COSTUME NATIONAL AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR MILAN FASHION WEEK
Alongside his brethren Helmut Lang and Ann Demeulemeester, Costume National designer Ennio Capasa defined 1990s minimalism. His particular take on the look was glamorously punky: lots of black, naturally; plenty of leather; and a fair bit of harnessing amidst the louche tailoring. For a twentysomething in downtown New York, the look had an unmistakable cachet.
Fast-forward a couple of decades and Costume National is about to turn 30 years old. Capasa rightly thought the impending milestone was worth celebrating, so he dubbed his Fall collection Reset, set the clock at the end of his runway to 00:00, and went back to the proverbial well. His new lineup was almost exclusively black, the color he’s been fondest of all these years. It’s a handy coincidence that other designers have been feeling that shade this season, too: It puts Capasa in the middle of the conversation. Still, he remains resolutely anti-trend. If fashion is coming around to his point of view again, he’ll make the most of it, but you won’t find him doing head-to-toe prints, say, when the pendulum swings back toward lavish excess. This afternoon’s biggest flourishes were the silver bead trim on the shawl collar of a smart tuxedo and the glossy black feathers embroidered on a sleeveless dress.
More often, this collection found Capasa making tweaks to his streamlined tailoring (a three-piece suit in a patchwork of pinstripes was convincing) or leavening cocktail fare with active gear, as in the silk LBD he paired with a sporty zip-front hoodie. On the whole, it was the tailoring that was strongest here, with a satisfying real-world quality that was heightened by the fact that Capasa asked the models to choose the shoes they wore from a small selection of heights and styles.