“This collection is not simply about deconstruction, but construction. It’s about the joy of making clothes and the emotional investment in them. These things felt particularly resonant of this time,” says Mark Weston, Creative Director of dunhill, about the brand’s Spring 2021 Menswear collection.
He continues: “Fundamentally, there is a notion of utility and elegance — it’s almost a new view of ‘workwear’. There’s an evolution of ‘high Eighties’ style in the collection, culminating at today. There is a fusing of ‘New Romanticism’ with relaxed Japanese and Italian tailoring, together with our long-held and timeless traditions of British failoring. There is an overall sense of culmination; a reflection of the many things we have invested in the collections at dunhill — of dunhill past, present and future.”
The joy of work, together with the beauty of its utility and refinement, is at the heart of the latest dunhill collection. And once again, Weston’s most beloved era makes its presence felt. New Romanticism, beginning in the late 1970s and hitting its prime years in the 1980s, gave us such stalwarts of British pop-culture as Culture Club, David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Roxy Music and many more. These musicians presented to the world a bold and colourfully erogenous presentation of masculinity not seen before.
Today, a time when meaning and emotional investment matters more than ever, when decomposability has given way to timelessness, Weston replaces the ethos of yesterday by refocusing on craft and tradition; amplified and infused with an ease that is almost subversive.
Experimenting with construction and deconstruction, the traditional codes and materials of men’s tailoring are revealed — quite literally. With an approach akin to that of Italian-British architect Richard Roger, the secrets of traditional construction are exposed and celebrated. Their utility becomes a new form of elegance. The inside is shown on the outside. This recontextualising of fabrics and formal techniques, of knowing the rules and how to break them, is a testament to the skills of the dunhill tailoring workshop at Bourdon House – the foundations of dunhill as one of the earliest global men’s luxury brands.
In the S21 collection, chest canvas and shoulder canvas, foundational fabrics that are usually reserved for infernal reinforcements, become prized for their naturalness and used as a focus rather than an aside. Linen Holland — a glazed linen — most often found strengthening and building pockets, is featured throughout. There is a notion of the amplification of craft and the amplification of these materials in their own right. They are combined with more traditional luxury fabrications such as tumbled satins and super-fine bonded leathers.
A stratification of history is presented through the motif of layering in the collection, a very British route from traditional pomp to something more pop. Here, fluidity and construction meet with precision to emanate raw-edged ease. The evolution of the peg trouser, voluminous wrap jacket, and waterproof silk outerwear are amplified from earlier dunhill collections and find a more elegant iteration here.
The accessories in the S21 collection similarly embrace new shapes and evolve existing icons. Following on from its launch for AW20, the Lock Bag has been reimagined in a luxurious white eel skin, paired with polished silver hardware — an elegant iteration for the new season.
The Link Strap loafer has had a monochrome makeover. Crafted in soft French calfskin and finished with mall black hardware that draws inspiration from watch chain straps, all assembled by hand. This relaxed lake on the AW20 style features a collapsible heel, allowing dual use as both a shoe and slipper – a juxtaposition of Formal and casual functionality.
Making its debut in the SS21 collection is the Large Utility Tote. It combines workwear aesthetic with signature Dunhill elements, including Duke-leather trims and AD brass hardware. Available in both, black cotton and natural linen mix. This capacious tote features double drop handles, alongside practical internal pockets and compartments lo organise one’s belongings.
In compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, the collection was presented online, late last year. For the fourth consecutive time, the soundtrack to the runway video was created by musician and composer Moses Boyd; beautifully encapsulating the House’s spirit.
The collection will be available in-store and online from March 2021.