How many different ways can you reinterpret the 1970s? Milan’s designers have been answering that question, some with more success than others, since the first model hit the catwalk yesterday. Costume National’s Ennio Capasa, for his part, had Marianne Faithfull, Anita Pallenberg, and Mick Jagger on his mood board. The Stones and co. are icons of a superior order, their images seared into the collective memory. Capasa had the right instinct this season, but he struggled to live up to those rock legends.

Yes, he had the suede vests, he had the purple plunge-front jumpsuit, he had the lacing and the grommets, but the overall picture remained somehow unconvincing. Capasa has always been a minimalist by nature, and Costume National is a brand defined by its sleek, almost anonymous modernity. What we had here was a clash of personalities: Capasa runs cool, and Faithfull and Pallenberg hot. To work, the collection would have needed more of those women’s vital earthiness. Capasa got closest to that quality with a pair of abbreviated tops boasting floor-length shags of fringe. Team them with short shorts, as he did on the runway, and you could cause quite a bit of trouble if you took them out for a spin.

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