AllSaints Hops the Pond
Since launching in 1994, London-based label AllSaints has built a sturdy reputation around its luxe-but-tough-edged leather jackets. However, under the creative direction of Wil Beedle—who has been with the brand just over a year—it offers some pretty spiffy ready-to-wear, too. This season, AllSaints took its show on the road and for the first time revealed its new collection via an installation during New York fashion week. “The collection felt ready,” said Beedle when asked why he chose Spring ’14 for his NYFW debut. “We felt like it was time to show it in line with the fashion calendar, and share [our clothes] with a global community,” he added. Indeed, Beedle had lots to present to the international press and buyers who came to visit AllSaints’ largely black-clad mannequins, which were lined up inside a sprawling abandoned garment factory on Mercer Street.
As part of the brand’s ongoing digital push, the multifaceted, two-day event included everything from a film shoot (a promo for the label’s new focus on footwear) to a live illustrator—whose floral drawings will later be printed on limited-edition T-shirts—to photo shoots, which took place on the warehouse roof. Much of this was live-streamed to the AllSaints Web site. And while the spectacle made for interesting online viewing, it was a little complex for those of use who were there—in real life—to see the clothes.
Speaking of the clothes, they were great. A paper-thin knee-length bonded-leather vest—worn with an easy gray tank and a black-and-white floral-print skirt—was a clear standout, while a pair of chiffon basketball shorts, shown with a crisp white blouse and the house’s signature black bomber, seemed an upmarket take on the streetwear styles we’ve been seeing of late. Playing with the concept of transparency, Beedle layered a hand-beaded silver vest over a white oxford, turned out a shirtdress in sheer black lace, and covered a saucy nude frock with a translucent chiffon en noir. The silhouettes combined soft draping (like relaxed silk trousers that tapered at the ankle) with razor-sharp lines (coats were clean and oversize) for an effect that felt hypermodern—and wearable.
AllSaints is available at AllSaints stores, as well as such department stores as Bloomingdale’s, and online at www.us.allsaints.com.