London fashion week celebrates Federica Cavenati’s last collection | London fashion week

Linda D. Garrow

London fashion week has paid a glamorous tribute to designer Federica Cavenati, known as Kikka, who died in November at the age of 28 after a short and sudden illness.

The last collection Cavenati worked on was completed after her death by Marco Capaldo, her partner both in life and their independent fashion label 16Arlington, and presented on the catwalk at an emotional Sunday morning show in Bloomsbury.

“This was a celebration of the most beautiful person in my life,” Capaldo said backstage after the show. “I just hope that I did her proud.”

The mood was sombre but the clothes were anything but. Cavenati’s name was synonymous with effervescent partywear – maribou feathers, platform disco boots and barely-there dancefloor dresses – and that spirit lived on in snakeskin-printed leather minidresses, cut-out sequin jumpsuits and tissue-thin knit dresses. Many of the feathers used in the collection were from an archive hand-dyed by Cavenati some years ago.

The collection was called Tears, referenced further by teardrops embroidered in crystal beading on white silk shirts. But there was a playfulness in the wet-look feather boas and acid-tipped fluffy bucket hats, which Capaldo said felt true to the “lavishly, fabulously generous” Cavenati who “was a luminous person”.

Alice Temperley shows ‘wild west’ collection

The designer Alice Temperley made radical changes during the pandemic to future-proof her label, moving her headquarters from London to Somerset, shifting to local production where possible, diversifying into homeware and planning an expansion of Somerset, a less expensive ‘younger sister’ line.

Temperley brought the first collection designed in her Ilminster studio to a showroom in the capital for London fashion week, but its heart remained in the countryside.

“I call this my wild west collection, because it’s my love of Somerset with a bit of cowgirl escapism added in,” said the designer, surrounded by jodhpur-style jeans, ponchos, romantic full skirts and bohemian ruffled prairie dresses. A silver-studded leather jacket, inspired by a vintage belt in Temperley’s own wardrobe, nodded to James Dean, while the rhinestone-dotted collared cocktail dresses referenced Dolly Parton.

Velvet trouser suits, which are a signature of the brand – “we can’t make them fast enough!” – are made for autumn in carnation pink and ice blue, with or without fitted waistcoats. A shawl-collar trouser suit in striped British merino wool, made in Somerset, is the first tailoring look from the brand to be fully manufactured in the UK.

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