16Arlington are the latest brand to drop in Brown Thomas ahead of the festive season — and their party outfits are to die for
When it comes to party dressing, what's your poison? An LBD? A sequinned masterpiece? Or a casual/formal mix-up?
Wherever you stand on party outfits, you'll find something to lust after at one of IMAGE's favourite new brands, 16Arlington. Founded by couple Marco Capaldo and Federica (or Kikka, as she introduces herself) Cavenati, the London-based cult brand is only two years old, but has amassed a following of some of the most incredible women in showbiz — from Lady Gaga to Rosie Huntington-Whitely, and most recently, Lizzo, when the brand dressed her in custom gowns for her cover of British Vogue.
Specialising in partywear with a difference (and more feathers, sequins and embellishments than we know what to do with), we were so excited to hear that 16Arlington would be launching on Irish shores with a selection in Brown Thomas. Sitting down with Marco and Kikka, we asked them about their best tips for styling for the festive season.
Mix up your influences
Marco and Kikka are both from Italian backgrounds, but they cite the clash between their Italian and London aesthetics as the inspiration behind the brand. "It's all about the excess glamour," said Marco. "We want to mix that classic Italian woman with a London edge.
"Marco was brought up in London, and around that edgy, urban minimalism, whereas I grew up near Milan, where it was all high glamour. And since I've moved here, we've almost swapped places, and he's loving the glamour more than me!" said Kikka.
When thinking about your own style for party season, take inspiration from lots of different places — a chic French slip dress paired with a New York street-style pair of runners is such a cool way to mix up your look. In 16Arlington's case, their edgy clothing could be taken right out of London — but paired with chic, glamorous makeup and hair a lá Milan, it works on a whole new level
Pick pieces that you can dress up or down
"More isn't always more", said Kikka. "It's all about styling — you can choose any of these pieces and style them as very understated, or very glamorous. A plain leather dress can be quite out there, and the sequinned tops can be styled casually. It's all about the person in the dress and how they're feeling".
A sequinned skirt or feather-trimmed top doesn't have to be kept for the most special occasions. Styling them with a cropped cardigan or straight leg jeans can transform your look, and means that you can easily carry the outfits from day to night.
We should all be making the effort to buy less and wear more, and if a piece works on a variety of levels, it's a pretty good sign that you should invest.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it
There are pieces in 16Arlington's AW19 collection that have been reimagined over and over again in their previous ranges. As Marco said, "we're rolling with what people want, and if it makes them feel good, why change it?"
"We always reinvent pieces and just change the embellishments or the styling for each new collection," said Kikka. "We're not into fast fashion — it's about creating pieces that will be in a woman's wardrobe and reworn time and time again, and be passed on or passed up", added Marco. "These pieces can transgress any age group, and some of them are really for every woman of every taste".
If you find a silhouette or style of dress that you absolutely love, and feel great in, why stray? Know what suits your body, and keep revisiting that every year, with new accessories or small touches to change it up. Remember — real style isn't about sticking to trends, it's about knowing what suits you.
Take inspiration from your idols
The list of powerful women dressed by 16Arlington is endless — Lady Gaga, Lizzo, J-Lo, Solange Knowles, and so many more. What can we learn about styling from these gorgeous women and their enviable wardrobes?
"If you look at all those girls, they all have a voice and are changing the world in a positive way. They all share the attitude that aligns with the brand — we always get asked if we could pick a favourite woman whose worn 16Arlington and we never could — they are all so different and amazing in their own right" said Marco.
If you love a celebrity's style, but think it's too much for you to wear, think again — what's stopping you from having an over-the-top, completely fabulous outfit? Take inspiration from their sass and bravery, and go for it — confidence is key.
Make sure you love what you wear
"Every single girl in the studio has to love the piece before we think about putting it out on the market" said Kikka. "We're women, we know what women like and we know what feels good, so it's very important for us that each piece feels that way"
Confidence can make or break an outfit, and if you force yourself to wear something that feels completely wrong for you, it will never look good. Listen to your body and recognise what makes you feel stunning — every outfit should be something you love, and if it's not, put it back on the hanger.
The IMAGE edit of 16Arlington party wear
Featured image: Jason Lloyd Evans
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