by Jeremy Danté

MILAN – neil barrett absolutely killed this season. the sleek lines, the almost chanel-esque jackets with the leather weaving, particular in look 14 & 35- outstanding! the use of leather, in what appeared as almost a tweed-like texture reminded is a genius idea. the choice to blend ideas from an iconic fashion house like chanel and then to turn the masculine edge up was well executed. while the inspiration for the collection is cited as california minimalism and the 1950’s, the referencing of the past was done in a way that was modern. i hated the grooming and the gel-matte type of style they did on the models, but i did admire the silhouettes that were chosen and this remained true to the barrett design name. i loved the horizontal stripes in the collection as well, the shorts- each look was complete, and each piece could easily be worn with pieces from your existing wardrobe, pieces from past collections by barrett or even other pieces in this collection.  i questioned some of the use of plaid, especially at the front end of the collection. but as the show progressed, the looks became much more refined, the vision much more clear and the show as a whole was well rounded. as a minimalist, i favored more of the subtle looks rather than the more bold pieces with excessive use of plaid, but understand that this was necessary in order to create a form of balance, and to avoid further boredom with yet another minimally design menswear collection. simplicity is key, but so is variation- this season neil barrett created a well versed balance of both. the power of this collection is seen in the jackets- that’s what sets it apart. while i did not favor the use of the hunter’s plaid, i did appreciate it’s simplicity in comparison to the other forms of brown and white. an outstanding showing for neil barrett, but im not sure that this will remain as powerful through to the end of the season, once all the other bigger labels show on the runway. that said, great effort. strong pieces, memorable details.

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