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Wardrobe: Thin Lines

Whitney Robinson

The Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana may be best known for its superbly curvaceous women’s wear, but this season, some of its most exciting—and formfitting—pieces are for men. “We started to make clothes for ourselves that we couldn’t find anywhere else—pieces that went beyond the look of a Wall Street banker with jackets with shoulder pads,” says Stefano Gabbana, who founded the brand 28 years ago with his partner, Domenico Dolce. This season, their experiment in personal attire found expression on the runways, where the duo turned heads with a fall-winter collection featuring trim, retro-styled black suits worn over crisp, white shirts, and jackets made of richly hued velvet, embroidered floral material, and even lace.

The new line arrives at a time when the brand is expanding its presence in menswear, which—along with men’s fragrance, athletic gear, and accessories—now accounts for 50 percent of its revenue. To support this growth, the company has opened a number of specialized men’s boutiques, including a shop on Bond Street in London and a dedicated floor in the Dolce & Gabbana flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. At these retail locations, in-house tailors and associates assist clients in selecting and altering the latest fall designs, which are produced in Milan. The precision and style of these garments, however, reflect a Sicilian sensibility: In fact, Dolce apprenticed in that region under his father, a tailor, and accompanied him on buying trips to the textile mills in Biella. “He was obsessed with fabrics and cut,” Dolce says. “I learned to study the proportions of the body from him.”

Despite their classic underpinnings and traditional quality, the suits ($1,895 to $3,095) have a modern flair, thanks to the use of slightly edgy shapes and prints. The designers are especially adept at creating evening wear that is timeless yet contemporary. Dolce describes the tuxedo as “the essence of masculine elegance” and the iconic white shirt (the brand offers more than 20 different styles) as the “male item par excellence.” In addition to the classic black tux, Dolce & Gabbana offers this wardrobe staple in a rich array of materials and colors, and the company’s versatile dinner jackets in burgundy or bottle-green satin can be paired with slim black trousers for black-tie affairs or, on less formal occasions, with denim.

Dolce & Gabbana, 877.703.4872, www.dolcegabbana.it