style-blogs-the-gq-eye-Neil-Barrett_portrait_official_2014
Neil Barrett (source: GQ)

April 12 is Neil Barrett’s birthday.

I’m very familiar with Neil Barrett’s designs because they are quite accessible to me. I live in a city where we don’t always see our stores stocked with the widest selection of menswear brands, but Neil Barrett’s collection is a regular feature at Simons: Canada’s version of Barney’s New York. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago I posted a hilarious photo of a Neil Barrett Speedo-type swimsuit on my Instagram page.

I guess it’s no surprise that someone whose signature is a lightning bolt was born with the sun, Mercury and Venus in Aries. Barrett also has his natal moon, Mars, Uranus and Pluto in Virgo, which also doesn’t come as a surprise to me. These are the two zodiac signs that I equate with minimalism in fashion. Barrett is a sleek, minimal designer whose focus on streetwear for the past two decades has got us to where we are in fashion today. His association with Prada when Prada was an emerging brand is still evident today in the brand’s sportier offerings.

The man’s aesthetic has barely wavered in twenty years, which makes him the sort of designer that I like. With all those Aries planets, a tendency to force trends could be a problem. However, those four planets in Virgo (along with Jupiter in Taurus) have grounded Neil Barrett. Unlike Prada’s more-esoteric offerings, form is never elevated over function. If nothing else, his clothes are wearable.

But they are much more than that. They’re fun and seriously well-made. Every time Simons has a sale, I’m tempted to buy his clothes. I’m a sucker for fine craftsmanship and a good deal, so I have to be careful when I’m in the presence of Neil Barrett’s signature line. I guess I’m lucky that the store only gets a small selection of the brand because my closet is already full. Still, I can’t stop thinking about that Speedo with the lightning bolts adorning the crotch. Hmm . . .

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