedding dresses, and hers are extremely elegant.


“I love doing wedding dresses,” Alice has been quoted. “They are timeless, non-seasonal and you don’t have to hold back.”  Because it is someone’s big day, the process is usually memorable. “I was flown to Abu Dhabi to design a dress for a girl who had never met or seen her husband,” she says. “I was whisked into this beautiful palace to meet a very fashion-savvy, charming princess. The dress we created was like a Fabergé egg, covered in beautiful heavy crystals.”


Awards and Accolades

2000s fashion shop. Alice Temperley collection. Image via Tumbler.

2000s fashion shop Alice Temperley collection. Image via Tumblr.

Alice Temperley herself has received several awards. In 1999 she took English Print Designer of the Year, and in 2004 Elle Magazine’s Best Young Designer of the Year. 2006 was the year she was recognised as one of Britain’s top 35 female business leaders. In 2011 she was appointed an MBE for services to the fashion industry. That year she also took Designer of The Year at the Hollywood Style Awards.


Temperley is a member of the British Fashion Council Advisory Board and is also involved with several charitable organisations, including recently becoming Ambassador for Women for Women International.

Big Fans

Famously, the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister, Pippa Middleton, are great fans of the label. Sarah Jessica Parker wore a Temperley dress on Sex and the City. Just about everyone else in Hollywood has fallen for her ethereal creations, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Beyoncé, Penélope Cruz, Thandiwe Newton, Portia Freeman, Eva Mendes, Halle Berry, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Winslet, Claudia Schiffer and Catherine Zeta-Jones. However, some people that the designer doesn’t think look so good in the outfits have also been photographed in them – such as Rebecca Loos and the Duchess of Cornwall.