Alice Temperley called ‘shameful’ as she returns


‘Royal Hotness’ dressmaker Alice Temperley has called ‘shameful’ as she kicks off comeback just months after her business went bankrupt with £ 31million unpaid debt

  • Courier company called Alice Temperley’s new venture ‘shameful’
  • Fashion designer Temperley London racked up £ 31million in unpaid debt before entering administration
  • Courier company ICC Global says company owes it £ 19,000
  • Temperley launched TMLL, which owns the trade name Temperley London

She was the Duchess of Cambridge’s favorite dressmaker and designed the striking gown that led Kate’s sister, Pippa, to be dubbed ‘Her Royal Hotness’.

Alice Temperley’s glamorous parties in Somerset were the perfect opportunity for slender celebrities to show off her whimsical ‘boho’ dresses.

But there is no fantasy in a director’s report that reveals his company TL 2021 – operating as Temperley London – racked up £ 31million in unpaid debt before he took office this year.

He left behind a series of creditors – couriers, clothing manufacturers, fabric wholesalers and Selfridge’s department store.

Many are likely to get nothing, with directors saying, “There will not be enough funds available to make a distribution to unsecured creditors.”

Still, the Temperley brand remains in business after starting a new business, selling sequined dresses and velvet suits at its Chelsea and Somerset stores and on the Temperley London website.

Alice Temperley’s glamorous midsummer parties (left) in Somerset were the perfect opportunity for skinny celebrities to show off her whimsical ‘boho’ dresses

It’s perfectly legal, but left a bitter taste for Jay Patel, who runs courier company ICC Global in Hounslow. He owes her over £ 19,000 and is angry that he was asked to work for TL 2021 weeks before he broke down. He said: “We were chasing them for money. The guy from Temperley kept making promises that the payments would be made. The next thing we knew was getting into administration.

“I would have thought they would have had the financial numbers and the major shareholders would say, ‘We pay off debts even though we are insolvent.’

“We never got a dime from them for all the work we did. It is shameful.

A new company, TMLL, was formed when Temperley’s original company filed for insolvency proceedings. TMLL owns the trade name Temperley London. The insolvent company and the new company that has given up on its huge debts are owned by the same umbrella company, Temperley Holdings.

External auditors warned the company was in trouble. Yet from the outside his credentials seemed impeccable.

Temperley, 46 – described as ‘the English Ralph Lauren’ – started her label in 2000 with her ex-husband Lars von Bennigsen, with whom she has a 13-year-old son, Fox.

Business exploded and her flowing lace-studded designs drew a celebrity crowd. She’s made wedding dresses for model Jodie Kidd, actresses Alice Eve, Milla Jovovich and Emilia Fox and even Ed Miliband’s wife, Justine.

But she was catapulted to fame when the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton became fans. Newly engaged Kate wore one of her monochrome chiffon gowns for her first official engagement to Prince William in 2010. Pippa wore an emerald green silk gown for William and Kate’s wedding reception party, this which led her to be nicknamed “Her Royal Hotness”.

Pippa wore an emerald green silk dress for William and Kate's wedding evening reception, which led to her being nicknamed

Pippa wore an emerald green silk gown for William and Kate’s wedding evening reception, leading her to be dubbed “Her Royal Hotness”

Temperley received an MBE in 2011 and was hailed by the Vogue fashion bible when Sarah Jessica Parker wore the designer’s dresses on Sex And The City.

But his empire has continuously operated at a loss, relying on the deep pockets of shareholders to keep it afloat.

The insolvency laws have sparked controversy. Professor Richard Murphy, Sheffield University Management School, said: “We do not grant limited liability to allow people to run companies that become insolvent to the detriment of their creditors and shareholders so that they can start over with a full immunity from liability for losses incurred. ‘

Temperley chief executive Luca Donnini said: “A restructuring had to take place to account for the financial impact on retailing from the previous year. The procedure allowed the company to keep 70 for percent of TL2021’s jobs as well as the majority of its suppliers.

“Temperley looks forward to a better business environment in 2022.”



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