Neil Barrett presented Spring Summer 2019 collection, on Saturday 16th June, during the recently finished Milan Fashion Week. Being obsessed with the universe of male uniforms, for his latest collection the designer examines sportswear – the uniform of twenty-first century masculinity.
The notion of examining contemporary masculinity – of exploring uniforms, but also challenging them – anchors the collection. Flowers become masculine, with patterns and graphic treatments devised from photographic prints of anemones. Likewise, the convention of a ‘floral print’ is challenged, their form is applied in unexpected manners – like medals or military emblems to rain macs, sweaters and t-shirts; as an application to a masculine prince-of-wales check; or sliced apart and displaced to interrupt the pattern. The rules of florals are broken in this new exploration. Uniforms of exploration. An idea that lead to the only uncharted territory left on earth: the deep sea, 95 per cent of which remains unexplored. Drawing inspiration from the high-performance, hyper-technical ‘dry suits’ worn by deep sea divers – sportswear specifically engineered to the demands of extreme conditions – this collection voyages boldly between the land and the oceans. Silhouettes and details are drawn from both of these terrains, simultaneously, to create new hybrids. Constants are streamlined shapes and fastening systems, an ease of sportswear, and innovation in fabric technology. Industrial and military-inspired trousers are given the ease of track pants, alongside emphatically cropped shorts. T-shirt necks are pulled out, relaxed, to reveal skin. Trench-coats and overcoats are generously cut to emphasise dynamic movement, and dropped shoulders and rounded shapes draw on wetsuit lines, emphasised by substantial zips that function and decorate. In a similar vein, fine nylons and lightweight techno-cottons, juxtaposed with industrial rubber, become part of a new breed of luxury. – from Neil Barrett
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