Dunhill: Flying the flag high for contemporary tailoring
today Jan 20, 2019
Great to see one brand still proudly flying the flag for British tailoring, as the shadow of Brexit approaches. Its name: Dunhill, which staged a stylish, self-assured and high-octane show Sunday night, the last day of the Paris menswear season.
Remarkably, after 16 days of menswear catwalks, and some 200 shows, this was the first true fashion statement by a classic British brand. Savile Row houses have deserted the international catwalks this season, but not Dunhill, whose creative director Mark Weston delivered a first-rate wardrobe of 21st-century tailoring.
The action occurred inside the Lycée Carnot, an interior courtyard covered by a giant glass roof that is much favored by fashion houses.
Driven on by a thumping soundtrack, Weston served up what are becoming his signature ideas: surgically cut suits with elongated pants split at the ankle paired with wrap-around double -breasted jackets. True, it helps to be tall to bring off this look. But it’s a suit that is defiantly now.
Weston also chiseled in the silhouette with his fluid tailoring, triumphing with a masterly chalk-stripe three-piece where the waistcoat was in light down.
Though made in a dark palette, there were plenty of color stories, notably an amber silk shirt that matched a great amber patent leather briefcase. And amidst an immense revival of corduroy, Weston had the best ideas – most memorably a pants, waistcoat and redingote version in contrasting dark hues.
“Simplicity with sophistication. A British sensibility that I always love; The City; the country; Sloan Ranger; UK casual, and an easy silhouette with lots of cords,” said Weston.
In short, in what was the last evening of runway shows in Europe before the dreaded deadline of Brexit, it felt good to see an English gent come to Paris and make a powerful runway statement; a clever updating of the canons of British menswear. And possibly the last Brit’s runway show staged on the Continent before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.
No wonder Weston got a truly huge burst of applause and cheering. He deserved every ounce of it.
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