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Abstract Eccentric

Milan…Neil Barrett

Neil Barrett is fast becoming a personal favorite of the Fashion Office and we were pleasantly surprised to see that this talented designer did not cave in to the pressures of playing it safe because of the economy. Instead, he approached the season by exploring all things hybrid, and the notion of reconstruction. His “abstract eccentric” man of fall showcased dissections of an English gentleman’s wardrobe, remixed with trompe l’oeil collages and patchwork effects. And wouldn’t it be typical of the stylish Englishman in trying times to appear frugal and yet creative by mixing seemingly unrelated materials and concepts? The lapels of one coat became a kind of muffler over another. The leggings that peeped out from under cropped pants were actually knit anklets. Cable textures were embossed on a leather sweatshirt and sweater, while actual cable knits in different textures and colors were seamed together to create a hybrid sweater. Finally, a polo shirt was stitched inside another jacket to create a two-for-one effect, and tailored blazers got the patched treatment of various wools.  Nothing was quite what it seemed, and the skewed proportions resulted in what will surely be perceived as added value.

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