Style & Craft
In the frame: dunhill’s new eyewear collection
Sunglasses have always been a part of motoring, just like dunhill, writes Charlie Teasdale.
Picture the scene: You’re sat behind the wheel of your car atop the tarmacked summit of a hilltop road. As far as the horizon the snaking route cuts through grass meadows, rolling headland and provincial country air; the bright summer sun burning down on the road ahead. You start the engine, buckle up, and reach for your sunglasses. They’re not in the glove box. You unbuckle your seat belt, open the door and walk away – you can’t possibly enjoy the drive without sunglasses.
June 09 / 2016
Cars and good eyewear have been inseparable since the exploratory origins of motorsport, when such brave souls as Freddie March and Malcolm Campbell shielded their eyes from track debris with dark-lensed goggles. They adhered to a strict dress code, too: collared shirts, blouson jackets, string-back gloves, polo-neck sweaters and even the occasional bow tie. From the beginning dunhill was there, equipping gentleman racers for the driving eventualities of the time.
The dunhill affinity with motoring has always been prominent, ever since Alfred Dunhill, the man, spotted a market for automotive accessories. The dunhill Motorities range offered ‘Everything but the motor’ for the discerning gentleman driver. In addition to luggage and apparel, he produced goggles - an essential at the start of the windscreen-less 20th century.
In light of advancing technologies and changing tastes the goggles were phased out, but now, dunhill has reintroduced sleek, durable, understated eyewear for the modern glare-conscious motorist.
The new dunhill spring/summer eyewear collection is no exception, offering a variety of styles to suit all tastes. For rounder faces, one of the two square-framed shapes will be complimentary; if you're a little more chiseled, a round style should do the trick. One model, part of the collection's Longtail family, features elegantly slim temples with dark tortoiseshell frames that house deep-blue lenses.
Every frame is equipped with a universal bridge and anti-glare lenses; some are polarised, too. For the job of providing the acetate for the collection, dunhill wisely enlisted the help of the Italians - there's no denying they make the lightest, strongest and supplest. With that, the house has been sure to stamp its British luxury signature and heritage with a series of design details, including the Longtail logo at the hinges and the hallmark barley pattern on bridges and end pieces.
dunhill has always been an industry lead in leather goods and accessories and its move into tailoring, outerwear and ready-to-wear was a natural progression. Recent collections reveal a soft, unstructured Bloomsbury set aesthetic, aligning modern dunhill design with its hallmarked dedication to quality. The new eyewear collection complements that exciting new focus with aplomb.
Charlie Teasdale is Deputy Style Editor at Esquire Magazine and the Big Black Book