How does a modernist, minimalist designer like Neil Barrett adapt to menswear’s swing to old-school and outdoorsy elements like tweeds, loden and Wellington-like footwear?
Splendidly. His fall show was strong, cleverly incorporating small but evocative details from hunting and workwear into his sleek fashion universe.
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Elbow patches slipped down and slid forward, adding a graphic zing to mohair sweaters and loden bombers.
Barrett reprised the tabs found on the bottom of hunting trousers on gloves, and an array of pant silhouettes, most of them short and hovering above ankle boots, a key shoe this Milan season.
Backstage, Barrett name checked two dukes: the Duke of Devonshire and David Bowie’s Thin White Duke persona as metaphors for tradition and contemporary culture, respectively. “The old fusing with new,” he said, adding that he was also thinking of how young men might adapt items from their granddad’s wardrobe.
Barrett opened his show with a handsome double-breasted camel overcoat, which took on a different attitude when the model stuck his hands deep into the slanted pockets usually found on peacoats.
It was a similar story when he relocated the back pockets of jeans to the front, giving the denim pants a slouchy attitude with hands similarly stuffed.
Likewise, angular seams and zippered pockets gave a more urbane zing to trim tweed blousons and field jackets.
This collection looked great in Barrett’s borderline Brutalist, concrete headquarters, and should transition smoothly to the urban jungle.
Launch Gallery: Neil Barrett Men's Fall 2024
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