Mark Weston and dunhill's bold new future
Where Dunhill was once about British gentlemanly style with a modern international flavour, a bold new energy has been brought to the 125-year-old brand by creative director Mark Weston.
Weston took the reins in 2017 and his first collection (Autumn-Winter 2018 — available in stores now) saw a bold recalibration of the storied brand’s DNA that resulted in a distinctly younger mood.
With his stamp firmly made, his latest Spring-Summer 2019 collection see more of a reference to the brand’s long history, but one that reflects the relaxed ease of today’s man. “I wanted to subvert the notion of classic menswear clothing codes in a subtle way,” explains Weston. “It’s part of a questioning of notions of taste and aspiration, particularly those related to certain ideas of British clothing cultures, where elegance, provocation and a certain degree of irreverence happen all at once.”
With pieces of SS19 in stores this month (and the full runway dropping in March), the collection centres itself on being fashionable yet functional and contemporary. And the idea that Weston perceived is executed perfectly by the mix of casual suits and casualwear in the collection.
One aspect that dunhill’s Spring-Summer 2019 was keen to focus on was the merging of different styles of British subcultures, combining different facets of clothing that are clearly inspired by deep-rooted subcultures such as ravers (using marbled prints and luxurious leathers) and Mods (via the generous use of elegant mohair), to create something out of the ordinary. Embracing precision and subversion, utility and elegance, Weston’s designs build on quintessential masculine codes, combining and contrasting them to find a more fluid exchange between classic formality and casual nonchalance.
With regards to the tailoring, the culture and generation-crossing collection sees both an undeniable nod to the large-volumed shapes and split hem trousers of eighties’ power dressing on one hand, and contemporary sportswear on the other. One of the key ways in which the collection plays around with proportion and silhouette is via the use of a hidden-button one-and-half-breasted construction of the suit jackets.
“For me, it’s about showing an easeful yet rigorous exploration of classic forms and proportions in the silhouette,” Weston explains. “I wanted to create a tension of contrasting fabrics and materials, where evening silks might appear like technical fabrics, and an idea of layering eras is brought to the point of today.”
For Weston and dunhill, that point of today is a weakening of the established notions of taste and aspiration. The Spring-Summer collection crosses subcultures, fabrics and generations to ensure that its future remains at the forefront of fashion and function.