Many a heritage brand is eager to pursue a younger audience, churning out street-inspired looks and ultra-sporty silhouettes — but not Dunhill. Creative director John Ray is proud to celebrate the brand’s British-ness, even if that means looking to how older generations dress. His collection – which oozed privilege, property and piles of money – was an unapologetic tribute to the British royal family and their habit of never, ever throwing good clothes away.
“It’s about British classicness, town and country, and Edward VIII. I didn’t want it to be super-styled,” said Ray, whose lineup spanned generations, seasons and times of day. There were morning suits and top hats, jaunty V-neck sweaters layered under plaid jackets – think Eddie Redmayne at Cambridge – and hunting jackets, all of which could easily transform the nouveau riche into lords — or, at the very least, clubbable members of the upper classes.
What could have been comical was instead utterly classy: Slightly baggy cotton trousers rolled at the ankle and revealing a flash of bright or patterned sock; checked shirts paired with polka dot ties; and plaid or pinstripe suits — the sort that were paired, once upon a time, with bowler hats. Sweaters with thick stripes were worn with neckerchiefs — possibly for a spot of outdoor oil painting in the style of the 20th century’s most famous aristo-turned-statesman, Sir Winston Churchill.