Mark Weston, who took a few cues from Coco Chanel, swapped nylon for silk faille and worked a playful color palette inspired by the Polaroids of artist Ellen Carey, described this collection as a marriage of “extravagance — and practicality.”
He was spot on, but he forgot to add one word: fun. This latest outing had all the whimsy and joy that Weston has quietly been stitching into his collections for the brand, which until just a few years ago was best known for its traditional tailored suits, tuxedos and luxe leather accessories, made for boardrooms, country clubs and corner offices.
Not any more: Weston may have a reverence for Dunhill’s past as a posh tailor, but he’s also been eager to dress a new clientele for lives that have nothing to do with mahogany desks and black tie fundraisers.
His looser shapes, zingy color palette (see the striped Dr. Who scarf from the fall 2021 collection) and nonchalant chic have been attracting customers from all sorts of orbits, including Kanye West, while in China, female celebrities like Chris Lee, Ni Ni and Song Zu’er have been wearing the men’s styles.
Weston seemed to be having even more fun with the latest collection, making baseball caps — in pink, no less — out of silk faille fabric; roomy cardigans with shiny buttons that would have made Coco smile, or even fattening up seersucker stripes for a jacket that looked as if it were made from thick crinkly ribbons.
There was a practical, utility side, too, in the form of modular parkas with zips and hi-viz pops of color; the (now signature) split hem trousers done in nylon; electric bright cummerbunds (a nod to Dunhill’s tuxedo credentials) that doubled as cross-body bags, and — of course — a lineup of lovely tailored suits.
Ellen Carey’s colorful psychedelic Polariod smears — made by pulling apart the photo papers — provided inspiration for prints on raw-edged silk tops, and for an upbeat palette of pastels and jewel tones designed for a good time, although not in the board room.