Neil Barrett's spring/summer collection was a match made in heaven between Modernism, Minimalism and Greco-Roman classicism.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and for Neil Barrett who’s still just begun to explore the Modernist quest he launched three seasons ago, his construction work is going from strength to strength. “It was a Greco-Roman type of situation,” the Devonian expat told i-D after the show, which magnificently merged Barrett’s clean-freak minimalism with chalky white Roman classicism. It was a match made in heaven – or possibly atop Mount Olympus – simply for the fact that both genres of art are as timeless as the aesthetic Barrett is building.
“I so enjoy the Modernism situation I’m working through, and I always try to take minimalism to another level and keep it as essential as possible. I want to create garments that you just keep going back to all the time,” he said, echoing the longevity of his inspirations. The influence was evident in every single garment of the collection, but most literally interpreted in jackets and jumpers featuring Roman statue head motifs that had been pulled like when you stretch part of an image in Photoshop, making for a kind of abstract idea. “I was influenced by the museum in Delos and museums in Rome, and the images of those statues were so masculine and beautiful that it was just about working out a way of applying it to something that was actually modern, and not taking a statue and taking a photograph of it; to rework them and make them more interesting and make them more actual,” Neil noted.
But while a great print merely requires a good eye, the talent Barrett has for cutting a jacket and a jumper – and developing the fabrications they’re made of – is a gift possessed by few. If we can just talk about the foamy white biker jacket in exit three or the clinical, stiff off-white parka in exit six that swayed as the model walked…? These were pieces you instantly wanted, underlining the rare, rare talent for creating immediate desirability that Barrett masters so effortlessly. You can file it all under ‘WANT’. Hail, Caesar.