Lightning struck again this menswear season as Milan’s king of modernism showed a darkly autumnal collection of all the things he does best.
i-D caught up with Devon’s daring darling, Neil Barrett, after the show.
How did you go about this collection?
It’s almost like sartorial tailoring mixed with a little bit of street. We wanted to do fur, and men in fur... I love the idea, but in reality it can be a little bit exaggerated rapper. Or gay. So instead we photographed it and used a fur print on a new fabrication, which you can make into anything you want.
Was there a dark mood to it?
We tried to keep the collection very dark, but at the same time keeping that graphicism with the punches of white. It’s a little bit dark, it’s a little bit sinister, but at the same time it’s recognisable. Any guy, any girl can wear it. And at the end its simpler. It’s very minimal. Anything you can pull back and draw back…
Where did the motif come from?
I was trying to find a new graphic so I took the lightning bulb, which is something I’ve been storing in my mind for a while. Ever since I saw the Ziggy Stardust poster at the V&A exhibition, it’s been in the back of my brain, like, “One day I’m gonna pull that out.” I have so much stuff in my brain. It’s just a question of filtering it and editing it.
How has your enormous success over the past two seasons affected you?
I find it really inspirational seeing people wearing my clothes and how they wore last winter’s modernist collection. I’ve really been taking that as a starting point for how to continue the collection.
What has it felt like?
Kind of crazy, especially when I’ve never seen so many rip-offs of my sweatshirts come in on models for castings. We really have influenced a whole situation here, and a lot of people are making a lot of money out of me.
Why do you think people loved those collections so much?
They were right and they were masculine and they were cool? We hit the right point, found our DNA and it makes sense what we’re doing. I’m having a great time developing it and as long as people are gonna wear it, I’m gonna happily design it.