“I really wanted to explore a sense of tailoring, sophistication and rigour once more,” says Mark Weston, Creative Director of dunhill. “That idea of a masculine uniform, its world of functionality as well as military ceremony, the roots of our British tailoring traditions are so much part of these very things. I also wanted to look at how subversive and rebellious it actually feels for a younger man to embrace a strict suit as well as a shirt and tie now, to adopt an almost conventional uniform and make it so unconventional. It’s the power and rigour of clothing that makes you feel something and behave in a certain way. This collection is a return to a certain discipline and tradition, yet there is always a simultaneous sense of British subversion within what we do and in the person who might wear it.”
From City Boy to Soldier, the utilitarian rigour, extravagance and power of a finely tailored uniform is fully embraced by dunhill this season. At the same time, there is a gentle subversion of such stereotypes, with the codes and specificities of such masculine dressing transposed and transformed to take on other meanings in this season’s silhouettes.
A summation of new era dunhill signature styles and materials occurs in the collection, often applied to a new kind of conservatism with a hint of subversion. Amongst them, the Wrapped Jacket and Split Hem Trousers take on a more formal, rigorous tone in complete suiting looks with high breaks and strong shoulders. Moire appears once more, this time as a nylon technical fabric in the green Compendium Coat, its multi-functional elegance becoming a counter-point over strict tailoring. Traditional camel in wool cashmere is bonded with neoprene to create a Cocoon architecture for a not so conventional overcoat. Coated paper cotton is utilised for an oversized raincoat to be layered over a leather suit jacket. These established styles are joined by different codes more military in origin, such as livery buttons and regimental ties, a light tailoring mohair spin on a military uniform shirt and a palette of armed forces colours. A certain austerity and layered severity is embraced by all.
Ideas of tradition, rigour and continuity run throughout the collection, together with a certain iconoclasm; the disruption is in the person wearing the clothing, rather than the other way around. Here severity becomes subversion, a very British dichotomy where symbols of class and creativity are brought to clash with a sense of reality.