┐I wanted to mix two different worlds, uniforms and dresses,┐ said Ennio Capasa backstage before his show. As a point of departure, this concept sticks pretty close to Costume National┐s successful formula: strong tailoring that doesn┐t ignore sex appeal. The opening coat, a side-closure number with an asymmetrical lapel and utilitarian-looking belt slung low across the hips, established a military theme that was echoed by camo-green pieces in fine wool and alpaca, along with fur Cossack hats and mufflers.

The suits were an exercise in sharp simplicity. One in banker gray and another in black satin were cut broad and boxy through the jacket but pencil-thin through the pants. Many of the evening looks, on the other hand, were overdone. The colorful duchesse satins on the narrow, knee-length dresses might have been pinched from Prada—in this, Capasa wasn┐t alone—and their strappy necklines were fussy. Capasa is capable of doing both structure and sensuality (witness the navy cape dress, complexly draped yet effortless), but this season only the tailored side of the equation added up.