By Lauren Dimet
Italian designer Ennio Capasa founded Costume National in 1986 with his brother, Carlo. Since presenting their first collection in 1987, the brilliant contemporary styles have made Costume National a fashion powerhouse. Mixing influences of east and west, Capasa’s designs are innovative. The fall 2005 look was folksy chic mixed with Russian influences. With its willowy chiffon dresses worn with seventies boots, and romantic Doctor Zhivago Russian coats, the collection seemed to depart a bit from previous ultra modern and funky technical togs of seasons past. More than that, there was color! Costume National has normally been associated with embracing a range of colors from black to grey. While these colors (or lack of) are still prevalent in gorgeous technical outerwear, distressed leather jackets, and sharp tailored suits – this fall brought splashes of brilliant color as well: aquamarine silk – chiffon dresses, aubergine velvet blazers, and laser-cut silk gowns with beading and arabesque details.
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Costume National is also known for exquisite Italian-made shoes and boots. In early 2004, Capasa launched C’N’C, which like Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabbana, now brings affordable designs to the masses.
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