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21. March 2021

Style Icons – Dominick Dunne


Bob The wardrobe builder

Today’s Style Icon, the latest in our recent series, is an accomplished practitioner of the shirt-and-tie-game. As regular readers will know, your wardrobe-building correspondent is obsessed with the bits of clothing that are worn underneath a suit, between the lapels, and Dominick Dunne was a stalwart when it came to shirting and neckwear. 

I don’t think we can go so far as to characterise Mr Dunne as a polymath, but he certainly did have a fascinating and wide-ranging career. He served in the US military in the Second World War, and then became a producer in film and television. Later in life, Dunne was also known as a writer of some renown, both as an author of fiction, but also as an investigative journalist and regular contributor to Vanity Fair. He (and his work) had admirers and detractors, as someone in the public eye who deals with emotive subjects always does. One thing is for certain though — he was a man of distinctive and elegant personal style, and we are unequivocal fans of the bold shirts and ties he wore, and the panache with which he combined them.

I can confirm that Dunne was a customer of Turnbull & Asser, certainly for shirts, but also for ties. An internet search unearths several references to his association with (and love of) T&A’s glorious creations. But, what gives me an absolute verifiable knowledge that DD was indeed a client of the denizens of Jermyn and Bury Streets is that I have at least a couple of shirts in my own wardrobe that are made from the exact same marvellous multi-stripe fabrics as the mans himself. He had a sharp eye for a smart pattern, both stripes and checks, and I find myself nodding and smiling any time I look at photos of him. And, as with our good friend Maximilian Mogg, contrasting white collars and cuffs were a favourite of Dunne’s.

And, together with these splendid shirts, he also wore magnificent ties, and was an enthusiast for what we at Mogg Towers lovingly call “the banana knot.TM” The wonderful curve, that delicious asymmetry, of a properly-tied four-in-hand, always catches our collective eye at Bleibtreustraße. And, for me personally, who does not put a dimple below his knot, I have a kindred spirit in Dominick. For he, too, shunned the little cleft, and thereby made the curve in his BKTM even more pronounced. There’s nothing wrong with a dimple — Max, Tobin and the rest of our gang love them. But as the lone practitioner of the non-dimple fraternity amongst us, I am pleased to see Dunne (and my previous Style Icon, Prince Michael of Kent) in the same boat as myself. 

The other thing I love about DD is that he would almost certainly be an enthusiastic customer of ours. I have no doubt that he would have devoured our collection of exclusive, vintage multi-stripe shirts I wrote about in our recent Shirts of the Week. It would require little or no effort to convince him of their merits. I’m sure it would be love at first sight, as it was when I first saw them. We’ve also recently received some stunning cloth bunches from Mileta (they are so amazing!), and I am sure our latest Style Icon would look on them with the same enthusiasm as I do. 

Dominick Dunne would have been a fascinating man to know, and we could very easily see him popping by our Berlin atelier for a chat and a glass (or two) of bubbly. And, although we’d doubtless speak with him about his impressive body of work and the people he has met, I’m sure we’d also raise a glass to his impeccable style. For he is a legend, an icon, without a doubt.