Since debuting in the United States in late 2010, AllSaints Spitalfields has become a staple in the hearts and wardrobes of NYC’s trendsetting youth. The British High Street retailer, well known for the pre-aged quality of its merchandise, first emerged in 1994 and steadily gained a loyal following throughout Europe. Offering clothing, shoes, and accessories—all in luxe worn-in fabrics like English cashmere, leathers and shearlings, Japanese silks and shuttle loom cottons—at entry-level prices, we can see its appeal.
For fall, AllSaints veered left from its usual collection of draped knitwear, asymmetrical bubble skirts, and fatigued leathers, presenting instead a more refined line-up of classic pieces like straight coats, relaxed blazers, and pencil skirts in razor-sharp silhouettes. While the feel of this collection is decidedly more sophisticated, the unpretentious, wearable nature of the clothing is still there. Other aspects like the impeccable construction and quality of the materials, which have become central to the brand’s mission, continue to impress.
Geared toward confident, fashion-forward women, the collection was partly inspired by the novel Venus in Furs. Slimmer and more daring silhouettes, barley-there lace tops, and tight leather mini skirts are sexy without being vulgar. Other pieces like an ombre mohair coat and a sheer cap sleeve top accented with studs and delicate chains make a lasting statement. A full line of accessories including handbags, clutches, wallets, and belts, all constructed from lush leathers and animal furs, and tastefully embellished with metallic sequins. This season’s footwear has a more timeless feel, trading in trendy distressed boots for streamlined round-toe pumps and booties. Trademark AllSaints looks like a leather biker jacket and fitted trousers are still present in the collection, but reinvented to compliment the matured aesthetic.
AllSaints menswear has also undergone a sort of metamorphosis. Forgoing grungy denim and flannel looks that characterized earlier collections, this season offers a slew of tailored suiting and sportswear. Wool coats in sharp silhouettes, slim tweed trousers, and cashmere knits are both elegant and functional. Not entirely losing the playful, rebellious quality AllSaints lads have come to love, this collection features pieces in a subdued camouflage print, accented by skinny jeans and bad-boy leather jackets.
The fresh new attitude and look of AllSaints fall collection, while not radically different from previous seasons, is one that the brand’s customers will undoubtedly come to embrace. Effortless versatility and evolved confidence are qualities that will continue to establish AllSaints as a downtown mainstay.
A fusion between utilitarian and edgy, Nudie Jeans’ fall collection offers customers the flexibility of mixing well-fitted, timeless basics to achieve an effortless look. The philosophy behind the brand is to keep things simple: wear the jeans, but don’t let the jeans wear you. With close attention to cut and detail, Nudie is a Swedish clothing brand that has long since been a fashion staple among European tastemakers and is fast developing a similar following in the US.
While the brand is primarily marketed towards men, it has attracted a considerable amount of female consumers. Nudie offers eleven fits ranging from a skinny jean aptly named the Tight Long John, to the Average Joe, a regular straight leg jean. With six washes to choose from—including Iconic Orange, a brilliant worn-in rust—Nudie offers denim lovers a wide variety of options. Because the company draws inspiration from Sweden’s rich heritage and is unconcerned with fads, the emphasis is always on fit, detail, and the wearer. With an extensive collection of outerwear, knitwear, shirting, and tops to compliment the denim line, Nudie simplifies the art of casual male dressing. A selection of fitted denim shirts and flannels in muted tones offer endless layering options, while statement looks like a plaid university jacket make for great transitional pieces. Tees, also in soft organic fabrics, are subtly distressed to achieve that vintage quality of favorite old t-shirts.
Nudie Jeans Backbone, a line of basics, is a recent addition to the brand meant to compliment the main collection. The idea behind Backbone is to bring consumers a range of knits; eleven fits and four colors accentuate the organic look of the brand’s denim. Nudie also offers a line of well-crafted denim and leather accessories, including wallets and belts in several styles. Like the organic denim, the vegetable tanned leather is designed to look and feel better with wear. Having recently opened a store in Los Angeles and currently scouting locations in New York City, Nudie is here to stay. The refreshing timelessness and quality of the line is something that will continue to expand its faithful following.
The man behind one of most mysterious acts in the music industry made his highly anticipated New York debut last night. Abel Tesfaye, more commonly known as The Weeknd, kicked off his tour with a sold out show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. Fresh off a two-weekend run at Coachella, Tesfaye delivered a compelling performance that proves all the buzz he’s been lapping up is anything but empty hype.
Backed by a three-piece band, the Toronto native and Drake protégé has a confidence about him that comes from weeks of rehearsal and the blinding support of a rapidly growing fan base. Unlike the outdoor stage at Coachella, last night’s venue—which holds a maximum capacity of 550 people—added a level of intimacy that seems almost necessary to fully appreciate Tesfaye’s deeply emotional lyrics and lavender vocals. Tesfaye gained momentum as the show progressed, and by the end of the night, his lyrics took on the form of a narrative, revealing peeping tom details about faded nights, regrettable encounters, and deep-seeded pains.
Not surprisingly, the Music Hall hosted to an eclectic mix of concertgoers, including gaggles of teenagers, self-serious music snobs, and even some middle-aged couples (okay, so that was surprising). Though at times off-key, the crowd sang along religiously with Tesfaye, who seemed to embrace, even encourage group sing-a-longs by pointing the microphone toward the crowd. He kicked off his set with the bass-heavy track “High for This”—cue spontaneous crowd combustion—before segueing into the aggressive “D.D.”, a well-executed rendition of Michael Jackson’s classic “Dirty Diana”. Tesfaye performed selected songs from each of the albums that make up his self-released trilogy, including House of Balloons hits “Glass Table Girls” and “The Morning.”
While he has every reason to be cocky—at 22-years-old, he is already on the festival circuit and his first ever tour sold out in a matter of hours—Tesfaye actually seems relatable and humble in a way that few other budding stars do. At one point during his set, he called out endearingly, “Frenchie, where you at?” pointing to rapper French Montana, who was seated in an overhead balcony. We also spotted a nonchalant A-Trak hanging out and chatting with crowd members. Before leaving the stage after an acoustic encore of “Wicked Games”—a track that revels in the dark and illicit hedonism that typifies The Weeknd’s sound—Tesfaye flung his hat into the crowd as a sign of gratitude to his fans. The unpretentious and intensely personal atmosphere of the show is something fans will come to cherish as Tesfaye inevitably moves onto larger venues.
Photography by Sarah Kjelleren
We are used to seeing Chanel Iman grace the pages of Victoria’s Secret catalogs in perky, printed bra-and-panty sets, but her latest role as a femme fatale couldn’t be further from that bright and glossy image. Recently, the supermodel starred in a short fashion film directed by Jenna Elizabeth and produced by BULLETT in collaboration with accessories designer Reece Hudson.
Thirst tells a story of seduction, betrayal, and revenge. Shot on location at Lafayette House, the film captures the ghostly beauty innate to the confines of the historical hotel. After catching her lover with another woman, Iman draws a vial from her gold, snakeskin clutch and surreptitiously dispenses poison into his drink. Dim lighting and an eerie tune further emphasize the creepiness factor as Iman indiscriminately drags her stiletto heel and various surgical instruments along the skin of her unconscious lover. Statement bags and accessories created by Reece Hudson held the delicate torture devices and accentuate Iman’s daring looks.
As a director and photographer based in New York City, Jenna Elizabeth is unafraid to push boundaries. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Madonna and Andy Warhol for previous projects, her aesthetic is sensual, quirky, and organic. The granddaughter of jazz drummer Chuck Flores, Elizabeth is also fascinated by music and claims musicians are among her favorite subjects to shoot. She has worked with some of the biggest names in the business including Kanye West, Julian Casablancas, and Willie Nelson – to name a few. Thirst epitomizes the dramatic and sinister feeling evident in Elizabeth’s previous works, but certainly does not quench our desire to see what is next for the young filmmaker.
The result of Bachar’s well-directed curiosity is a stunning collection that includes intricately beaded bodices, luxurious furs, and patches of leopard. Instead of traditional stitched seams, Bachar makes use of small metal hook enclosures to create a suture-like effect. Silhouettes like a peplum pencil skirt and a pink leather mini layered over a red maxi inject are as playful as they are flattering. One of the collections standout looks is a dress that features a basic white crew neck on top and a paint-like printed skirt on bottom. This idea of mixing high and low, dressy and casual elements is just another quality that fascinates Bachar’s aesthetic.
Your designs emphasize duality in cultural concepts like bad taste and good taste, perfection and imperfection, and so on. How do you find equilibrium between such opposing ideas?
I feel that more than achieving an equilibrium between the two opposing ideas or cultural concepts, it’s the tension and clashing between them that make the pieces work and perhaps its the uncertainty or blurred lines – where you are not sure whether you find it ugly or beautiful, high brow or low brow etc. that create a certain balance or equilibrium.
How do you work? Do you begin with a concept and then draft designs or the other way around? What is the most challenging part of the process?
I usually start out with the initial concept and then try to expand on that by searching for visual inspiration that I feel can magnify and serve the idea. Then I start looking for materials and fabrics whilst playing around with draping, sketching and creating combinations with the materials I have found, this process is quite a long, back and forth affair, and involves a lot of trial and error, tweaking the inspiration and choices of materials. As I progress I always try to take a step back to question my choices and see the bigger picture and most importantly to make sure the idea I set out to talk about is present in the garment.
Living in Israel, conflict is something you must encounter everyday. Has this conflict between ideologies, religions, and lifestyles shaped your thinking?
Living in Israel has undoubtedly shaped the way I think, and it does have a lot to do with the examples you mentioned. What I do feel has shaped and pushed me most as a designer is that, as an Israeli, I always felt like a part of some kind of cultural or design underdog, so I always felt a need to work harder, succeed and prove myself. Also the lack of materials and fabrics available in Tel Aviv always pushed me to think outside of the box and try and be creative with the materials I chose to to convey my ideas.
With such an emphasis on opposites, how do you keep yourself from seeing things as black and white?
Like I said before, though I do use and incorporate opposites in my work, it’s the grey areas I find most interesting, the blurred lines and the tension between two worlds that wouldn’t normally go together (but somehow coexist) is what I am usually drawn to.
Where do you do your best thinking? Is there a place in Tel Aviv—or anywhere else in the world—that is a source of particular inspiration for you?
My best thinking is mostly done in the midst of the creating or designing process, alone in my work room, with the mess of fabrics and sketches around me. I never can form an idea just in theory and always have to test it out or play around with it.
Who or what is your biggest artistic inspiration?
I know this an odd pairing of artists, but it’s Francisco Goya and Sofia Coppola that I consider my biggest artistic inspirations. What I love most about them is how they both try to capture beauty and aesthetic in unconventional ways, while not being afraid to expose their own fears and vulnerability.
What is the most thrilling aspect of fashion design?
The most thrilling aspect for me is the search and discovery of unexpected combinations that come with working with materials. This is what drives my process and enables me to form the ideas I want to convey.
Your attention to detail, like your use of metal hook enclosures as seams, is innovative. How do you always ensure that you are pushing boundaries?
I am always following contemporary fashion to see what is out there and what my favorite designers are up to, it is important to me that I am updated and aware of what’s being done around me in the fashion world. In the case of the metal hooks it was derived from the concept and inspiration of the project, its an interpretation of the visual material I was working with at the time (mainly the work of Francis Bacon). I am never really sure that I am in fact pushing boundaries, but it is always very important for me to that I try.
Your work draws considerable inspiration from art and literature. How do you ground such abstract ideas in wearable pieces without crossing the line into costume-wear?
Art as inspiration has become somewhat of a necessity for my work process; however, I do always try to keep in mind the women that would wear my designs, and what she would want to wear. This usually keeps my designs in the realm of ready to wear and couture. No matter how abstract or philosophical my concepts and ideas may be it is important to me that the end result is a sexy, desirable and cool looking piece.
Your website flows sort of like a mood board—with inspiration images meshed in with those of your own designs. Would you say this is a representation of your stream of thought?
The site reflects my work process more than it does my stream of thought. It was important to me to show the inspirations and materials that led me on my path because they are, for me, an integral part of the final collections.
Last night, tribeca Issey Miyake and Surface debuted SymbiosisO: Voxel, an interactive textile installation developed by artists Eszter Ozsvald, Kärt Ojavee, and Alex Dodge. A collection of textile interfaces, SymbiosisO is comprised of 64 hexagonal pixels, or “voxels”, with a heat sensitive coating layer and embedded electronics. The human touch activates the textile, gradually causing a series of white lines to bisect the honeycomb shapes to reveal a tessellation of cubes. As heat spreads outward from its origin, the initial white lines disappear as new ones emerge, creating patterns that move in playful, curious ways around the place where the textile was touched.
The minimalist aesthetic of Miyake’s designs is a quality that translates to the interior of the multi-level flagship store, making it an ideal venue for lectures, performances, and installations not unlike SymbiosisO. The installation appeared effortlessly in place alongside the modern décor and titanium sculpture—designed by famed architect Frank Gehry—that typify the space. Because Miyake is well known for his use of unique fabrics and artful pleating techniques, SymbiosisO lends itself to a following that appreciates innovation in textile and design.
After making a lap around the store and stopping at the bar, most event-goers approached the installation, which was situated against the back wall. One man, not sure what to make of the technology, curiously applied his finger to the bright blue textile. Others pressed both their palms against it and waited eagerly for the technology to respond, as if they were in fascinating conversation with one another.
The idea at the core of Voxel, which began in 2009, is that it affords each user with a unique experience. It enables users to create their own animations, whereas previous incarnations of the technology—SymbiosisW (Wall) and Symbiosis S (Seat)—reveal predefined pattern arrangements in a way that mimic the behavioral patterns of an organism. The organic quality of the technology is one that is also inherent to the Miyake aesthetic, which has been kept alive by newly appointed womenswear designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae. “I want to place value not on superficial design or style elements, but on the thoughts of the wearer and the background of the manufacturing process,” reads Miyamae’s statement in the store’s brochure.
This attention to detail and simplicity is just one quality that has made Issey Miyake one of the most visionary designers working today. The duality present in his aesthetic—a blend of Eastern and Western elements—is something that cements his designs as works of art. Much like the Voxel technology, which is brought to life by the user, Miyake’s designs are meant to enhance each individual wearer’s experience.
With only a few torturous hours left until tonight’s finale of Pretty Little Liars (see our interview with the primary case here), ABC Family’s wildly popular whodunit, fans are hoping that they finally find out the identity of “A,” the anonymous stalker. While the teen soap is stuffed with plenty of mystery and backstabbing, we suspect that Season 2 newcomer Tyler Blackburn might just be another reason PLL fans can’t seem to get enough. On screen, the California native plays Caleb Rivers, the quick-witted kid with a—what else?—troubled past who is easily one the show’s most intriguing characters. We spoke to him over the weekend, and while he wouldn’t reveal the identity of “A,” the 26-year-old did let us in on a few of his own personal secrets.
The season finale is expected to be quite a shocker. Without saying too much, what can we expect to see?
I think that it is mostly shocking because it has been so anticipated for the last two seasons. The show’s main mystery revolves around the identity of the stalker. The finale definitely doesn’t disappoint in an adrenaline-pumping aspect. You’re definitely left with your heart racing a little bit, and it doesn’t stop with the reveal.
Can you tell us about your character Caleb Rivers? He seems like a mysterious bad boy.
Caleb has definitely evolved over time. In the beginning, he was this sort of quick-witted, grungy, sketchy kind of dude. But now he’s evolved a little bit with his relationship to Hanna and has really changed in a lot of ways.
Do you have anything in common with Caleb?
I wouldn’t say we are that different, to be honest. I feel like he’s been through harder times than I have, in a lot of ways. I think he and I are both, at the core, pretty sensitive guys, but we sometimes put on a little front. He is pretty quick-witted, and I feel like I can usually keep up with most people. I feel that we are similar in those ways—along with others I’m sure.
You joined the cast for Season 2. Did you find it easy to fit in and be comfortable on set?
Yeah, I did. Obviously, the first day you’re a little bit nervous, but it was a pretty seamless transition. The girls are just so nice in general, and that definitely helped. The producers, the writers, and the crew are really cool. It’s like a little family and I feel like I fit in pretty quickly.
PLL has a pretty intense following of teenage girls. What’s that farthest a fan has gone to meet or talk to you? Any crazy fan mail?
Most fans are pretty respectful. It’s still a little bit weird to be recognized in general, but it does happen. I feel like it’s happening more and more, but it kind of comes with the territory. One thing that I don’t love is when I see people just taking pictures of me instead of just coming up to say “hi.” It definitely makes me feel like a zoo animal. I might be a little awkward if they do approach me, but I’d rather they just come say, ‘hey, I’m such a fan.’ That’s just a little bit more natural.
Do you have a girlfriend? If so, how does she feel about all the female attention?
At the moment, I’m single. My ex-girlfriend, she didn’t get upset necessarily. It was more awkward to see kissing on the show. The fans are usually younger girls, so it’s not like they are a huge threat.
Aside from PLL, are you working on any projects?
Of course, the show has been on hiatus for a little while, so I have been working on a few things. Once the show comes back into production, it’s going to be a little harder to do so. I am working on some music. I’ve also recorded a couple songs, one for a web series called Wendy, which is a modern-day, darker version of Peter Pan which was my favorite Disney movie growing up. I got to play this new and improved version of Peter Pan which I thought was pretty dope. It was really cool to do the stunts. There were some really cool water shots and it allowed me to do some things I hadn’t before, so I enjoyed that.
How did you get started in music?
Growing up I did school plays where we sang. My dad is in the music business and has been since I was a child, so I’ve been exposed to music for awhile. I went to some pretty awesome concerts growing up and there was just always music playing in the house. That hasn’t changed. I have music on all the time, as often as possible. My taste is very eclectic; therefore I am into exploring what I’d like to do musically. The web series required my character to be a singer, so it was a great opportunity to work that muscle, and get in the studio, and work on the song. I recorded a song, more recently, for an ABC Family promotion for The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which will be up for sale soon on iTunes. I look forward to exploring that side of my creativity.
You’ve done television and you’re venturing into music. Do you see yourself migrating to the big screen?
Absolutely, I would love to. That’s really my ultimate goal. Growing up, I did watch TV and I still do a little bit. To be honest, TV is not a huge interest of mine, which is ironic because I’m on it. I love movies. Growing up, watching The Goonies, I was like, ‘I want to be in this movie so badly!’ I love Stand By Me, Into the Wild, and Almost Famous. I actually love Leonardo DiCaprio’s earlier work, like, The Basketball Diaries, and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. I am definitely more of a film guy. It’s a different ball game, honestly, film versus TV. It’s about making that leap, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to do that at some point.
Do you have a dream role?
Nothing too specific, to be honest. I want to explore all genres and all types characters. I’d love to do some period pieces. I love Westerns. It would be extraordinarily cool, because you have to do a lot of research. I like that idea. Something like Into the Wild would be amazing, where you get to go to this amazing location and just live life vicariously through this character.
Outside of acting, do you have other creative pursuits or outlets?
I am exploring so many different things right now. I am really into hot yoga. It’s intense—it’s a physical workout but it’s a mind-fuck, too. You have to really push yourself mentally because it’s like 100 degrees in there. I’m really interested in photography right now.
For Sally LaPointe, clothing is about telling a story. Her fall/winter 2012 collection, which showed at New York Fashion Week, was inspired partly by Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis. Emotionally moved by the story, the designer made it her own with a collection that touched on such relevant themes as duality and fantasy. Perhaps even more stunning than the structured leather jackets, laser-cut mini dresses, and flowing high-waisted pants she sent down the runway, is the avant-garde designer’s undeniable talent for creating pieces that are abstract, yet functional.
While the narrative is what strings her collection together, LaPointe never forgets the woman she is designing for. Consistently churning out designs fit for the woman who is equally as powerful as she is feminine, LaPointe sticks to trademark silhouettes—structured shoulders and peplum waists. Unconcerned with trends, the designer stays true to the “dark edge” present in her own style, emphasizing femininity—a fresh breath of air after all the menswear-inspired collections we have been seeing. We caught up with the rising star for a quick Q &A.
BULLETT: You’re still fairly new to the fashion industry. Did you always imagine you would be a fashion designer?
SALLY LAPOINTE: To be honest, no. I didn’t realize I wanted to design clothing until I was a bit more exposed to it, in my late teens. Growing up, I always was, and knew I would be creating, but it was never strictly fashion. I think it wasn’t until I really had the exposure to it, learning more about it, and seeing it, that it really hit me. It just grabbed me in a way that nothing else did, so the decision was pretty clear.
Many of your designs are highly conceptual yet still wearable. Is it difficult to reconcile these two qualities sometimes?
I think finding that perfect balance in anything is a challenge. The way my brain works is very conceptual, but at the end of the day I am making clothing, and I want people to live in it. Yes, it proves to be difficult at times, but that is where the beauty lies. I feel something can never be too much of anything. It is something I am constantly working on, and believe I will always be searching for.
Your latest collection was based on the novella The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. What about the novella sparked your interest and inspired your designs?
When I read the book last summer, it just captured an emotion in me. It was a beautiful and emotional narrative, and I wanted to show this. The story was rich and embellished and this very much sparked my interest. I wanted to tell that story from my perspective.
Your designs are very edgy but still feminine. Would you say this aesthetic is reflective of your personal style?
Yes, I think you could say that. I think that I gravitate towards that sort of dark edge in my personal dress, but I do not want to look too androgynous, or too severe, I want to look like a woman. To me that is important.
Aside from literature, what other media inspires you? Are there any particular designers you look up to or follow closely?
I am really into stories, interesting happenings, things a bit one-off. That is how I got my inspiration for my Fall collection, I asked someone to tell me a story and they told me the story of The Metamorphosis, and it really inspired me. And I will definitely check out what’s going on elsewhere in the industry, I think it is good to know what else is happening out there.
What is something design-wise you would still like to do but have not yet had the chance to?
Menswear. I have a lot of requests for it. Not only would I love to do it, but it seems there would be an audience for it.
We heard you designed and made the shoes for your latest collection. Do you think shoemaking is something you will continue to pursue?
Well for the Fall ’12 collection the shoes were Alejandro Ingelmo for Sally LaPointe, it was his shoe design with my print design. I love shoes, and think they are just as important as the clothing in itself, but I may leave the shoe making up to the experts.
Photography by Ned & Aya
Rooney Mara‘s influence on Francisco Costa’s fall Calvin Klein collection was clear: Models wore austere black-banged hairstyles evocative of the star’s recent red-carpet appearances. Runway looks echoed the same Mara-as-muse sentiment with modest silhouettes in leather and wool that were both demure yet strikingly powerful. As always, Costa played with architectural details, but this time he went mathematical with bell-curved leather frocks, peplum jackets, and cinched-in waists. Dresses with sheer panels on top and full, calf-length skirts on bottom were sexy without being too revealing. Staying true to the brand’s simple aesthetic, Costa worked with a color palette of black, white, grey, and occasional pops of red-orange. Built-in volume and metal-banded belts kept the longer hemlines and dense fabrics from looking too heavy. As a brand renowned for its timeless design and simplicity, Calvin Klein shows us, once again, that classic silhouettes can still be made to look edgy and modern.
For Preen’s Fall 2012 collection, it is all about reconciling the old with the new. Dually inspired by Victorian-era scrapbooks and abstract expressionism, designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi presented a line that flawlessly interplayed loud, color-blocked hues, romantic florals, collage-like graphic prints, and delicate lace with sequin accents. A collection with so many different elements at play could have easily come off as messy and disjointed, but we must say, it is anything but. Preen’s latest collection is instead playful and effortless, ensuring the intended themes are present throughout and remaining consistent in the overarching palette and structure. Perhaps what makes the collection most successful is the ability of the designers to put forth fresh, new prints and innovative designs in traditional styles like pencil skirts, straight coats, blazers, and turtleneck sweaters. Preen is a label that, time and time again, does not settle for merely following trends, but rather, setting them.