16Arlington Translate Partywear Into A Bridal Range | BURO.
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07.06.2021
By Emma Firth

Meet The Maximalist Bride

“We wanted the collection to feel focused, seductive, and just the right amount of naughty.”
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Fashion is a world built on reinvention. Constructing outfits that had, up until the point of design, existed only in dream form. (Et voila! A trend is born!) Yet for the most part, bridalwear has tended to exist outside of this runway model. It’s an industry that prides itself and thrives off convention; a fairy-tale image perpetuated by literature, magazine editorials and lyrics in pop songs…“I would let other 6-year-olds imagine their wedding days, their princess dresses, their Juliet caps and seed pearls and clouds of white tulle,” said Joan Didion, who wore a non-traditional, frills avoidant, short silk dress in 1964, when she married fellow writer John Gregory Dunne.

Even those ambivalent about walking down the aisle themselves cannot deny this particular sartorial genre is one steeped in symbolism. The virginal, emblem of purity thing seems a bit, well, old hat, because nuptial style can be glamorous and playful and – whisper it - seductive. A fashionable hat-trick refreshingly embedded into the seams of 16Arlington’s debut bridal collection; reworking long-worn wedding dress codes for a new, post-pandemic, party-craving era. Think sensuous slips, Bianca Jagger-style suiting, feather-trimmed gowns and statement mini dresses dripping in iridescent sequins. 

The creative masterminds behind the cult London label, Marco Capaldo and Kikka Cavenati, have stayed staunchly loyal to their more-is-more and effusively romantic DNA (“the 16Arlington woman is ever changing, constantly challenging the boundaries of beauty, and making the world a more beautiful place by simply being a part of it.”) To mark the launch, we caught up with Cavenati to talk nostalgic inspiration, naughtiness and the art of maximalist simplicity for brides-to-be...

“Seduction to us is creating pieces that can momentarily transport you out of a reality, pieces that allow you to dream and ultimately bring out a version of yourself that you love.”

“Seduction to us is creating pieces that can momentarily transport you out of a reality, pieces that allow you to dream and ultimately bring out a version of yourself that you love.”

ON CAPTURING A NEW MOOD

The real mood for this collection was inspired by a feeling. We wanted to be at the centre of what our woman would want to feel on her special day. We wanted to embrace the spirit of "designing for a good time" and take this to new infectious heights. Real care was taken in making sure the wearer felt the best version of herself when in a piece. The silhouettes were reworks and adaptations of our mainline anchor styles alongside lots of new shapes and proportions designed with different ceremonies and events in mind. All the fabrics have a water like movement to them, and come alive in motion, intended to be worn into the early hours of the morning and again and again. We wanted the collection to feel focused, seductive, and just the right amount of naughty.

ON GOING BACK TO THE FUTURE

The 60s and 70s were such cultural moments, everything from the music to the interiors to the icons it produced has this underlying feeling of effortless and unadulterated fun. Yoko Ono's whole wedding mood, was iconic. Her outfit was totally her and just felt so liberating and fresh, the fact that she re-wore her wedding outfit over a month after the ceremony feels so current in terms of attitude and spirit and something we really wanted to embrace with our capsule. Cilla Black's wedding look is definitely a favourite, too. As was Mia Farrow's little 60's mini. Looking back at some of the couture shows, Linda Evangelista closed Chanel AW99 in a white oversized suit with big, pleated trousers layered over a bra and mesh top adorned with oversized statement accessories; it was so stereotypically un-bridal and that in itself felt really liberating.

ON THE S-WORD

If I were to describe the collection in three words? Intimate, ambiguous and seductive. Seduction to us is creating pieces that can momentarily transport you out of a reality, pieces that allow you to dream and ultimately bring out a version of yourself that you love. It's hard to pick one favourite piece from the collection because each piece is so different, there's a really simple bias cut down that is really beautiful and also a high neck, halter cut mini with a sprawling bouncy 8m feather hem that's also quite fabulous.

ON WHY LESS IS SOMETIMES MORE

Sometimes it's the simplest of pieces that are the most difficult. What we really wanted to achieve was a feeling of effortless glamour. There's a relaxed bias-cut gown in a double-faced white satin which is slashed. As a design it's one of the simplest but in terms of construction it's a timely and caring process that requires a lot of love. The balance needs to be perfect and if it's even a millimetre out when constructing everything little mistake will show. There's something really quite special about these pieces that look like they've been draped on the body but have taken hours upon hours to perfect.

“All the fabrics have a water like movement to them, and come alive in motion, intended to be worn into the early hours of the morning.”

ON THE FUTURE OF BRIDALWEAR

We have approached the building of this bridal capsule as a luxury fashion offering. We wanted it to be an extension of the ready to wear offering - something different yet still timeless. The past year has definitely forced people to rethink their big days. As we ease out of lockdown, naturally a shift has triggered in the mindset of the modern bride, an appetite for a less traditional approach to choosing what to wear.

For us, there’s lots of exciting things in the pipeline. Alongside the launch of Bridal, we are opening the doors to our London studio by appointment where we can fit, customise, or alter any looks from the capsule or create a completely custom bespoke piece. Nothing will be too simple, nor too extravagant.

16Arlington Bridalwear launches exclusively today on 16arlington.co.uk and MATCHESFASHION.COM (14th June). Prices from £895 - £2,700

Photography by Markn Ogue

Styling and casting by Ella Lucia

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