For anyone unfamiliar with the work of Italian couturier Roberto Capucci, the exhibition “Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945-1968,” which ran until last month at the Villa Reale in the city of Monza near Milan, provided a timely reminder.
Focusing on the heyday of Italian fashion, it featured some prime examples of the designer’s bold architectural style. The house’s fall collection homed in on his signature pleating effects, with sleek black evening gowns that featured finlike plissé ruffles spiraling around the arms or snaking down the front.
A green velvet tunic top paired with pink silk lounge pants channeled Seventies-era Liz Taylor. For her hip daughter, the brand offered items like velvet flares, teamed with chiffon shirts embellished with flat pleats in ombré shades.
Since the brand was relaunched last year by its new majority owner, businesswoman and art patron Paola Santarelli, its ready-to-wear collections have been designed by a team led by Cinzia Minghetti. She took a back seat this season, with a spokesman crediting the collection to Capucci, 85, and his staff.
Santarelli said the brand is now available in 55 points of sale in Italy, though foreign buyers have taken a wait-and-see approach. Putting the focus back on the house’s founder is not a bad idea: Who doesn’t want to own a piece of fashion history?