By Miles Socha
Shearling car coats usually register as gentlemanly, or retro. Thanks to a trim shape, the clipped fur sometimes dyed gleaming white, Neil Barrett occasionally telegraphed a youthful, graphic verve.
Yet the abundance of shearling on the designer’s fall runway seemed to signal a maturing talent, who this season also embraced Prince of Wales checks carved into trim coats and pea jackets, some inset with panels of solid fabric and tapered trousers.
The thrift-shop palette – mustard yellow, ketchup red and chocolate brown – plus the abundance of sweater vests and warm-up jackets heightened a Seventies mood that hewed closely to the Prada school of retro-tinged geek chic, Prada being where Barrett cut his teeth more than 15 years ago.
While there were graphic bands inserted in some sweaters, leather blousons and jersey tracksuit jackets, Barrett eased up on the athletic and streetwear touches – save for the bald eagle motifs splayed on a black sweatshirt and parka for the finale. These exuded that familiar Barrett cool.