Dunhill Spring 2014

by Alex R. Travers

DUNHILL_SS14“Man on the move,” the stated inspiration for Dunhill’s presentation today, embraced a range of possibilities, from functionality to effortless style ready to go at a moment’s notice. The collection had a subtle edge, one grounded in timeless British classics with a few relaxed, sporty pieces sprinkled in. Take, for example, that buttery-soft calfskin suede bomber or those silky knitted polos in pallid tones. Then there was the reversible Harrington and a few silk scarves, updates of what automotive racers once wore to keep debris from flying into their faces. After all, Dunhill is still rather in touch with its motoring background, once claiming they sold “everything for the car but the motor.”

But for less grit and more Brit, there was a wool and silk pied-de-poule three-piece suit—this time with the well-known duotone pattern so small it got the nickname “puppytooth.” That stunner was made at the Savile Clifford Mill in Huddersfield, England, a place most of the fashion houses know quite intimately. In fact, Dunhill has continually capitalized on the demand for traditional English and Italian cuts, especially in the Far East where they have a reputable market share in men’s luxury goods. Perhaps that set the tone for the latest Mayfair cut, the brand’s now trimmest tailoring as opposed to their boxier St. (pronounced “sin,” of course) James fit.

Dunhill has also excelled at paying meticulous attention to detail. For instance, the knife pleats on a linen and wool herringbone jacket were expertly executed, the result resembling Lucio Fontana–like slits on the breast and hip pockets. New this season was a navy silk dinner jacket with shawl lapel manufactured with high-twist yarn, a trick that can help spring a garment back to life after some wear and tear. This jacket would certainly turn heads at a black-tie event, or it could work well with casual trousers for a more dressed-down look. Nevertheless, that was some piece—one worthy of Eva Green’s line in the James Bond film Casino Royale: “There are dinner jackets, and then there are dinner jackets. This the latter.”