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Sharing, as they say, is caring, and while it isn’t necessarily painless to go halves with the opposite sex on one of the most magnificent menswear collections of autumn/winter 13, it’s the gentlemanly thing to do. Saturday afternoon in Paris, Neil Barrett presented the women’s version of his slickly modernist, Bauhaus-inspired, 90s dream of a men’s collection, which showed in Milan in January. “I think it was kind of a natural process of going through everything I had, and trying it on my muse to see what she looked like, and figuring out how to change some of the volumes to go with it,” Neil told i-D after the intimate presentation. “So many things felt like they could fall out of the guy’s wardrobe and into the girl’s,” he said, referring to the men’s collection’s graphic sweatshirts and textured jackets and coats (in the likes of satin, pony skin and pressed astrakhan), which had now been proportioned to fit a female wearer, but still remained elegantly masculine. “That’s why I added in the guys,” Neil said, talking about his presentation, which was split up in a number of segments, each featuring three girls and one male model. “By putting one guy into each group, hopefully I made it more clear that that’s what I’m about. I’m already taking the fabrications from the women’s and bringing it into the men’s to make it more luxury and more textured, so it would be natural to give it back to them.” It was as close to a ‘his and hers’ collection as high fashion could ever get, but it wasn’t a label that frightened Barrett. “Not at all! It’s a bit kitsch, but it’s a reality,” he said. “The words are kitsch, but I don’t think the collection is.” That’s because it was more like superb.
Text: Anders Christian Madsen
Photography: Courtesy of Neil Barrett