After three seasons of runway presentations, Capucci reverted to a showroom presentation this season. The label’s owner, businesswoman and art patron Paola Santarelli, said the format was better suited to showcasing the brand’s beefed-up daywear as it seeks to expand into Asia.
Alongside the label’s trademark pleated evening gowns — this season inspired by the Piper Club, Rome’s Sixties predecessor to Studio 54 — creative director Mario Dice showed casual items including colored denim jackets, flared white jeans with honeycomb smocking at the pockets, and bomber jackets with graphic ruffle collars.
Not all of it worked: Some of the fabrics — in the flamboyant jewel tones favored by founder Robert Capucci — had a heavy hand that gave the outfits a dusty feel. But the brand is wise to highlight its close links with the couturier, who at 87 is one of the last survivors of Italy’s golden age of post-war couture.
Capucci recently opened its first stand-alone boutique in Rome, where archival designs sit alongside its new offerings, and will take part in the upcoming exhibition, titled “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” which opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York in May.
It will include the Angel of Gold haute couture gown designed by Capucci in 1987, whose pleated panels sprout into wings at the back. The exposure will no doubt provide a significant boost to the house’s current ambitions.