My Voice: Fall 2020 Menswear: Neil Barrett

A look at several of the different outfits on display. (YouTube/FF Channel)

Neil Barrett’s “Untitled” collection stopped me in my scrolling tracks as I perused through the new showcase runways on Vogue. It’s a timeless collection, full of updated yet familiar looks that people of all ages could wear. Since most of us poor college kids, including myself, don’t have the coin to spend on designer fashion, the looks are still simple enough to pull inspiration from. 

Barrett’s inspiration for the collection came from the life he’s had as an artist as well as designer. The vintage wool coats showcased were a revisited piece from an early collection of his, having Vogue author, Luke Leitch, write about Barrett, saying he’s “an artist who is reunited with his work.” Barrett saw the life stages of an artist as a concept and was able to execute said concept into pieces that could absolutely be found on artists today, along with the everyday person, making the collection extremely versatile.

When I think of younger men’s styles today my mind goes into two directions. One is a more minimal athleisure streetwear with neutral shades, and the other being a little thrifty and artistic with oversized items and earth tones.

This collection feeds to both sides sticking to a neutral and earth-toned palette while adding modern interest by using materials like denim, wool, and leather. It’s not too avant-garde for the ordinary person, which is why I think these materials could become even more popular in everyday men’s clothing. Not to mention, it would just make men’s clothing look more interesting than the simple t-shirt and sweatpants look.

The lack of creativity in men’s fashion stretches as far as the red carpet, where men are most likely to be wearing a simple black suit and tie. They look exactly the same every awards season, clean and simple and boring.

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A video looking at the full Neil Barrett show. (YouTube/FF Channel)

Women’s fashion on the other hand constantly changes in every variation one can think of. Something as simple as the embroidery can change menswear to look more modern and interesting, like Barrett showcases. More ways Barrett changed a simple suit and tie was by adding layers to over shirts and making an in-between garment satin for a different look. 

My favorite overall look that was put together was a simple but effective black graphic tee and pant with a nordic-like printed brown boot, accompanied by this long wool or sherpa material coat that had small patches of leather.

To me, everything looks cohesive and up-to-date. The cuffed pant, chunky boot, and painted on tee remind me of every quirky art kid that I know. Having that style showcased like this in high-fashion just means we will continue to see this type of look in our culture.

Hopefully, Barrett’s lessons on materials and overcoats will evolve the current art-quirk look to be more fashion-forward and take interesting yet subtle turns to future fashion.

Jaclyn Herd

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