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AllSaints Spitalfields

Rock íní Roll Styling

AllSaints Spitalfields, the British retail chain known for its rock íní roll stylings, opened its San Francisco store this fall but it only recently came into full bloom.

The space feels like a garment warehouse with heavy machinery bolted to the white brick walls accompanied by signature Singer sewing machines. Sorry fashion students and collectors, these vintage beauties are not for sale.

In stark contrast are the architecturally modern iPad stations throughout the store, allowing shoppers to browse looks on screen and locate them instantly nearby.

Or check out the latest fashions on the incredibly good-looking sales assistants who model AllSaints looks with such ease. The personnel are sharp on advising the right fit. No false remarks here when something looks off. All are approachable and donít hover invasively ó a selling combination that always works.

Ground level is devoted to womenís appareal with a small section for children. Hues for fall-winter 2010 mean gradations of grey. Call it stone, graphite, cinder, charcoal, smoke, or chalk ó you get the sense that primary colors are not de rigueur here. Try blacks, browns, and cream for contrast. Call it the MARS palette: moody, artistic, rocker, and seductive.

Despite the muted palette, the looks work in such colors. The only real bling is the mini skirts and dresses that work not only for the holidays but also for any other festive occasion. The Devo skirt (originally $260, now $195) is heavily embellished in intricate patterns. The miniskirt stuns with a perfect pairing of copper, gunmetal, and bronze metallic hues.

A strong seller for women is the Elena racerback silk top ($180 reduced to $135). Each piece is hand-embellished and dyed in an art deco pattern. Other popular looks include the Tavi mini-dress ($410) with a deep back scoop drop, and the premium parachute long dress ($500). The ten meters of double-layered cotton creates a beautiful silhouette of many fabric folds, which breathes new life into the concept of eveningwear.

Ascend the staircase for the menís floor. The palette mirrors the womenís colors with the addition of the old standby navy. Minimal adornments or color allows focus on the cuts and details. Take, for example, a current favorite that seems to fly of the racks, The Searcher (originally $160 but on sale for $120). It appears to be a simple long-sleeved work shirt, except for the contrast stitching and chipped press studs that line the front.

Plenty of plaid flannel abounds for men after the rugged lumberjack look. Fabric scraps are salvaged to make cheeky Woodsman bowties (on sale for $22.50). Other accessories include plenty of scarves and snoods knit in wool.

In addition to shirts, denim, and accessories, outerwear plays a large part in the menís collection. A standout among many of the jackets and coats is the Fuse Coat ($315). The asymmetrical closure and funnel neck would add some edge to the sea of peacoats and North Face jackets that hang in nearly every manís closet.

Just in time for the holidays: check out AllSaintsí current sale ó 25 percent discount for online and in-store purchases. Of course, there is no fanfare on this announcement either. That means I may find my size, after all, but the hush on this event wonít last for long.