‘Royal Hotness’ dressmaker Alice Temperley branded ‘disgraceful’ as she launches a comeback just months after her company went bust with £31million unpaid debt
- Courier firm has blasted Alice Temperley’s new company as ‘disgraceful’
- The dressmaker’s Temperley London ran up £31million unpaid debts before entering administration
- Courier firm ICC Global claims they are owed £19,000 by the company
- Temperley has launched TMLL, which owns trading name Temperley London
She was the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite dressmaker and designed the striking gown that led to Kate’s sister Pippa being dubbed ‘Her Royal Hotness’.
Alice Temperley’s glamorous midsummer parties in Somerset were the perfect opportunity for slender A-listers to show off her whimsical ‘boho’ gowns.
But there is no whimsy in an administrator’s report that reveals her company TL 2021 – trading as Temperley London – ran up £31million in unpaid debts before it went into administration this year.
It left a string of creditors – couriers, garment manufacturers, fabric wholesalers and the department store Selfridge’s.
Many are likely to get nothing, with administrators stating: ‘There will not be sufficient funds available to make a distribution to unsecured creditors.’
Yet the Temperley brand remains in business after setting up a new company, selling sequined frocks and velvet suits from its stores in Chelsea and Somerset and on the Temperley London website.
Alice Temperley’s (left) glamorous midsummer parties in Somerset were the perfect opportunity for slender A-listers to show off her whimsical ‘boho’ gowns
This is perfectly legal, but has left a sour taste for Jay Patel, who runs the courier company ICC Global in Hounslow. He is owed more than £19,000 and is angry that he was asked to work for TL 2021 weeks before it went under. He said: ‘We were chasing them for money. The guy at Temperley kept making promises the payments would be made. The next thing we knew it had gone into administration.
‘I would have thought they would have had the financial figures and principal shareholders would say, “We settle the debts even if we are insolvent”.
‘We never got a penny from them for all the work we did. It is disgraceful.’
A new company, TMLL, was set up when Temperley’s original firm began insolvency proceedings. TMLL owns the trading name Temperley London. The insolvent firm and the new company which jettisoned its huge debts belong to the same umbrella company, Temperley Holdings.
External auditors warned that the firm was in difficulty. Yet from the outside, its credentials seemed impeccable.
Temperley, 46 – described as the ‘English Ralph Lauren’ – set up her label in 2000 with ex-husband Lars von Bennigsen, with whom she has a 13-year-old son, Fox.
Business boomed and her floaty, lace-strewn creations attracted a celebrity crowd. She made wedding dresses for the 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 dresses for her first official engagement with Prince William in 2010. Pippa wore an emerald-green silk dress for the evening reception at William and Kate’s wedding, leading her to be dubbed ‘Her Royal Hotness’.
Pippa wore an emerald-green silk dress for the evening reception at William and Kate’s wedding, leading her to be dubbed ‘Her Royal Hotness’
Temperley received an MBE in 2011 and was praised by the fashion bible Vogue when Sarah Jessica Parker wore the designer’s dresses on Sex And The City.
But her empire has continually run at a loss, relying on the deep pockets of shareholders to keep it afloat.
Insolvency laws have caused controversy. Professor Richard Murphy, of Sheffield University Management School, said: ‘We do not grant limited liability to allow people to run companies that become insolvent at a cost to their creditors and shareholders so that they can start again with complete immunity from liability for the losses incurred.’
Temperley chief executive Luca Donnini said: ‘Restructuring had to take place to take into account the financial impact on retail from the previous year. The proceedings enabled the company to retain 70 per cent of the jobs in TL2021 as well as the majority of its suppliers.
‘Temperley looks forward to a better trading environment in 2022.’