Neil Barrett S/S 2019 Milan Fashion Week Men’s
Mood board: Barrett’s concentration on prototypical, masculine uniform is well documented – from his time at Prada in the late 1990s to the global influence of his namesake brand launched in 1999, he has spent years building on a lean, tailored silhouette with a city slick energy. Barrett’s man has an urban vitality. His is a recognisable look, faithful to the tradition of tailoring and the ubiquity of activewear details. S/S 2019 exudes a confidence that manifests in belted coats and sharp, narrow trousers.
Scene setting: The show was staged inside Barrett’s headquarters, the former power plant on Milan’s Via Ceresio. The space, which has provided the backdrop to the brand’s shows since last year, was transformed from a slick concrete stage to a deep, sun-baked hub. All was bright and glowing. The front was draped in warm yellow plastic sheets, while the floor became a reflective surface onto which red and yellow lights shone. Models entered from three doorways and crossed the floor in punchy, active clothes.
Best in show: How does modern machismo manifest in an age of gender plurality? Inspiration for the season came from flowers, which were festooned over coats, jackets and trousers. Floral patterns aren’t conventional in Barrett’s vocabulary. Here, he subverted them by applying them to macs and sweaters like military emblems or mashing graphic flowers with traditional Prince of Wales checks.
Photographic prints of anemones were blown up on t-shirts with dropped necks and fluid trenchcoats. The designer referenced uniforms of exploration too – deep-sea diving and sportswear engineered for extreme conditions were translated into short scuba bombers worn with matching shorts and a new scuba sock-boot sneaker.