Style | Diary of a Somebody

Neil Barrett

The fashion designer counts down to the Milan menswear shows

Neil Barrett

January 10 2012
Neil Barrett

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I wake up to a crisp and bright winter’s day. By 8.30am I am ready to leave for the studio, but the first part of my morning routine consists of a cappuccino and brioche courtesy of one of my favourite bakeries, Pasticceria Cucchi.

It’s the first day back in the office after the well-deserved holiday and it’s straight into show preparation: casting models for the upcoming AW12 menswear show. D Men’s models are the first in – in my eyes, it’s one of the best agencies, as they have an amazing collection of boys including well-known faces George Barnett and Charlie France.

Finally at 11am 350 hanging garment bags arrive – the first pieces of the new menswear collection, representing five months of hard work. The atmosphere in the studio positively lifts, and by 12 noon word has spread through the whole office and everyone is trying things on. A slightly similar feeling to opening presents at Christmas!

The majority of the afternoon is then taken up with various castings and fittings, and before I know it, it’s lunchtime. No time to stop, so I’m eating/talking/working on the go.

I’m dressing Joseph Gordon-Levitt for an awards ceremony in LA this weekend, so when the clothes arrive at 4pm I have just enough time – a couple of minutes – to check that they are perfect before sending them on to LA.

As well as managing an endless cascade of models arriving and leaving throughout the afternoon, we still have to review the installation set for the show. So many options, and it’s hard to decide which is the best one. Then the huge industrial metal backdrop for the show arrives, and the new question on the agenda is, how to light to get the maximum effect we want.

After much discussion, another delivery arrives at 7pm; far more excitingly, it’s the first images of our new advertising campaign for spring/summer 2012. Our trademark ripped-and-reassembled photographs have been infused with an abstract striped theme, and the woman-on-woman version is incredible. I can’t help but realise that it’s only four and a half days until the show, and as always it’s so little time to do so much.

It’s 9.30pm. Where did the afternoon go? I’m absolutely starving, so I can only think of dinner at my local trattoria before home for a good night’s sleep.

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