It is synonymous with cider, cheese, the Wurzels and its friendliness but now one of Somerset’s own is about to take its name to the height of high street fashion.
Cider-maker’s daughter Alice Temperley has already established herself as a name in the heady world of haute couture fashion in London, with the likes of Pippa Middleton wearing her evening dress on the Royal Wedding day, and even earned an MBE in the process.
But now for the first time, Alice’s fashions are being let loose on the high street – so that ordinary shoppers from Cribbs Causeway to Swindon can get their hands on her chic designs.
And the name of the new exclusive Alice Temperley brand arriving this September in every John Lewis store in the country is, of course, ‘Somerset’.
Ironically, John Lewis have no stores in Somerset itself, so shoppers from the Cider County will have to travel to Bristol, Poole or Exeter to try on the clothes.
Those who have seen the collection describe it in the kind of terms not often heard on her father Julian’s Kingsbury Episcopi cider farm or at a skittles match down the pub, but perhaps they will soon.
“There are Victoriana blouses and black leather trousers, high collars and polished buttons, leopardprint, luxe ponyskin slippers, oversized textured knits and print dresses inset with panels of black lace,” said reviewer Jess Cartner-Morley. “There is ivory with black, jade green with leopard. There is a floorlength dress of some grandeur, and a thick sheepskin coat in a soft seal grey. The prices, however, are reassuringly John Lewis: sensible, rather than cheap,” she added.
Ms Temperley was pleased to be taking her fashions to a wider audience. “We have spent the last ten years building our lines and Somerset will complement our existing collections; it is a very accessible product that will take our aesthetic to a wider audience,” she said.
“I wanted it to be very much a collection of essentials and to design a collection that would provide a feminine and functional wardrobe for women in their everyday life. This collection is all encompassing, effortless and draws on our classics. John Lewis is a great partner as it stands for quality and is a trusted staple in everyone's lifestyle.
Integrity is paramount and as an independent British brand, we are thrilled to work with such a trusted British retailer.
“John Lewis knows what its customer buys, and that's great, but it was important that the range stayed true to me.
“The name Somerset was chosen because it is my county, and it's also a beautiful name – rather romantic,” she added.