For this collection, their debut at LFW, 16Arlington started their journey looking at the work of mid-century German-American pop artist Richard Lindner. His paintings offered a rich source of visual inspiration – the pop bright colours are brought to life with Duchess satins, Swarovski crystals and rich embellishments. Animal prints and exaggerated silhouettes feature heavily in this collection. Lindner’s work explored sexual symbolism and the definitions of gender roles. 16Arlington’s fashion blurs the lines of masculinity and femininity – a faux python boot leg trouser teamed with shearling striped coat and satin long-lapelled shirt is a strong look for all sexes. Likewise, a nipple printed leather trench coat makes an erotic-humoured classic for all.
Lindner’s friend and contemporary Marlene Dietrich is a long-time dream muse of Capaldo and Cavenati. 16Arlington make no apology for their love of performers, actors, exotic creatures of the night and pop legends. Everyone from Marlene to Mary J Blige and David Bowie is woven into the fabric and spirit of this collection. Future legend, Lafawndah, has been commissioned to create an original cover score of Cole Porter & Marlene Dietrich’s song ‘The laziest gal in town’.
Marlene’s vitriolic open letter to Elizabeth Taylor, urging her to ‘Shut up and swallow your diamonds’ provides the dramatic force for today’s presentation at the ICA. 16Arlington break down and reveal the age-old casting process, through to the spot-lit fully-dressed performances you see today.