Neil Barrett: Womenswear Pre-Fall 2017

Ooft, love a man in uniform. Or, in this case, a woman. We’re not, as you might have gathered, fussy. Not that this is a uniform, per se, but Neil Barrett’s Pre-Fall 2017 womenswear collection. Because Mr Barrett comes from four generations of military outfitters – his father, grandfather and great grandfather before provided clothes for the Army, Navy and the RAF. It’s always something that’s seeped into his collections, mostly through that strict precision that defines his work, which is not to say he’s in any way stiff (we’ve seen those videos of him in Mykonos with the DSquared2 boys) but that his work is defined by a kind of clean, utilitarian spirit, often combined with the ease of sportswear. Which makes for clothing that women, or men for that matter, actually want to wear. Here, there’s a focus on tailoring in military-hued navy and green, the double-breasted blazer updated with a cropped, boxy shape and the splits on the arms, revealing looser shirting beneath and sitting almost cape-like. Apparently, Mr Barrett called this the “double exit” approach – one should always, he says, have two ways out. Presumably in both life and clothing. The trousers beneath are either long and wide or lean, cropped and split at the hemline. And it doesn’t need reiterating that we very much enjoy a powerful-woman-in-tailoring moment. But this is only an amuse bouche for January. That’s when Neil Barrett will show his womenswear collection alongside his menswear for the very first time. Much excitement.

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