16Arlington is a brand suited for fashion’s magpies: those who are attracted to anything that glimmers and glistens. Founded in 2017 by Italian design duo Marco Capaldo and his late wife Federica ‘Kikka’ Cavenati, the label merges Scandi minimalism and sleek tailoring with a hefty dose of glam in the form of crystals, sequins, diamantés and feather trims that are now a signature flourish.
Described as “clothes with stories to tell the morning after,” 16Arlington’s SS23 collection was presented in Yeomanry House in Bloomsbury, an old drill hall built in the early 20th century. A white cube complete with an imperial wrought iron staircase and parquet floors, the back wall of the venue was painted in forget-me-not blue, setting the tone for the collection in more ways than one.
The front row was comprised of Lambeth-born musician Joy Crookes, influencers Declan Chan and Julia Hobbs, and designer Conner Ives. Model Adwoa Aboah and stylist Harry Lambert — who is responsible for curating the wardrobes of Harry Styles and Emma Corrin — were also present and correct. As bass vibrated through the speakers, floor-skimming sleek satin coats, precisely tailored jackets and gigantic marabou feather outerwear in dusty blue, black and cream made their way down the runway.
Prince of Wales checks and snakeskin prints punctuated the collection, the latter found on glossy coats and skirts with daring thigh-high splits, sheer knitted cardigans and tank tops. The cast of models (which included ES Magazine cover star Paloma Elsesser) teetered on platform clogs that were given a 16Arlington makeover through the addition of crystals and criss-cross detailing. Evening wear, which the label excels at, was glinting strapless column dresses and black leather minis decorated with sparkling studs.
16Arlington has been led by Marco Capaldo ever since the sudden passing of his wife and creative partner in 2021. The moving show notes remarked that Cavenati’s “irrepressible energy can be felt in every atom of the 16Arlington universe.”
The Kikka bag, named after her, featured in this collection. It has also been ubiquitously worn over this London Fashion Week, carried in the arms of fashion editors and influencers alike. What better tribute could Capaldo make, than creating clothes for unforgettable women to honour a woman who will never be forgotten.