January 13, 2012
Ennio Capasa came through the hard-living fire that crisped kids back in the seventies and eighties, so there's a punky ethos that underpins his designs. There have been seasons when he lost touch with it, but for Fall, he's re-committed. Bohemians, dreamers—these were the characters he was thinking about, as an antidote to a relentlessly materialistic direction that he sees society taking. Fashion possibly isn't the best arena to take such a stand, but Capasa at least has his dark, difficult roots to trade on. He was calling his collection a remix of those roots. "It's a synthesis of all my experiences. I couldn't have done this five years ago." Given that mandate, it's a shame the collection wasn't more convincing. The space-age bovver boots, the punky mohairs, and the teddy-boy proportions (the elongated tunic tops) all pointed toward Capasa's passion for British youth cults. But maybe the problem was, as Capasa pointed out, a basic masculine issue with innovation. "You have to work with what a man knows," he said. Within those parameters, the hybrids—the trench with the blouson back, the leather-backed blazer, and the cutaway evening jacket with the knit sleeves—were actually quite radical.