Jeans are of Italian origin: the name comes from the French phrase bleu de Gênes or the "blue of Genoa", from the Italian port where sailors wore them. After mid-century teens converted jeans to leisurewear, the next revolution came in the 1970s, namely designer jeans, elevating them to high-fashion status.
These jeans are constructed from washed denim. This means they lack the initial stiffness of unwashed (or "raw") jeans, and thus do not need breaking in. They are also Sanforised so they will not shrink substantially when laundered or wet.
The jeans have a zip fly and an engraved brass logo plate on the back right pocket, mounted on leather. For a classic look, there is minimal distressing to the jeans (although each pair is different thanks to the hand finishing).
The trademarked Storm System ensures that the coat is wind resistent and waterproof, despite being made of a soft natural fibre. The surface of the cashmere is treated so water droplets roll off, while the breathable membrane applied to the underside of the fabric is impermeable to water. Dolce & Gabbana understands that high performance need not come at the expense of aesthetics.
Two designers dominated men's fashion with their opposing looks in Milan in 1990: Mr Giorgio Armani was master of minimalism, while Mr Gianni Versace was renowned for an opulent, baroque aesthetic. This status quo was, however, about to be challenged by two relative newcomers who had five years earlier shown their debut women's collection to critical acclaim. When Messrs Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana presented their first menswear collection in January that year, the press was shocked. The duo's slim and fitted, 1960s-inspired silhouettes went against the prevailing mood for broad shoulders and straight-cut but voluminous trousers. Rough edges, textured fabrics, country waistcoats and flat caps brought to mind the bucolic Sicilian lifestyle, leading some to label the look "peasant" style.
In truth, however, the designers have always explored the aristocratic side of Sicily just as much as the pastoral, with a strong emphasis on the sort of immaculate tailoring with fine details worn by the characters in Mr Luchino Visconti's Il Gattopardo (The Leopard). Mr Dolce's father was a tailor in Polizzi Generosa, near Palermo, who dressed both farmers and local nobility; as a boy Mr Dolce would accompany his father to appointments and pass time in his studio. Although Mr Gabbana was born in Veneto, an area of Italy also renowned for style, the duo still focuses on Sicilian style and sensuality in their men's collections today. This approach, which also takes its influence from the southern Italian traditions of dressing up for church on a Sunday, and for leisurely passeggiata, has ensured that Dolce & Gabbana men's collections continue to define a distinctly Italian brand of masculine elegance, across both formalwear and casualwear.
DOLCE & GABBANA IN PICTURES
THE AUTUMN/WINTER 2011 SHOW
Jeans, dressed up with tuxedo jackets, featured on the runway at the Dolce & Gabbana autumn/winter show, held in Milan in January this year
THE WHITE SHIRT
"The white shirt," Mr Dolce explains, "is to my mind the symbol of Sicily - there is a plain dignity about it and it is worn by everyone." We like the sharp cut of this one
THE VELVET TUXEDO JACKET
"Velvet is associated with nobility, and I believe the first European velvets were made in Italy. In Sicily, it was worn by the aristocrats in years gone by as a dress fabric," says Mr Gabbana
THE LEATHER JACKET
"I've always loved wearing leather - the feel of it, the sound as it creaks, the way that it ages in such a personal way. A great old leather jacket almost becomes part of you," Mr Gabbana explains
THE FAMOUS FANS
Mr Chace Crawford, pictured here wearing a Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo, is one the brand's numerous famous fans. Others include Mr Orlando Bloom and Mr Mark Ronson