Milan is full of garish and colourful collections where more, not less, is more. The antidote to that extravagant formula is called Neil Barrett whose SS ’11 collection kept his normal monochrome palette, but added the theme of ‘Graphic Crease’. Barrett took his creased approach to the edge but successfully managed to make it look distinguished, rather than slouchy.
The main theme was the stripy blocks that had been inserted or attached on to jeans and tops. Many trousers and jackets also had leather patches to complete the look. The military influences were obvious when we saw both jackets and T-shirts with epaulettes. Many tops – some of them in mesh - came extra long in the body. Barrett, who also showed a handful of female models who continued the black graphic approach, managed to break Milan’s general theme of flamboyant eveningwear, and for that we are grateful.
Dazed Digital: What was the red thread running through the collection?
Neil Barrett: The idea was a graphic creasing, and I added bold strips into the clothing that were either inserted, applied or printed onto the garments.
DD: Where did the creasing idea come from?
Neil Barrett: I started it last season and since then my wardrobe has been full of it, so I must have done something right, I thought. So I took it and applied the creasing to everything, daytime as well as eveningwear.
DD: What about the tailored jackets that apperad to be tucked into the trousers…
Neil Barrett: I tried to do that the first time around when I was at Prada ten years ago, then I gave it a ago maybe six years ago, but it always looked too uptight and not real. But by doing it with the creased pieces it made sense and didn’t look uptight at all!
DD: Favourite piece in the collection?
Neil Barrett: I absolutely love the inserted strip leather jeans… Either that or twenty, thirty other pieces that I might be taking home with me!