Neil Barrett Shows Co-Ed In Milan
Neil Barrett has a long memory. After last winter’s collection exploring his seventies childhood, and the next his teen years, Barrett’s winter 2017 offering was full-on eighties, albeit with a modern twist. It was inspired, he said, by his early years at London’s Saint Martins – when Barrett was a Buffalo boy in the Nick and Barry Kamen mould, and when Neville Brody’s monochrome, colour-flashed graphics ruled. Barrett brought the magazine pages from that period to life, in dark silhouettes energised with flashes of cobalt, hazmat orange and zinging yellow, banded across bodies like editorials from The Face. But it was also relentlessly modern, exploring Barrett’s love and interest in hybrid garments and tailoring techniques. This time, the oversized shapes of the eighties were tempered with Barrett’s modernist sensibilities, and his love of an innovative textile – fluid viscose jersey gave slouchy jackets a new softness, while coasting and suiting were used to create different volumes and feels on the body. It was subtle – spec rally played out as it was in mostly black, white and grey, bar the emphatic statements of those coloured flashes, or of a drawing of Siouxsie Sioux’s face (Barrett obtained permission to rework her trademark archive imagery). Speaking of memories, don’t forget that Barrett mixed mens and womenswear in a collection shown ten years ago. He was ahead of the curve – it’s something everyone’s doing right now, so he decided to revive it and show a clutch of winter womenswear looks alongside his Buffalo boys. So there was something for everyone to love here, really.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans