13 Apr 2013

sessions: AllSaints

These days, walk into most high street stores and it's as if you've taken a step into a giant, bright, gleaming box of brand new. White floors, ceilings, lighting, clothing... it's all becoming a bit blasé.
So, when we ventured into The Avenue's AllSaints last week, it came as somewhat of a refreshing break. The antiquated, industrialized layout of the store, along with it's melodious tunes, enable for a surprisingly pleasant atmosphere; perfect for when we sat down with the in-store personal stylist.
At last, here we reveal the exclusive and intimate interview we performed with the ever so stylish Adele. 

What are you most enthusiastic about for the new SS13 season?

A lighter palette, definitely. We've been wearing too many dark tones recently so it will be a welcome break to wear something brighter. I'd like to start wearing some different textures too; suede and silk rather than thick leathers but to still keep the edge within the fabrics.

Which key item, if any, will you be taking from last season?

Last season probably, no, most definitely my Valley leather biker jacket. It's just a standard leather biker jacket which I think everyone should have. All the leathers we sell are A grade Italian, soft leather, so they are worth every penny. The Valley would be perfect for layering over summer dresses; it's lined with a beautiful oxblood quilted material and you can roll up the sleeves to see the contrast in the two colours. It's actually on sale in-store right now.

| Valley Biker |
Describe your style in three words.

Three words.. edgy, chic and timeless.

Who are your style icons? More so, whose wardrobe would you most like to raid?

Kristen Stewart for a casual look. I think she is really coming into her at the moment and Jessica Biel for something more glamorous, her red carpet looks have been gorgeous. As to whose wardrobe; perhaps Nicole Scherzinger, she always dresses with attitude. I imagine her wardrobe is full of edgy, amazing pieces. Her look is quite dramatic but she carry's it off well.

What is your first memory of fashion?

I actually remember my first pair of heels which I had aged ten. They were a metallic silver pair of stack heels and I'd literally find any excuse to wear them; even to go to the corner shop.

And what is your biggest fashion faux pas?

Clothes that don't fit right. Don't squeeze into a size just because of the label and, at the same time, don't wear something too big to try and hide your figure. I am a fan of good tailoring and the cuts All Saints create are quite quirky and striking but they flatter most figures.

Which piece do you always come back to season after season?

Aside from my leather jacket; I own a good pair of ankle boots. The Hessian boots, which are available here, are just a traditional ankle boot with a stacked Cuban heel, which I find are great for carrying you over from autumn and winter into summer. I'd team them with a good pair of denim, frayed shorts.

| Hessian Boot - leather | Haru Lowe shorts |
Is there a style rule which you swear by?

Always, always, always invest in good pieces. Choose timeless well made items such as fur coats, leathers and key pieces that never date rather than throw away fashion. I'd much rather spend my money on one, well made, beautiful piece than a few cheaply made items.

What lead you down the path to personal styling?

I've always had a love affair with fashion and I've worked within fashion retail for some time, and of course I've always loved All Saints. I think I just came to this position naturally. Experience is preferred but there is a huge need for a great personality and a passion for the environment you're in. For me, the customer has to be made to feel confident and comfortable, and that's what I strive to achieve with every client.

What sets apart this store from the sister store on Market St?

The service. All the AllSaints stores have good service but here as we have less footfall it means we can spend longer with a customer and really give them a one-on-one approach. We also have more premium and varied stock which is an added bonus.

And what can someone gain from a personal styling experience here?

The whole package. I like to help give my clients the confidence in the clothes that I style them in, as well as some styling knowledge that they can take home and apply themselves.  

What kind of appointments are on offer and how long do they last?

We are free to cater to any appointment, whether it be a full wardrobe overhaul or an outfit for a certain occasion. There is absolutely no pressure and a session can last from 10 minutes up to over an hour. I'm here if anyone needs me.

How can we book an appointment?

Just walk in or phone up, it's that easy really.

Tell us a little bit about the people that come into see you.

There's a wide range really. As we're in a business district I do tend to get more young professionals come in but that's not to say we don't get families in here too. The area is quite premium and quiet so it attracts celebrity clientèle too.

Which do you find easier? Dressing men or women?

Naturally women. I do have a huge passion for guys clothes; I love shopping trips with my boyfriend but admittedly I find women are much easier to please and I get more of a sense of fulfilment with them.

| Scarlett - Siri Vest | Leather Biker Trousers | Pozzi Bracelet | Hessian Boots |

| Kita Denim Jacket [Mens] | Monument Case |

Here I've styled Scarlett in the Siri vest; a luxurious jersey and a firm favourite with Vanessa Hudgens, I love the detailing on the sleeves and it really compliments the leather biker trousers and Hessian boots for a casual to evening look.

With the current weather, what would you suggest wearing to stay on trend?

Wearing more neutral colours. Now isn't the time for wearing neon brights but you also don't want to be wearing black all the time either. Layering and, as I mentioned, a lighter palette; taking things from last season and changing them up. The Hessian boots I spoke about now come in a tan suede rather than a heavy, dark leather from last season.

| Hessian Boots - Suede | 

Any plans for this summer?

I think I'm going to Parklife [festival] this year. I've never been before so I'm really looking forward to it, especially with the new location. I'm also going to Thailand as I go for a couple of weeks every year; and generally just hanging out around Manchester.

Adele's five key items for the summer...

| Siri Vest |

Already styled on Scarlett, I adore this garment. It's just a fine jersey but the artwork around the sleeves just make it so desirable and it's really easy to wear for both day and night, with minimal accessories. I'd wear this with denim cut offs.

| Bonny Cuban |

The Bonny Cuban boots are great as they can be styled with or without the buckle. The Italian skin material is really soft and the 'lived in' look is what attracts customers the most to these.

| Riviera Jersey Dress |

As seen on Halle Berry; the eccentric style of the Riviera dress is typical All Saints. Cuts like these are unique to us and are not available anywhere else on the high street.

| Pascal Vest | 

Encrusted with real Swarovski crystals; the Pascal vest is the ideal piece to lighten up an otherwise dark palette and to change up the fabrics to a lighter, more glamorous silk. You really get what you pay for with this item; it's exquisite.

 | Pozzi Bracelet |

Excellent for finishing off any ensemble; the Pozzi Bracelet, which I've also styled Scarlett in, is very now and on trend. The chunky effect means you can wear these solo or stacked and they also come in a light gold or silver finish.

What's currently on your playlist?

Let's think, Alt J, M83, Mumford and sons. I have quite an eclectic mix at the moment.

We've heard a bit about the AllSaints Basement Sessions, could you tell us more?

With AllSaints is not just about the clothes, we like to showcase up and coming talent through our ad campaigns and through live performances called the Basement Sessions. Just recently we had Amirali from Crosstown Rebels play a live set for an event in-store here, but most of the Basement Sessions happen in London. Like I said with showcasing talent though, we normally use talented models for any campaign. For AW12 we had models that were ballerinas, skaters, violinists, pretty much everything, the campaign is called portraits of a collection. I'm sure at the moment we have a female model [Casey Legler] who shoots for both the women's and men's collections.

| Casey Legler - Portraits of a Collection |

Where are your favourite hang-outs in Manchester?

For after work drinks I usually walk across to the Oast House or to the Alchemist or even to Neighbourhood. If I'm heading out on a big night out I normally go to the Northern Quarter, ending up every time in Hula. 

What has been your biggest splurge on an item?

I haven't really splurged on anything, other than I like to treat myself to a few nice things every now and then. Some of the sequin dresses we sell here are gorgeous and I've yet to buy myself a really nice handbag.

Any final advice?

I think if you want to pursue a career in personal styling then you definitely have to have the drive and passion to want to do it. When I leave work that isn't the end for me, I go home and religiously read Elle and other magazines. Fashion is such a personal thing that you need to be enthusiastic about every aspect of it. A degree isn't enough, I think you need a good few years experience at least maybe with a few different retailers and of course be a people person.