Every brand wants their catwalk show to be remembered, and no more is that true than at a label’s show debut. 16Arlington will bypass that issue, thanks to their star casting on 14 February, where Lena Dunham became a runway model for the first time.
The event marked the first time that the buzzy rising label has hosted a catwalk show, having previously staged presentations only.
The actress, writer and producer first met the brand’s co-founders Marco Capaldo and Kikka Cavenati in 2019 when her stylist approached them about dressing her for the Once Upon A Time In Hollywood premiere. They “jumped at the chance” and the three bonded over a shared sense of humour, as well as a mutual love of fashion and dogs.
“I grew up watching Girls, so we were so excited about it,” said Cavenati. “Lena takes fashion seriously, but has so much fun at the same time, and that’s what we do. We take what we do seriously, but we also have fun with it. We just got on really well.”
Related article: The Best Street Style From London Fashion Week Fall/ Winter 2020
“She dresses for herself,” adds Capaldo. “We’ve been lucky to work with such powerful women from the beginning – women who are changing the world for a better place and Lena is a prime example of that. She embodies this spirit of power and intelligence. Everything we stand for as a brand, she ticks every box for us.”
When it came to asking Dunham whether she wanted to star as a model in the autumn/winter 2020, the actress didn’t hesitate. “She said it was a dream of hers as a child to walk in a catwalk show and that to walk for us would be a dream come true,” laughs Capaldo. “We said, ‘No Lena, you’re making our dreams come true.'”
Related article: London Fashion Week: Front Row And Parties
Dunham has been a vocal campaigner for body positivity, often sharing pictures on Instagram of herself unfiltered, proudly showing off her curves and cellulite. It’s an ethos she also promoted on her show Girls, in which she was praised for her realistic portrayal of normal young women.
Championing body-inclusivity is also important to the 16Arlington designers, whose ready-to-wear currently ranges up to size 16, although most styles stop at size 14. Going forward, both Capaldo and Cavenati want to ensure the entire collection extends to a size 18, but they want to get it right.