Jamaican designer Zam Barrett presented his F/W 2013 Collection, “The Vicissitudes of Being” in Brooklyn, shortly after returning from showing at Paris Fashion Week. In a time of flash-fashion and everything instant and digital, Barrett offers a refreshingly level-headed take on modern design. The designer focuses heavily on form and function, ensuring each of his pieces is not only visually appealing but realistic and durable. I spoke with the designer on his creative aesthetic, and he emphasized the importance in creating clothing that was truly wearable. He picked up a black leather handbag and explained how it, along with the rest of his designs, was created with a certain timelessness in mind - it is intended to be equally as appealing in ten years as it is now. Barrett went on to explain how he and his team will even wear his designs on month-long “test runs” to make sure each piece is made to be as effective as possible.
Throughout the collection, denim, leather, and cotton are heavily treated and processed to create unique fabrics and textures. Strong structures and streamlined shapes balance out the heavy processing. Barrett’s designs offer classic silhouettes and once natural fabrics in unexpected ways - textured leather jackets, treated denim, and tops with unique stitching details. Traditional shapes such as suit jackets and jeans get subtle but effective updates, creating looks that are equally as innovative as they are practical. Pieces primarily appeared in black, keeping in line with the emphasis on accessibility.
The presentation was displayed in a Brooklyn studio, above the factory where Barrett’s pieces are created. After frustrating experiences with outside factories, Barrett decided to take control of production himself. By having his own factory and employing his own team to bring his designs to life, Barrett not only has a truly personal control over every step but also removes his company from many of the heavily industrialized and commercialized aspects so common in modern design. Being made locally and ethically brings a pleasingly human element to a rich collection in an over-saturated market.
Nu-Mode´ Coverage Alexandra Stevens
Images Courtesy Of Zam Barrett