Dresses with feathers and sequins, 16Arlington is inspired by Raffaella Carrà

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    Marco Capaldo is Federica Cavenati, the founders of the cult 16Arlington label know how to attract attention with their flashy clothes. The two designers met at the Marangoni Institute in London, the legendary Italian school of fashion and design. The two were both inspired by their origins (Capaldo grew up in London and Cavenati was born in Bergamo), but with completely different approaches: Cavenati favored a sculptural and minimalist style, Capaldo loved glitter, crystals and an absolute glamor. When they became a couple and started working together, the result was a perfect balance between elegance and exuberance.

    Federica Cavenati and Marco Capaldo at the 2019 Fashion Awards

    © Getty Images

    The two designers founded 16 Arlington in September 2017. At first they worked in their apartment on Arlington Street, in London, then in an atelier, soon attracting the interest of retail giants, (Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Lane Crawford in China, Selfridges in the United Kingdom, Penelope in Italy) but also of a large group of exceptional fans: Lady Gaga wore their own silver midi dress for a Q&A for A star was born in November 2018;

    Jennifer Lopez sported a purple feather coat in the backstage of the Met Gala 2019;

    and last July Lena Dunham she wore an orange sequined dress with a marabou edge at the London premiere of Once upon a time … Hollywood.

    At the première of Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood in London

    © Shutterstock

    In February 2019 they got another important result, parading for the first time in the official London Fashion Week calendar, and expanding the global visibility of the brand.

    Vogue met the two designers to talk about the growth of the brand Spring / Summer 2020 collection inspired by Raffaella Carrà and what we should all wear when party invitations start to rain.

    The brand takes its name from the street of your first atelier, at 16 Arlington Street, London. Has that place influenced the label in any way?

    Marco Capaldo (MC): “We wanted to live together after university, and we needed a place where it was also possible to set up a studio. We found this building a little rundown in Arlington Street that was being resold, and we stayed for eight months».

    Federica Cavenati (FC): “The first night we slept there, we discovered we were on an appointment house. Our dog ran away, ran down the stairs and somehow managed to enter. I followed him, and when I looked up there were fishnet stockings and shiny trench coats everywhere. “

    MC: «It was a little crazy, but we liked the apartment very much, friends and relatives they came to visit us or they stayed with us, they stole the prototypes of the clothes we were creating and put them on for a night out. And the next day they returned with their friends, who wanted to order our clothes “.

    Rita Ora in 16Arlington PE 20 at the 2019 Fashion Awards

    © Getty Images

    The turning point?

    MC: «In 2017 we put together a small collection and we took it to various trade shows in Paris. At a certain point, Lauren Santo Domingo (chief brand officer of Moda Operandi) put one of our coats on! He had it from celebrity stylist Rebecca Corbin-Murray who in turn had noticed it in our graduation collection, and contacted us for one. Then came Moda Operandi and things went up from there ».

    Today you are on sale in 4 continents. Why do you think the brand has such a global appeal?

    MC: «We want people to have fun, and in our clothes there is certainly an element of escape, especially with everything that happens in the world from a political point of view. It is not necessarily a way to forget what happens, but rather to create a kind of safe haven “.

    Spring / Summer 2020

    © Getty Images

    And was this concept also the starting point for the PE 20 collection?

    MC: «The collection winks here and there at the 60s, our muse is the queen of the record Raffaella Carrà. She is a sort of Italian Cher. The collection includes beaded dresses, cocktail dress with feathers and lamé tailored suits. We always try to understand what our most loyal customers would like to wear, and how to make our creations even brighter “.

    Spring / Summer 2020

    © Getty Images

    The highlights of your career?

    MC: «It's great to see the celebsLady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Lena Dunham, Jorja Smith – wear our clothes, but the other day we started running down the stairs of the Oxford Circus underground stop because we saw a girl in our coat. Even in real life there are people who spend money to create our own “.

    Jorja Smith in 16Arlington at the Brit Awards 2019

    © Shutterstock

    FC: «They tag us in many posts on Instagram. And I watch them all every day, and then we have this ritual every weekend, we go to Selfridges and Harvey Nichols to see our collection. “

    MC: «Not really every weekend! (Laughs). But pFor us it is important to create garments that have an attractive price. What is the point of creating a fabulous dress if it is totally inaccessible? “

    Adwoa Aboah, London, 2019

    © Getty Images

    If we were to buy just one 16Arlington item for all the upcoming Christmas parties, what would it be?

    MC: «The Minelli strapless dress with the feathered edge is always a bestseller. It is a timeless dress ».

    FC: «And as for the PE 20, we love the black and white leather coat very much, will be one of my must for the next season ».

    Lily James in 16Arlington Minelli dress

    © Shutterstock

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