Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

06 Mar

An interview with Alice Mary Lynch – her dolls for Alice Temperley



A few months back, my lovely friend, Ursula, of the blog Room to Bloom  e-mailed me about a talented designer called Alice Mary Lynch, who had created a collection of dolls to adorn the walls of famed fashion designer, Alice Temperly’s store in Bruton Street, London. I was instantly drawn to the beauty and intricate detailing of these dolls and I was awe struck when I visited the exhibition in the store.

Alice Mary Lynch grew up with an artistic background in Somerset. After completing a fashion design degree from Kingston university, she spent 9 years in Paris, working for top designers such as Dior and Galliano.

She has currently relocated back to Somerset with her husband and two small children. Her dolls are all bespoke made and come framed in wonderful glazed boxes for display.

I felt compelled to interview this amazing designer, whose dolls were also featured in this month’s UK Elle Decoration magazine.

Here goes:

1. How long did it take for you to complete each Temperley doll?

Each doll took between 2 days and a week, depending on size, detail, embellishment. I was beading the Arctic Harlequin’s trousers for many a day and night, I love doing all the beading and embellishment, it’s very meditative.

2. Are they mini replica outfits of the original?

No, Alice Temperley was very open about what the dolls could be, so I worked with the fabrics from her collection, to create something entirely original.  Her collection was brilliantly inspired by The Ballet Russe, so I used that as a starting point along with my own love of nature and fairy tales.

3 What is your designing process?

I have a daydream, or a vision in my mind which NEEDS to come to life, there might be an image which touches me somehow, a lone ballet dancer in a darkened room from another time or a distant bird flying high in the sky.
If I am working on a commission, I discuss ideas with my clients, sketching first, then the dolls evolve from there. I love it because a single stitch can suddenly bring a mischievous glint to an eye and it’s magic as you watch the character emerge and wonder who is actually in control! I am driven by instinct and feeling, a love of imperfection and fragility rather than actual designing and processes. However, when I am working on commissions, I like my clients to have an input and feel involved as the work develops so that the end result is something personal to them too.

Alice Mary Lynch Temperley dolls

4. What was it like working for big fashion names like Dior, Galliano, Victoria Beckham and Rykiel?

Fantastic fun and and incredibly hard work, full of theatre, farce, some very strange people and some wonderfully special ones. I have some great memories, particularly at John Galliano where every day was different, exciting and slightly bonkers.
But, whilst being very happy to continue to collaborate with great designers, I am also very content to have found a workplace I can call my own. Where I can have my own time and space to think work through, rather than being surrounded by the constant whirlwind of that dearly beloved funny old fashion frenzy.

5. Do you have a favourite fashion designer?

Alexander McQueen’s designs combine craft, theatre and fashion perfectly. I also like the strength and humour of Miuccia Prada. And the poetry and romanticism of Jeanne Lanvin.

6. Have you ever thought of designing your own clothes range?

Yes, maybe a childrenswear and accessories label one day, who knows….

Alice-Mary-Lynch-rabbits-and- Temperley

7.The dolls you make are exquisite. Have you ever considered venturing into the commercial mass market?

I have thought about it, but I LOVE making the dolls myself. I would find it hard to hand the needle and thread over to someone else, and part of the magic of what I do, is that each one is different, unique. I wouldn’t want to lose that. But I am currently working on ideas to expand in some way.

8. What are your future goals, any plans for a bricks and mortar shop
or will it be online?

Maybe a shop one day, it would be fun to create a whole doll wonderland somewhere! I have loads of ideas, but my two little girls occupy a lot of my time too, so, I take each day as it comes. Maybe I’ll get them stitching when they are a bit older, it can be a family business…! The dolls are currently available in the Temperley London flagship, Merchant Archive or direct from me.

(photos are all courtesy of Alice Mary Lynch, collage by Little Big Bell and thanks to Ursula of Room to Bloom. )

Hope you have all enjoyed this interview. Do pop in to see the doll exhibition if you can. Wishing everyone a wonderful Thursday. x

  1. Lovely interview Geraldine – I thought you might like Alice’s work! (and thank you for the mentions in your post – you really didn’t have to, but much appreciated : )

  2. Those dolls are beautiful – so intricately made. I loved reading about the design process. Great interview!

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      So lovely to have you visit Ashley 🙂 The dolls are stunning aren’t they? The detail and patience to create them is so admirable. Her passion for making them really shines through in the interview. The exhibition is amazing.

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend xx

  3. These dolls are just beautiful, such exquisite details. I bet it was fantastic to see the whole collection. I love the rabbit in the second photo and its harlequin pants! x

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      The whole collection was beautiful. That rabbit is also my favourite. Happy weekend Kirsty. xx

  4. I so enjoyed your interview with this artist. The dolls are exquisite and whimsical, I really value Alice’s dedication to the handmade quality and details of her work. Very inspiring! xo

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Thanks Heidi 🙂 so pleased you enjoyed this piece. Alice is super talented and unsurprising she is working with all those top designers. Happy weekend Heidi. xx

  5. Hi Geraldine, those dolls are lovely. You can tell that a lot of detail has gone into them and you provided a wonderful interview also. It was interesting to read about her design process and inspirations. Talented woman. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. xD

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow too! I’ll have to remember to bring you the chocolate 😉 xx

  6. wow those dolls are so beautiful and the details are amazing! I really admire such talent. Wonderful interview, and thank you so much for sharing! Have a lovely weekend dear Geraldine!

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Thank you so much 🙂 Yes, alice is so talented isn’t she? I’d like one of her dolls. Have a great week. xx

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Hi Annie, yes I think they are quite expensive, likely because they are bespoke and so intricately made with amazing fabrics. I would love to have one so should start saving up. xx

  7. These are gorgeous. What intricate work.

    I really enjoyed reading the interview, her take on the fashion world and ‘divas’ and about her design process. Very interesting!

    If I have time I’ll pop into the store and take a look. I’m sure I’ll have the same reaction as you:-)

    Can you imagine a shop, a dolls wonderland? Stunning. I can understand the need to want to scale the business, albeit each doll is a work of art.

    Great post xx

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Thanks Tina. I too really enjoyed her response to the questions, love just hearing about what inspired the creations and to get some insight into how she makes these beautiful pieces.You should visit, the dolls are even more stunning in real life. 🙂 xx

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Thanks Caroline 🙂 and of course the lovely Ursula 🙂 See you in a fortnight xx

  8. Dear Geraldine – great interview – and amazing dolls – love all the details.
    I adored meeting you on Saturday – such a great day. Hope to keep in touch on the blogs, have a lovely week sweets,

    1. littlebigbell Post author

      Thank you Anya. It was truly lovely meeting you too. Definitely will keep in touch on blogs and instagram xx

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