Neil Barrett Spring/Summer 2017 Milan

By Miles Socha

Never one to hem and haw in fashion, Neil Barrett went whole hog for Seventies Americana, as if seen from the windows of a Winnebago in Yosemite National Park.

This was a repetitive show. Gosh knows how many leather blousons passed by, most of them in sickly thrift-shop browns with contrasting strips inserted in chevron formation around the ribcage and fanning out over the sleeves. Ditto for the tapered double-knit pants ending in low-cut leather sneakers.

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But after a few dozen of those looks passed by in the blinding show space, something funny happened: Barrett won you over with his insistence, and the sly ways he tickles your nostalgia bone.

The button-up short sleeves on camp shirts and T-shirts brought to mind park wardens; Leisure suits in sky-blue denim evoked camera-toting dads at Grand Canyon. He gave everything a boyish charm and a modernist gloss, enhanced by the crisp fabrics and a consistent silhouette. Most exits were voluminous on top and tapering to the bottom, as tempting as a cone of soft serve.

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