has always been the most body-conscious of designers, and neoprene offers such a straightforward way for him to define the male form that taking scuba as the starting point for his Fall 2011 collection could almost seem too
easy. But the other half of Barrett's aesthetic is shaped by his family heritage, with a father and grandfather who were military tailors. You can see that background in his silhouettes, as precise as a uniform, as well as in his parkas and peacoats. Today he incorporated his two sides to produce a collection that was less single-minded than usual. At the outset, the scuba leggings underpinned sharply tailored upper halves to create the kind of active, urgent silhouette that Barrett loves. But how much more interesting things got when he pumped up the volume with baggy, cropped, cuffed pants paired with a more generously cut jacket. He claimed the trousers were inspired by sailor pants, but the result looked like the demob suits that his grandfather might have cut for soldiers leaving the military in the late forties. It was an attractive, masculine proportion, and it even took on a degree of elegance when Barrett banded it in different shades of gray. He extended the sailor theme into marine-striped knits collaged into sweaters and a long cardigan coat, which also offered a new volume for him. The handful of women's outfits Barrett showed had a leathered, feathered edge of hard glamour.