Neil Barrett’s tailoring skills came to the fore in this stellar show hooked on his own look from his student days at London’s Central Saint Martins in the mid-Eighties: “A drop-shoulder oversize jacket, a kilt with leggings and big bovver boots.”
In the layered silhouettes the designer tacked removable skirt panels to the backs of bikers, tailored jackets, and aged jean jackets to create extended coats.
He flexed his cutting skills through an array of proportions and silhouettes, from said drop-shoulder-and-oversize to super skinny, experimenting with different shapes on trousers, veering from drainpipe to knit joggers to wide cropped styles.
The spectrum of black, gray and white was broken by pops of primaries like bright yellow and pillar-box red sweaters in deconstructed cable knits that were worked into the equation. Athletic stripes and metal poppers running down the sides of tailored pants jolted the storyline into the now.
Barrett said the line’s austere edge nodded to the spirit of the era’s Buffalo collective, as did the show’s casting. “I wanted it to look like this very eclectic group of characters that were very distinctive and individual,” Barrett said. “It’s an odd bunch, but they’re really cool.” Eighties subculture heroes were also referenced, with ghostly white transfers conjuring Siouxsie Sioux used on outerwear. The show also marked the first time Barrett has shown women’s wear on the Milan runway, which also got the tailoring treatment. “Taking men’s clothes and adding femininity,” he said of the line, which featured a men’s blazer morphed into a dress, split open at the sleeves and skirt. “I feel like it’s the right moment to show it, I’m confident in my constructions. It’s the kilt edge, but for the girls,” added the designer, who plans to continue presenting co-ed shows.