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Zoom in: Magnificent Mile 

The AllSaints Spitalfields store is weirdly named, and a steampunk palace

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The facade on the left reaches up about 40 feet. Forty!!

The facade on the left reaches up about 40 feet. Forty!!

Asher Klein

I normally don't travel thereabouts so sorry for being a little late to the party on this one, but have you seen the industrial-chic Michigan Avenue storefront for UK clothing line AllSaints Spitalfields? It is, I believe, Mag Mile's first steampunk palace.

Opened last summer, the Chicago outpost (700 N. Michigan) is fronted by an awesomely ostentatious three-story brick-and-"steel girder" facade in which hundreds of old-timey sewing machines sit on display, as if they had anything to do with the supposedly handcrafted sweaters and dresses draped precariously atop the sales associates. Ah, no, the company is invoking the finger-eating sweatshops that galvanized Karl Marx, though why that's chic is beyond me (my guess: enforced malnutrition) and definitely doesn't jibe with AllSaints's anti-slave labor posturing. There are gears growing throughout the store—most unburdened by the pretense of attachment to an industrial-looking machine—and the mirrors are glazed with a black, Instagramy vignette so that you . . . can't see yourself properly? Lit like a Bertolt Brecht play, sexy like Tim Burton, AllSaints Spitalfields is to the Victorian era what Navy Pier is to ship repair. Rated: highly worth a peek.

Have a particular observation or favorite oddity about a neighborhood? E-mail it to zoomin@chicagoreader.com.

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