pfw: neil barrett spring/summer 15
Barrett's fan girls aren't interested in looking girly, but the designer adds a touch of feminine beauty to his masculine collections.
"Classicism and classics," Neil Barrett concluded at his presentation in Paris on Saturday afternoon. It was the concept behind his men's collection in June, and the themes he'd worked on while transitioning it to womenswear. "We've added in Aphrodite," he said, referring to the Roman statue head prints that appeared in both collections, but had been received the goddess treatment in the women's version. For the classics, Barrett tackled the tuxedo, the bomber, the biker, and the shirt. "All from the men's wardrobe," he said, "but with added details in fits or lengths, which make it feminine."
Barrett's fan girls aren't really interested in looking girly, which is why they like the designers stuff in the first place. (Lily McMenamy's campaign shots on the wall illustrated this to perfection.) Instead, Barrett simply reworks his modernist men's garments and makes them more feminine before adding even more men's garments to the collection, effectively creating a men's wardrobe for women.
"I basically take my girl friend and walk through the whole collection of men's," Neil explained. "We try everything on to see what we most desire to see on her, and then develop around that and work out how we'd wear it."
It's a strategy that makes for pure covetability, which is even more obvious at Barrett's women's presentations in Paris - where clothes are simply layed out beautifully on a set of rails - than at his men's shows in Milan, not that we'd be without them. "I would never do a women's show in Paris, for sure, but maybe one day in London. But if I ever did a show in London, I would still come back to Paris and set this up, just as we do now, so everyone can understand it in a very focused and precise way," Neil said.
Text Anders Christian Madsen