by Stephen Garner

A collision of style and identity, utility and extravagance best describe Dunhill’s new spring/summer 2022 collection.

From deco dandies to handymen, each encompassing traditional male archetypes in conventional uniforms, to the purposely provocative effeminacy of ’80s casuals, British masculine identities are playfully reworked this season, as are elements of Dunhill’s history, past and present. It ultimately leads to a reverence for the brand, treated in an irreverent, distinctly British way.

“In this collection, I wanted to look at certain identities,” said Mark Weston, creative director of Dunhill. “These are clothing archetypes, but also identities of Britishness, of masculinity, of uniforms, as well as those of Dunhill past and the new era archetypes that we have sought to establish here. It’s really about how character and clothing work together; the idiosyncratic combinations of personal style and identity in Britain and Dunhill, as well as a redefinition of them for the house.”

A sense of the multifunctional, the found object and domesticity is continued and evolved from last season, combined with a feeling of almost aristocratic elegance. Featured once more is the ‘Compendium Coat,’ a multi-functional garment that can be worn in various ways. The coat can be zipped away to become a jacket, its lining detached to become a separate garment in its own right. A collage of silk faille (a new era Dunhill replacement for nylon) in warning colors provides a deluxe take on the hi-visibility jacket. Made from ventile cotton, its fabrication is the same as flight suits made for the British armed forces. Another iteration appears in super-light nylon, a key fabric in the collection, also finding form in pleat front, split hem trousers – a new era signature of the house.

Plus, homey blanket knits in pastel colors become wrap cardigans used for layering. That new era Dunhill staple, the wrap tailored jacket, adds to the sinuous feel of tailoring in the collection. The undone necktie in crushed satins becomes a leitmotif, representing a sense of louche elegance. Grosgrain ribbon strapped derby shoes also have a sense of utility and extravagance, a flourish of easy imperfection made of precious fabrics.

And, the abstract work of photographic artist Ellen Carey is featured as a print collaboration this season. Most frequently appearing on double-bonded Duchesse satin, this fabric takes the place of a technical shell in canoe tops, jackets, and hats. Carey’s prints are also featured on leather goods, such as the new era Lock bag, which finds a variety of forms this season. As Weston says of the Carey prints: “It’s about colour, serendipity, and process in her work – there is an idea of chance and elegance in the prints. Process and its possibilities through play is an ongoing fascination for me, together with the importance of trusting instinct and embracing the accidentals, that sense of immediacy.”