Grown-up rock looks in a super-hip space. Helpful staff compensate for the minor faults.
The now-familiar AllSaints grunge theme is less in-your-face and comes with a cleaner aesthetic this season – the db coats, crumpled crew necks and cowl-necked grey marl hoodies look like classics. A US Confederate theme offers an alternative way to use skull prints, while denim includes carrot-leg low-crotch jeans that are as good as branded denim options.
The staff here are brilliant – approachable and helpful, with one chap showing Drapers to the items seen in the window and tripping prices off his tongue when there are no tickets on the item (though that itself was a shame). However, the unit configuration is odd, as men’s outerwear sits in the larger womenswear area. It sounds like nitpicking but it’s not – imagine shopping for outerwear and not finding it. You’d just leave.
Always beaten to the bullet in price terms, AllSaints instead relies on its great detail and design personality. But while last season it went toe to toe with Reiss, this time it just about undercuts its cleaner-looking high street cousin. A crunchy merino crew neck is £65 and a denim shirt is £75. Entry levels include graphic T-shirts at £40 and surprising value jeans at £55. A dark grey plaid shirt is not too far removed from River Island’s version, so is tough to justify the £80 tag.