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Costume National’s Ultra Sound Rockabilly Chic

Godfrey Deeny
June 18th, 2011 @ 11:58 AM - Milan

British youth culture, long a source of fascination for Italian fashion designers, was the techno-rarefied theme of the latest collection from Costume National Homme, the true home of rocker dandy chic in Milan.

But this season the rock-n-roll aesthetic took a new, sporty, futurist twist in the spring 2012 collection staged Saturday, June 18, the opening day of the Italian menswear runway season.

“Techno rockabilly,” smiled Capasa backstage after the show, whose highlights were the crafty combination of technical fabrics, trailblazing seaming and nonchalant youth clubbing style - all together making for an intriguing and impressive fashion moment.

Capasa, a southern Italian whose key influences remain his unusual design training in Tokyo and teenage summers spent shopping and experimenting in London, has always been gutsy innovator. Especially in this display, when he even used ultra sound technology to mesh with foam the sleeves of technical cotton clubbing shirts and waterproof jerkins. High-frequency heat molding fashioned 3D pockets; thermo welding created sleekly new tailored jackets.

Summoning up the somber mood in Milan on an unseasonably damp weekend, Capasa’s color palette in this show, staged in a revamped factory in south Milan,
was dark - bottled green, worn anthracite and washed gray buffalo.

Capasa remains a cunning tailor, whose artfully understated tailoring, from laser cut lapel micro jackets to hounds’ tooth check Teddy Boy drape jackets, had just the right mix of racy and cool.

The Costume National man has always been something of a night hawk, devoted to after midnight clubbing and most at home with a VIP laminate entering the backstage of a mega rock concert. This season he harked back to an earlier era, of Sixties and Seventies rock, best summed up by the shoes most models, and Capasa himself, wore in this show – woven leather brothel creepers with crepe rubber shoes. Very much like this designer’s whole aesthetic, a gentlemanly dandy with a dark late night music twist.

Rockabilly, a meeting a half century ago of country music and style with rock’s driving energy was the very term to sum up this collection – real but also ruddily good.

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