Fashion
  • Text Liam Hess
  • Photography Sara Cimino
  • 17th June 2018

Into the deep end

Fast approaching a decade since the launch of his namesake label, Neil Barrett’s designs are a go-to for men (and women) on the hunt for directional tailoring, so it was a cheering surprise to see him enter a new realm of colour and whimsy. Punchy primary colours cut through the usual monochrome, and instead of the graphic shapes we’re used to seeing stamped on t-shirts and bombers, he embraced flamboyant all-over print. Barrett explained backstage that his newfound love of florals was a deliberate act of stepping outside of his comfort zone, admitting that before this collection, he’s never worn them in his life.

Where last season he explored uniforms in a more conventional sense, here he used technical cottons and industrial rubber to develop the uniform of 21st-century masculinity: sportswear. His primary reference was deep sea diving, and it feels appropriate for this exploratory collection from Barrett, with the strong possibility of introducing him to an entirely new customer. For a designer entering uncharted waters, it was a resounding success.