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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Paris Men's Week: Dunhill

One of the biggest misjudgments I've ever made was dismissing Stefano Pilati’s talents. Though I could see his early YSL collections were meant to remind us of the greatness of the brand, I was impatient for progress—which he's delivered in spades in recent seasons. Kim Jones’ position at Dunhill is similar. Transforming one of the world’s oldest and biggest global luxury brands—they make pens out of meteorites and black diamonds!—into a fashion label for today was always going to be a lengthy, difficult project. That Jones has so quickly created a believable base to build on is commendable.

New Order’s The Perfect Kiss, a love song to fearlessness in that optimistic 80's synth way, set the tone as boys stepped onto a revolving carousel heavy with polished aluminum luggage before traipsing down the runway. The shows predominantly blue-gray palette was modern and light, and materials were wow, but never crossed an un-English line into fey snakeskin vulgarity. It was a brilliant interpretation of traditional tailoring, military and safari blazers. Accessories included blue straw trilbies, hand-carved flint sunglasses and a holdall in carbon fiber, a material first used commercially in Rolls Royce aero engines. How absolutely right for modern Dunhill is that?

—Daryoush Haj-Najafi



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