MILAN, Italy — “It’s me growing up,” was Neil Barrett’s succinct comment on his new collection. Just like his collection for Autumn/Winter, in other words. There was more of the same 1970s/’1980s mood, the same palette of browns, the same “period” detailing (lean, high-waisted pants, chambray shirts). Barrett’s affection for precise lines was obvious in the angles, diagonals and parquet-like chevrons intarsia-ed into everything. They gave a graphic urgency to the collection. That was smart, because the colour palette was soothing to a fault.
Past master of edgy urban monochrome, Barrett here explored every shade of brown. It’s a nostalgic, comfortable hue, loaning itself well to the softness of suede, meaning a jacket in rust suede was one of the stars of the presentation. Barrett claimed influence from the cop shows of his youth — particularly The Professionals and Starsky and Hutch — and the brown leather bombers he offered took us right back there. So did the model casting for the show. The guys on the catwalk might have been boys to the men in those old television programmes, but someone had done a remarkable job of choosing mini-Doyles, mini-Brodies and mini-Hutches to make Barrett’s trip down memory lane come alive.