Being walked through an AllSaints collection with creative director Wil Beedle is a bit like learning a language through culture immersion.
Beedle has a depth of references and an eloquence of language unlike many in the industry -- hardly surprising, considering he once studied literature at Cambridge. But more than that, he's very much dedicated to giving his collections context by creating an entire world around them.
So for the brand's second-ever outing at fashion week, Beedle brought the industrial London neighborhood where the brand is headquartered to New York City. "We want it to feel connected to what inspired us, and we wanted to share that with you guys," Beedle says, explaining that the fall collection is all about what he sees everyday at the AllSaints atelier.
"We really claimed the streets that surrounded us in East London," he says. "We're placing the collection back into the wild that inspired it."
To that end, everything -- from the video looping on the wall, to the lookbook, and even the soundtrack playing in the space (it changed from street noise to a song that Beedle says was playing from a neighborhood record shop) -- was done in a 100-yard radius of the studio.
The effect was so great that it became impossible not to see a line of industrial London rooftops in a bead-encrusted cable knit sweater, or the layered rips of posters in a silk print. Even the shoulders of a beautiful cashmere coat were "torn away" from the seams to give that "ripped" effect.
And yes, there were great leather jackets, an AllSaints staple. But those too got an elevated touch, thanks to revamped leathers, angular shapes, and cashmere bonding. That's because Beedle isn't content to rest on his laurels.
"What we do now is really distill those elements of what makes us and determines our brand, and we know that those core values are comfortably communicable to the rest of the world," he explains. "We're seeing really positive traction with the brand all over the world at the moment, and we're really excited to continue that dialogue."