Minimalist sportswear inspired by Roman classicism – striking the perfect balance between new and old
A pillar of clean, minimalist strength. Boys filed out into the column-filled Palazzo del Senato in clothes that seemed like a tribute to the space – a long-time venue for Barrett – as the designer looked to the faultless lines of Roman classicism for SS15. “Roman classicism is one of the perfect ideals of male beauty and masculinity that’s admired by everyone. It’s just not so obvious how to apply that to a fashion collection without it seeming like a pastiche – you know, I'm doing a tribute to Italy or that type of thing. It’s just trying to apply fabrications to make the visual more desirable, more modern, taking out specific methods and applying them to the actual subject. I just wanted to have a balance of new and old that seemed very current, very right,” Barrett said after the show, which was styled by Dazed fashion director Robbie Spencer.
Barrett works in a very accurate, meticulous universe but his high-end take on sportswear silhouettes (like his signature sweatshirts and bombers) always makes his pieces feel very unforced, and this collection was an exercise in the balance between those two forces. While everything was structured and precise, the silhouettes felt light and graceful – not unlike the Roman classicism that had set off the collection.
How they wore it:
So fresh and so clean, in light marble-like hues with airy volume and with chunky trainers. Flashes of silver courtesy of streamlined zips popped up on knitwear side slits and around crew necklines, almost like pared-down jewellery. A leitmotif was antique statue prints that were pulled and warped to form new lines and morph into camouflage. “I wanted a visual that could move my cuts that I’ve been doing over the last few years in a different direction. Something new and different to what people expect of me while keeping the garments very, very linear, minimal, perfect, simple and wearable,” Barrett explained.
The soundtrack to Neil Barrett SS15:
Last season was something of a modernist ode to the sweatshirt. See it below: