Capasa Milano kicks off Milan Fashion Week with convivial backstage show
Capasa Milano sparked Milan Fashion Week Women into life on Tuesday evening, plunging its guests into the heart of fashion. For his return to physical runway shows, designer Ennio Capasa had the bright idea to hold his event backstage at a Milanese theatre, a chance for a convivial get-together that was welcomed by the fashion world, starved of personal contact for nearly two years owing to the pandemic.
By no means a novel idea, Gucci had done the same pre-Covid, but the formula, marking a return to business as usual for everyone – it was Capasa’s own catwalk come-back after a six-year absence - was a success. Capasa, who had taken a step back after selling his label Costume National in 2016, invited his guests - notable among them the CEO of Gucci, Marco Bizzarri - at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi, located in the Greco Pirelli neighbourhood, a former industrial area on the outskirts of Milan.
Guests had to step behind a thick red velvet curtain and venture beyond the stage, into the wings and dressing rooms where they came across models, hair stylists and make-up artists busy with their preparations, while in the corner of a room Capasa was illustrating his collection to the press. Suddenly, a speaker announced the show was about to start. “Three, two, one,” and it got under way, to the post-punk sound of a live performance by local band Starcontrol.
Everything was designed to make the launch of Capasa's new project as unemphatic and light-hearted as possible. “This is collection zero, quite rightly called ‘Before It Starts’. I’ve borrowed the timeless element of Costume National, which was a much more radical label, because those were more radical times, and moved towards a style that is more open to fusion and individualism. Essentially, what I used to do was create a kind of uniform. Nowadays, everything is much more varied and open,” said Capasa.
With Capasa Milano, the designer is tapping the classic Italian tailoring tradition, infusing it with a breath of fresh air and a contemporary feel. The collection notably features a series of superb oversize suit jackets, laser-cut, thermo-bonded and hand-finished in impeccable fashion. These elegantly styled jackets, in black or in strong hues like emerald green and ruby red, are matched with flowing trousers or skirts, making up sets that can be worn by either men or women.
All the items are indeed unisex, and featured in a wide range of sizes. A draped dress fits snugly on a woman's body, or can be slipped over men’s trousers like a tunic. The wardrobe gradually introduces a more casual, sportswear-style register, with items that are nevertheless quite upmarket thanks to the sophisticated architecture of their shapes, proportions and materials. The label pays a great deal of attention to fabrics, from taffeta to velvet, eco-nylon, silk crepe, Japanese denim and others, and “endeavours to use sustainable fibres as much as possible.”
The edges of a tweed jacket are left raw, a pea jacket features puffed sleeves, an apple green satin shirt slips into very high-waisted black leather trousers. Occasionally, one feels a little lost amidst the plethora of styles and characters within Capasa Milano. Only to pick up the thread again through the label's accessories, all of them interesting and original, from assorted rocker-style boots made by Himco, to the unique silver jewellery created in collaboration with Gianni De Benedittis of FuturoRemoto.
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