Inspired by British figurative painter Francis Bacon and his comrades in creativity, Alfred Dunhill’s Creative Director, John Ray brings us back to the cobbled Soho back streets with the Alfred Dunhill Autumn Winter 2015 Collection of relaxed fits and hues from a visceral palette. Soho in the late 1950s was a vibrant patchwork of jazz and rock clubs, tailors, coffee bars, strip shows and private drinking dens – a playground for a loose-knit network of young artists. These creatives defined a generation with their distinctive styles, and it is this artistic spirit which infuses the British label’s winter proposal. The shades presented in this collection are inspired by leftover paints found in Francis Bacon’s studio – A harmonious blend of raw umber, raw sienna with a tint of titanium white and cadmium red.
“This collection evokes the vibrant artistic spirit of Soho in the late Fifties and early Sixties, and is inspired by those creative Londoners who carry its flame today: artists Guy Gormley, Cosmo MacDonald and Luke Waller, musician Gwilym Gold and flâneur Otis Ferry all feature in the show, alongside financier Claude and musician / film maker Louis, the sons of Paul Simonon, who as bass player for The Clash would drink at the Colony Room Club, the lynchpin of bohemian Soho where Francis Bacon was a founding member.” said John Ray.
The fits in the collection are more relaxed and generous in their cut, giving the wearer an ease of movement. Shapes are taken from images of men in Soho in the late Fifties. Items include car coats, painter’s trousers, oversized knits and tailoring which feel relevant now. The collection features exclusive fabrics specially developed with British mills. High-twist crepe yarn suitings are in melange colors, plains and glen checks and worsted wool Prince of Wales checks in off-beat colors. Over-scaled pinstripes in brushed cashmere flannels. Heavy whale corduroys in deep warm tones. Scottish tweeds in playful colors, alpaca, mohair and Shetland yarns provide another layer of texture through both knit and suiting. A combination of classic menswear patterns such as herringbones and twills are woven double-face with house checks.