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Neil Barrett is Blurring the Borders

As the Milan-based designer launches his new web store, Dazed Digital celebrates with an exclusive fashion film

To celebrate the launch of his new web store, Brit designer Neil Barrett and Dazed Digital has joined forces to exclusively unveil a new film featuring model Andrej Pejic, music by Jamie XX, and styling by Dazed's very own Katie Shillingford. Barrett, who shows his uniform and often monochrome collections in Milan, is launching the web platform just in time to show case his current A/W11 season - seen here on Dazed Digital. The theme for his image, advertising and this film, as the name indicates, is the grey sartorial area where the two genders meet, and it's the mixture of shapes, cuts and fabrics that have made the former Gucci and Prada designer a name to be reckoned with.

Dazed Digital: What was the main inspiration behind the A/W11 collection?
Neil Barrett: The inspiration came from growing up by the sea, scuba gear, thick Guernsey and Arran Sweaters, Peacoats, and Breton stripes. All the themes appear between these Collections. The blurring of influences and inspiration.

DD: What piece and why, do yo uthink sums up this season?
Neil Barrett: The scuba inspired pieces; they are graphic linear and great for styling.

DD: Why do you show in Milan and not London or Paris?
Neil Barrett: First of all because I can describe myself as a Brit in Milan and my headquarters are based there. This is the most relevant city for menswear, as Paris is for women; it seems logical to show there. London is where my heart is, the inspiration and where I spend my free time.

DD: How would you define the Neil Barrett look?
Neil Barrett: Very much NO LOGO; the wearer wears the clothes and not a brand overshadowing the wearer. Apparently simple from far but with great attention to detail and finish. It's all about the wearer feeling good.

DD: Tell us about the film, how did it come together?
Neil Barrett:The film visualizes how the men and women garments are intertwined; one influenced or derived from the other, and vice-versa. A cross-reference of colour and textures and forms. From woman to man and back. The hybrid has always been the most influential concept in my designs.

DD: It's quite the team; styling, music, models etc. What attracted you to these specific people?
Neil Barrett:Once again, the concept of 'hybrid' guided me. Speaking about the models Andrej Pejic was an obvious choice. He was also in our January menswear collection show alongside Thomas Penfound and Nastia the female model. She was a perfect match to this aesthetic. The track 'Far Nearer' by Jamie XX just fitted perfectly.

DD: What do you mean by 'Blurring the Borders'?
Neil Barrett: Blurring the lines between menswear and womenswear. It's not simply 'unisex' but blurring the lines between two garments, two raw materials, two elements as well as the obvious two genders.

DD: What's next for you?
Neil Barrett: At the moment we are focused on the launch of our online store and restyled corporate website, which will communicate our brand identity and philosophy to a world audience. We are also opening as we speak more stores in Seoul. Three have opened and one is early December.

Womenswear styling Katie Shillingford
Menswear styling Neil Barrett
Models Nastia @ Elite, Thomas penfound @ D1, Andreij @ 1 Love
Music Jamie XX
Song Far Nearer