In November 2021, Federica Cavenati, co-founder of 16Arlington, better known as “Kikka” died suddenly, and for autumn/winter 2022, Marco Capaldo presented an emotional tribute to the rising star with a collection entitled ‘Tears’ during London Fashion Week.
As soon as 16Arlington debuted at LFW, it quickly became a favourite for its party spirit, bold love of sequins and feathers, and before Cavenati’s death, it was a fast-rising brand that was attracting attention from celebrities on the red carpet.
For AW22, it was a chance for Capaldo to present what he called a “tribute to the peerless style and lasting legacy of Federica “Kikka” Cavenati,” which he achieved with a collection that beautifully showcased 16Arlington’s dancefloor-ready style with sheer sequin-embellished dresses through to sleek, elevated and timeless tailoring.
It is also the last collection that Cavenati and Capaldo worked on together, the designer added in the show notes, with many of this season’s feathers used unearthed from the 16Arlington archive, treated with dye by Cavenati herself, years ago.
“She is everywhere in this work: her playful wit lives in turbo-charged monster-marabou coats, waistcoats and bucket hats; her boundless laughter in the wet-look feather scarves slung across smoked topaz sequins,” explained Capaldo.
16Arlington AW22, a tribute to Federica “Kikka” Cavenati
While it may have been a more sombre affair from 16Arlington, AW22 still highlighted the brand’s bold and fearless vision, with full volume marabou, bleached velvet, technical cropped jackets, mini leather skirts, tie-dye jersey sets and sequinned separates.
There was also an ethereal lightness, with Capaldo’s journey of grief coming through the collection, like “tears” falling as fluid crystal detailing across slate-grey wool tailoring, 16Arlington’s signature silk shirt in pure white and sequins embellishing a tailored blazer.
The standout piece though had to be the angelic sleeveless tunic hand-embroidered with amber tear-shaped beading, which “whispers as it moves,” added Capaldo.
Capaldo also added a special thanks to the fashion community: “This season wouldn’t have been possible without all the people who’ve surrounded me. This collection has been created by a team of people that knew and loved Kikka, and that in return have shown up for me.
“To my team - Katie, Anna, Lian, Maria, Costi, Didi, Rachel, Tosca, Quentin and Estelle. Thank you for everything. Thank you to all of the people - both within, and outside of fashion - who have been so kind. And of course, thank you to Luciano.”
Capaldo also added that he plans to continue the brand, by “forever designing in Kikka's honour”.