Showing on an outside runway, at the grand Palazzo del Senato, was a bold move, but the Milanese rain held off and Neil Barrett magically balanced couture inspired silhouettes, casual luxe, masculine tailoring and fluidity. Put this all together in hands as capable as Barrett’s and what you get is a bold yet relaxed collection that epitomises effortless luxe.
As shown previously in his Fall 2012 collection, Barrett’s greatest skill lies in the attention he pays to the fabric and cut. With this collection Barrett has played with form and silhouette, creating cocoon shapes and oversized couture volumes, deconstructing recognisable elements such as denim jackets and baseball shirts. These were contrasted with skinnier and more fluid versions of the garments. This juxtoposition of shape and fabric resulted in a collection balancing a smart meets relaxed finesse.
A strand of sportiness shows up strong with padded varsity jackets, neoprene sweatshirts and long basketball shorts. For the less sporty, the inclusion of pyjama-esque regatta print on rayon shorts and baseball shirts and sophisticated paint splatter stripes on sexy silk suits add some sleek sophistication.
Clean cuts in traditional hues – predominantly blue, brown, white and red – are complimented by more dramatic and spontaneous metallics, accessorised with rucksacks and baseball caps, whilst elongated lapels on tuxedo jackets add a spot of evening drama. The overall style is consistently elegant, but with modern touches, ensuring that this collection has something for every man; smart or casual, young or old, sporty or leisurely, youthfully mature or young dandy.
Words by Kerry Flint