The British fashion industry might be pondering big issues this season, including the mammoth 870-million-pound potential cost of Brexit, but the 16Arlington design duo Marco Capaldo and Kikka Cavenati offered a much-needed antidote to the gloom with a presentation-cum-dance-party that began London Fashion Week on a high note.

Drawing on their Italian roots, Capaldo and Cavenati looked to one of their all-time favorite muses, pop singer Raffaella Carrà. Channeling her high-octane glamour, they transformed a dark, central London basement into a joyful scene that was reminiscent of Italy in the Sixties: Models sporting sharp bobs and playful head scarves danced their way through the show like no one was watching.

The clothes telegraphed the same message of pure fun, with beaded jumpsuits, feather gowns galore, as well as lamé suits and cocooned minidresses featuring a Sixties-inspired swirl print.

“It was a nice time to bring our heritage in. Raffaella Carrà is the Italian gift that just keeps on giving; she is this exuberant, insanely talented performer, singer, dancer and we just wanted to inject that in our clothes,” said Capaldo. “Her music is all about feel-good and that’s aligned with 16Arlington, we want to be that beam of light in these dark times.”

The brand definitely succeeded in lightening up the mood, with many a guest joining the models in a dance-off. The injection of more intricate, embellished pieces is also propelling the label onto the red carpet, helping it become a new celebrity favorite and build on its early commercial success.

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