The innate body consciousness of skiwear makes it a natural fit for Neil Barrett, who opened his latest collection with a skier's salopette paired with a tux shirt (bow tie, natch), topped with one of his signature parkas. Thus were the elements that have defined Barrett's distinctive perspective drawn into one strand. Think of it as formal actionwear for the urban warrior. "Tuxedo ski," he called it this time around, but the notion could apply equally to the Visconti Punk collection the designer showed last season. Backstage, the blissfully attached Barrett insisted, "I still want to pull" (as in, "drag a willing victim into my sexual orbit"). So he, as usual, shrank his leathers, cut and trimmed his proportions, and pared away the superfluity, leaving a sexy sleekness.

But the designer is selling himself short, because there is more to Barrett than "pulling." The ingenuity with which he layers outerwear, for instance: a quilted jacket over a cloth coat, a shearling over a suit jacket, a faux waistcoat attached to a parka (that piece has become something of a signature look). His affection for the style tribes of his native England also threads through his career. This season, the salopette offered him an unexpected variant on the suspenders favored by skinheads, to be worn over the shoulder, or dangling groundward. The effect was studiedly casual, but all the more edgy for it, and it reached critical mass when Barrett marched his models down the catwalk like his very own tribe. The day before his show, he announced a Japanese deal to encourage expansion in the East. There may be no revolution in his aesthetic, but there is an unstoppably steady evolution.