Paris Fashion Week Diary: In conversation with CoSTUME NATIONAL designer Ennio Capasa

Oct 01 2012 by
Categories : Fashion

Ennio Capasa backstage.

A return to the ’90s!

Anyone who remotely knows me is well aware of my fondness for the “less is more” approach to design. So, I’m an easy mark for CoSTUME NATIONAL because designer Ennio Capasa is one of the minimalist exemplars, along with Raf Simons, Jil Sander and Phoebe Philo. I was fortunate to have one of those fleeting two-minute chats with Capasa backstage at his spring/summer 2013 Paris show.

Click through for more runway looks from Paris Fashion Week spring/summer 2013!

“The ’
90s minimal mood is coming back,” the Spanish designer assured me. “I think this new generation is discovering the power and modernity of minimalism. Today, however, it’s different: It’s more creative; it’s warmer. There is more technique and couture, but the essence is innovation. People want innovation. The planet needs innovation.”


The well-being of mother earth was clearly on the designer’s mind when he selected photos from
Toilet Paper curators Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari to use as
prints in his collection. One is an image of an aloe vera plant being cut with scissors, and the other is of a bird’s wing about to be clipped by the same shears. “These were two images that I thought were strong and provocative and very chic at the same time,” Capasa explained. “I’m interested in bringing art and fashion together. Last year we did a great collaboration with
Toilet Paper when they guest-curated our website. The theme was about how rock ‘n’ roll could become pop ‘n’ roll. So I thought, let’s bring that collaboration to the clothes.”

All runway images courtesy of

The other noticeable design flourish—aside from the gorgeous fuchsia and red pops of colour and the persistent, if somewhat repetitive,
asymmetrical looks—was the black gaucho hat. “Yes, there’s a Zorro feeling to it,” said Capasa. “I think it’s nice for a girl to have a Zorro hat.” I know one girl who’s interested. While Ruby Aldridge was being interviewed for an Italian TV crew, I overheard her saying that she loves the lid she’ll be wearing and wouldn’t protest if Ennio gave her one. Hint hint. However, on the runway, Ruby’s hat was overshadowed by her sheer black blouse that had a dominatrix-like bra underneath. “Yes, it’s a little risqué!” she told the reporter who asked her about the look. “In fact, it’s not really even a bra that functions as a bra. It’s a non-bra!”

Categories: Fashion