Tag Archives: Neil Barrett

Mens Fall 2019

Coats. There is an abundance of fantastic Coats. I can say there is at least one from each collection listed below I would kill for – and in several case many more than just one. You see a fantastic coat is the best investment (if your climate requires) because often times you wear it more than any other piece in your wardrobe. Many times it will be the only part of an outfit the world will see – therefore making the importance of its statement (of lack therof) even more so. This abundance of fantastic coats is no doubt the result of the epic shift we have seen happen in the last 2 years in menswear where for the first time in the mainstream womenswear is influencing menswear. About time really as menswear has been assisting the ladies since the 1920’s! Up until recently, rock and roll was the only place a guy could find outrageous togs – but now there are velvet and sequins and lace and satin, glitter and glam and embroidery and beading, color and print and texture across the board. It’s a good time to be a guy.

Ami

I like this because I could see myself dressing like this as a man. The 3/4 narrow coats in plaid speak to my affinity for 1950’s era London Fog staples. The pants come both pegged or wide – depending on your mood.  The creeper toed shoes that harken back to and go well with the zoot suit-y wallet chain that I still like the look of despite its past as a played out trend from the 1990’s. All in all I like the exaggerated length when its long, and the exaggerated width when its slouchy and the overall feeling of comfort. These clothes look as comfortable as they look cool. How I aspire to be.

Junya Watanabe

I like these Frankenstein jackets, a lot. We’ve seen the leather sleeves thing before but I can’t recall seeing the same treatment among the tweeds and the bomber jacket. Such a simple idea yet it looks so clever. It’s practically punk in it’s DYI.

Neil Barrett

There is a definite Rock and Roll thing happening over at the house of B and you know I cannot resist any genuine respect for the culture of rockers. They were the first ones to legitimize outrageous dressing and freedom from gender barriers. These clothes are nothing new but they are nicely made and built to last. So if you are looking for a long term old school punk rock piece that you can live in then here’s your chance. That plaid coat with the leopard collar would be my personal choice!

Etro

Etro has always been a favorite because they have built a brand based on colorful patterns and diverse textures. They skillfully mix and play with pattern and texture in a way that is inspiring. Here they do it again – just as they always have. Some standouts are guess what … the Coats! There are some beauties here, my favorite being the blue butterfly on the fair fellow.  Where many houses are trying to apply this technique to keep up with the trends set by brands like Gucci and ACNE – Etro already masters it. It must be gratifying for them to see their aesthetic become all the rage so they can really shine.

Tom Ford

Ford delivers again in his promise to personally dress all the men of the world as suave motherfuckers. This is to say, in his own image. All the suits are tailored to perfection and come in luxurious fabrics from rich textured wools to eye catching shiny silks. Some beautifully considered leather jackets are added this season in classic black and white, I’m certain they are the finest leathers available. When I think of Tom Ford I think of dashing men checking their cuffs with a tug and giving a knowing wink.

Dolce and Gabbana

This collection felt very 1930’s which was a transitional time in mens fashion. The pants were loose yet tailored, the suits were getting flashy and there was a feeling of whimsy. This collection has charming touches of art deco in the velvet suit collars and polo sweaters (the game not the collar). Then there are the quintessential D&G hallmarks of brocade and glitter – there was so much sequins in this show it brought a tear to my eye.  I’m not sure how many men would wear a sequin coat (god bless them bc they should!) but I know a hell of a lot of women, myself included who would kill for these patterned sequin jackets and coats and sweaters… The costume element is strong – perhaps a bit too strong but there are always collectible and covetable pieces that can be found among the pomp and circumstance. (emerald green striped and sequin velvet smoking jacket? Yes please!) And as always the shoes and accessories are phenomenal!

Ann Demeulemeester

If the idea in fashion is to take a bit of whats trending and sprinkle it over your aesthetic in order to stay current is the key then Demeulemeester has got it all figured out. There has been a turn toward punk and grunge revival lately and obviously houses like Brunello Cucinelli or Armani aren’t going to even try to hop on that one, but if you are Demeulemeester and you already have a foot in that door then why not? This season they have moved seamlessly (sorry) from the previous seasons pirate/18th century poet to pirate/punk rocker. The button cuff pant is still here but feels less costume when paired with the high ankle boot and the draping shirts feel less dramatic with a long jacket. It all really works here.

Alexander McQueen

You can always count on McQueen to outshine all the others.  Here we see exquisitely tailored suits in bright flower prints and oversize plaids which are a standard for Burton. Among boxy cut leathers and painterly prints she sneaks in a few choice lace print patterns that seem to speak toward those lace curtains you’d find at your Mom’s house. The last few coats with the beaded wings are breathtakingly beautiful and the final chandelier jackets are art pieces. Standout McQueen – you simply cannot do any less.

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Mens Fall 2018

The collections that caught our eye this season were the usual suspects; a few beautifully cut suits, some exciting uses of color, some new silhouettes and lots of pattern (especially plaid). The theme running through all of these is style.

Canali

Impeccable. Timeless. Classic. The proportions are spot on, the cuts are flawless. Probably the closest you can get to Bespoke off the rack. These clothes would look amazing on any man.

Neil Barrett

When it comes to menswear my theory is that you have to walk a thin line. Clothing can look cheezy, silly, thrashy, goofy, etc if it’s not styled properly or if it’s not on the right man. Same as women’s, but lets face it women have a bit more leeway. Therefore for most men it’s best to stick to clean lines and shapes, good tailoring and leave the “personal expression” to the accessories. The hair, watch, shoes and so on. Neil Barrett has provided some perfect pieces here for just this man. Not terribly exciting, but solid – giving the man the chance to be the most exciting part of the outfit, without fussy distractions or trendy bullshit.

Daks

So in contrast to the last designer we have Daks. These are the clothes for the next guy, the one whose got a little twinkle in his eye, whose a little on the fringe, a bit of an artistic /creative type. He doesn’t mind the sideways looks and is confident enough in his personal style that he can mix plaid and mohair. Not for everyone, but thankfully we have a few of these clever fellows wandering about and if you’re lucky you might spot one in the wild like a colorful rare bird. The pants here are especially wonderful and come in a variety of cuts all beautifully crafted and fitted handsomely. The coats are also great – not too boxy not to narrow – accommodating and likely quite comfortable. Dandy.

Etro

Etro has always been one of my favorites because they are known for their use of color and they expertly mix textures and patterns. There is a youthful cheekynesss that is irresistible.

Paul Smith

Smith has always been the man to dress the quintessential quirky English fellow. That has not changed. His favorite is the classic suit; trim and tailored, wide leg or stovepipe he always runs the gamut. Here we get another vast offering of suits for the gents in his infamous broad color spectrum albeit here more subdued than usual. No complaints. A solid group with plenty to choose from. The streets of London will continue to vibrate with color and swing.

Ann Demeulemeester

In the Spring collection I thought there was a lean toward a swashbuckling pirate vibe and indeed it continues here in the fall. Demeulemeester always embodies the poetic soul and this collection adds in a bit of the rogue bandit as well. There is a feeling of romance in the styling here where the men always seem to be coming undone…Passon? Desire?  These are expressed quite beautifully and the clothes themselves are fitting costumes to wear in that state. And they are costumes but amongst them lurk wearable items – tanks, jackets, shirts…though I’d say most of the button cuffed pants are going to look a bit out-of-place in a world that doesn’t exist on the stage. Still ever lovely and inspiring.

Alexander McQueen

Mrs Sara Burton brings a fine mix of beauty and edge once again at McQueen. She has been an excellent designer for keeping with the McQueen aesthetic.

Haider Ackermann

The collection felt a bit different from the usual Ackermann sensibility, the clothes got a bit rumpled here at times looking a little messy. Ackermann usually does a slouchy shape that’s more deliberate, more controlled, here it gets a little bit away. Aside from those instances there are great looks and certainly great pieces where the cherry blossom items are my favorites. Ackermann often does asymmetric pattern placement like a painter and it’s lovely – it feels special. His eye for styling is key and it carries into his sense of proportion and overall design. There is always balance. He has yet to let me down.

Dries van Noten

You can always count on Van Noten to bring something unusual, creative and inspired to the runway. There is always a unique color scheme and clever mixing of patterns and textures. I love this about him. Here there are pieces that are 100% wearable and totally unique. What is especially nice about this for his customer is that every season he brings something new, a new favorite pair of pants or a new sweater, jacket, shoe. All totally aligned with his aesthetic, never straying from his point of view yet always realistic for the customer to incorporate into an existing wardrobe. This season he focused on abstract paint motifs as a base likely a point of departure for the color story which was blues, yellows and greens with ivory to bounce off of. It works in the collection despite the prints themselves being a bit garish. All in all the numerous offerings here are great. Fashion yet function.