2011 MUST HAVE: The To-Die-For Looks from All Saints

Photo: Erik Simkins

The Brit fashion house has hit Seattle and has some must-have looks for your winter closet.

Photo: Erik Simkins

The Emerald City’s fashionistas eagerly awaited the store opening of All Saints Spitalfields – a line that seems, at its core, intrinsically Seattle. And when the store opened, they all breathed a collectively stylish sigh of relief.

This British High-Street retailer has more than 70 stores worldwide, and has now planted their seed at 5th and Pine. Looking at their lines you wonder what took so long. Their collective design vision recalls a Seattle state-of-mind in grays, beiges and blacks.

It’s less than stuffy, slightly off-kilter and ultimately refreshing — not what most would expect from our fashion brethren across the pond.  Think fresh off the streets: a skull-embellished hint of Goth; edgy, distressed and well-worn; romantic grunge-rock, hip remix; slightly Victorian, romantically classic, ragged gamin. All wrapped into one.

Even their prints are so demurely out-there that they’ve surpassed abstract and become little more than a ghostly idea. On the business front, their advertising also seems otherworldly, preferring not to advertise, but to earn customers solely by word of mouth — a fresh perspective in an overly saturated consumer market.

Also refreshing, All Saints’ step away from the standard “affordable” but throwaway fashions. Most on-trend fast fashion breeds ennui, lacking the kind of uniqueness that characterizes much of All Saints’ line. Before All Saints landed, shoppers were hard pressed to find something one-of-a-kind and appealing. Now Seattleites can find quality construction in ultra-modern pieces that are well-tailored enough to wear everywhere.

At All Saints, they prefer not to cater to trendy catwalk styles, opting instead for edgy-but-luxurious wearability, guaranteed to last more than just one season. And edgy is the key; deconstruction is a heavily called upon look as far as All Saints is concerned. Where a ragged hem is usually a fleeting trend for most designers, All Saints works in intricate deconstruction in many of their pieces, making its semi-balanced asymmetry a given way of life.

The winter looks may speak ragged edges but the undertone is sleek bohemian urbanite for both men and women.   For those who are neither here nor there, androgynous is the staple of each wardrobe — tying both lookbooks together in harmonious gray.

Tavi Dress

For Women:

The winter looks have a glam-rock feel with tailored bottoms and floating tops. Silk tops are gorgeously tailored and worn with punk-rock pegged pants and laceless boots. Coats come lined in shearling with gothic-style oversized hoods. Animal is hot right now with a nod to winter trends, but at All Saints, it’s dark and unassuming — almost a trompe de l’oeil.

It’ll take a second look to spot the animal in the room. It’s not all dark, though — interspersed in the entire asymmetric gray, there are hints of sequin beading, glitter and some winter whites. Effortless is key and each piece is styled with an air of maximum comfort. The winter line also gives off a very masculine feel with the tailored coats, harem pants, oversized sweaters and chunky knit beanies.

Items She Needs:

Damisi Boot $250; Stallion Yavhi Dress $182; Raeburn Cardigan $77; Karin Waistcoat $210; Carlino Cardigan $182;  Yossi Hood Snood $98; Brox Leggings $20; Tavi vest $155; Layla  Trouser $200; Tavi Dress $287.

Recluse Biker Jacket

For Men:

The idea revolves around cable-knit mariner-style sweaters, worn with leather jackets and ultra tailored pants. These looks (and the bearded model) evoke a Seattle new-grunge-persona, geared toward a smartly dressed, yet understated guy.

The looks aren’t fussy; it’s neat in both versatility and simplicity. Think brogues, pea coats and long scarves. The winter male wears an unassuming look of lumberjack masculinity, woven with fine detail and expert tailoring. It’s a mesh of new-wave hip meets boho urbanite, leather on top of wool on top of chambray, serious and artistic, much like the women’s line.

Items He Needs:

Sigur Cardigan $75; Sondre Beanie $35; Zlotti Hoodie $112.50; Exhaust Iggy Denim $90; Ramsgate ¾ Crew $70; Pitch Blazer $203; Holmgard Crew $105; Derelict Pea Coat $231; Erosion Boot $175; Recluse Biker Jacket $490.

All Saints Spitalfields | 1511 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 | (206) 508-0018