YES TO THE DRESS: London-based 16Arlington is known for its party spirit, flair for feathers and statement designs, and for luring clients including Lena Dunham, Solange Knowles, Billie Eilish and Jennifer Lopez.
Now it wants to bring some of that decadent party spirit into bridalwear with a debut collection that launches on June 7. The new bridalwear will sell on the label’s e-commence platform and on Matchesfashion as part of the retailer’s growing wedding edit.
“As a brand, we’ve always felt strongly about including all women as part of the conversation. The bridal market has felt like it does exactly the opposite — it’s heavily stereotyped and too focused. We wanted to smash those barriers and create something outside of the box, something that felt like an extension of our ready-to-wear and shared the same ‘designed for a good time’ attitude,” said the label’s cofounders Marco Capaldo and Kikka Cavenati, adding they were keen to offer pieces that work as easily on the wedding day, as for other big events, and future celebrations.
The new range features brand signatures such as feather-trimmed minis, body-hugging midi styles, slipdresses and separates, all given the bridal treatment with white marabou feathers, satin and iridescent sequins galore. The plan is to continue exploring the category with an “ever-evolving collection,” rather than a seasonal approach.
Prices range from 895 pounds to 2,700 pounds.
“It’s perfect for our customer who wants to make a statement on their big day,” said Natalie Kingham, Matchesfashion’s chief fashion officer.
The brand plans to keep the distribution tight for bridal, with Matchesfashion as its exclusive partner and a focus on 16Arlington’s own e-commerce channels and custom appointments in the brand’s London studio.
The launch comes at a time when couples around the world can finally press restart on their wedding plans and there’s a newfound demand for more easygoing bridal fashion to suit intimate ceremonies rather than larger-than-life dresses that can cost a year’s salary.
The 16Arlington duo said that over the past year they’ve been seeing “an overwhelming number of brides” buying into their ready-to-wear pieces or contacting them to make orders, so the opportunity was clear.
“The circumstances have shifted the mind-sets of how the modern bride is dressing and this has opened a new horizon of options,” the designers said.
Fellow London labels including Molly Goddard, Rixo and Christopher Kane have also spotted the shift, and introduced bridal in the last year to answer to women’s needs for modern looks with a longer life span.
Others — including the U.K. prime minister’s new wife Carrie Symonds — have also been turning to rental in the name of sustainability, with platforms like My Wardrobe HQ seeing 720 percent spike in bridal rentals and independent labels like Alighieri also dipping their toes into the game, with a series of bridal pieces for rent on its site.