Tag Archives: clothing

Sewing Machine Punk? Is there such a thing?!


I finally visited AllSaints Spitalfields on Wednesday. Here’s a travel log of my trip.

AllSaints Spitalfields is in the 900 N. Michigan Building—part of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. The store sells clothing and accessories for men and women with a gothic/Victorian theme.

The entry is a cathedral to the Industrial Revolution: instead of stained glass, old black sewing machines are shelved over every inch of the window. No wonder people call this look steam punk.

What is this place? AllSaints Spitalfields.

What is this place? AllSaints Spitalfields, photo courtesy of Google Maps, Photo by AllSaints.

Inside, the display cases are adapted from large sewing machines and other real and pseudo machinery.

Thank goodness I don't have to pedal this treadle long arm.

Time or money has warped and smoked the mirrors.

Is it me, or is it dark in here? By the way, I am wearing the Ribbed and Cabled Sweater that I designed. I just finished it last week!

The store is successful at creating atmosphere. A fellow shopper gushed that it was an “eye meal”!

Here, there be monsters

AllSaints’ clothing whispers and grumbles in grayish champagne, black, white, and a few other dull but beautiful tones. The most colorful item was a dress printed with sea creatures reminiscent of monsters found on old world maps. Highlights of the spring/summer 2012 collection include miniskirts with matte sequins arranged in a “tribal” pattern, a white eyelet maxi dress tied with a leather belt, fitted jackets, a drop-stitch sweater in faded black, and draped and pleated dresses and tunics made of washed satin. They even offer a complicated get-up of folded and twisted fabric that looks like a dress but is worn as an onesy! Since I wasn’t shopping to buy, I didn’t notice any price tags. Online the store offers clothing from $40 for bikini bottoms, to $550 and up for leather jackets and heavily beaded dresses.

Which reminds me of a book…

It all reminds me of  Mortal Engines, a book. (Yes, I read Young Adult fiction from time to time. Please don’t let anyone know, it’s a carefully guarded secret!)

Mortal Engines, by Philip Reeve, tells of a post-apocalypse world in which portable cities scavenge Europe looking for food and resources. In this future, all our current computer technology has been lost and mechanical ingenuity rules. But, forget the plot! I enjoyed the descriptions of this alternate (hopefully) future and the reverence with which they held the past computer glories (such as, shiny plastic discs). Peter Jackson is working on a movie!? Similar, and better, is The Golden Compass series by Philip Pullman.

Tulips’ last stand

In contrast to the dark interior of AllSaints, the sun shone brilliantly outside. This winter was so warm, the tulips are nearly finished for the season.

Michigan Avenue in Chicago. April 18, 2012

Over the blue double-decker bus you can see the top of the Marilyn Monroe sculpture and Chicago Tribune headquarters behind that. This is also on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

I hope you are having a beautiful spring and enjoying something new or beautiful today!

Be of good cheer!