June 26, 2004
The 1970's have been good to Ennio Capasa. After he mined the decade for endless variations on punk-tinged edginess, current events have got Capasa thinking about the kids from his youth who co-opted cast-off military clothes and ethnic warriors' emblems in the name of peace and love. Toying with a mix of the spiritual and the savage, Capasa opened his show with a pregnant, ringletted woman in white and closed it with a model in a black tuxedo jacket over a pair of black cavalry-inspired trousers in silk shantung. In between came a mini army of urgent young men in clothing adorned with beads and "tiger teeth" (actually pig's choppers from Papua New Guinea). These weren't noble warriors. The Capasa signature pieceselegant, hyper-tailored jackets and trouserstook a back seat to roughened, worn-out items, like a waxed-cotton flight suit and a rose-pink waistcoat in washed leather. And those cavalry pants, dropped in the crotch, laced at the ankle, looked like Civil War long johnsa perfect match for the little peaked caps. But even if he were dressed for battle, it was clear that the Costume National man would rather make love, not war.