Ennio Capasa's recent encounter with Rudolf Nureyev via an exhibition of photographs had a huge effect on the designer. "He was an icon of modern couture," Capasa rhapsodized backstage after his latest show for Costume National. He included specific Nureyev signatures in the collection—the cap, the tight trousers tucked into boots, the scarf tied around the waist—but the generic seventies mood of the clothes could also be traced back to Nureyev's influence. "It was the first time men could be sexy," Capasa claimed.

There may be modern men who beg to differ, especially when confronted with silk shirts with bow ties over fine-gauge turtlenecks or severely tailored double-breasted velvet suits with huge peaked lapels (today's disco dandies tend to favor less fey ensembles). But even they would appreciate Capasa's finely honed appreciation of sensuality in clothes. It was most obvious in the slink of his silk shirts, in the fit of a caramel gabardine peacoat and a lamb-collared suede trench, and in the fetishistic lure of a monkey fur–trimmed waistcoat. Rudi would have approved.