16Arlington Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear: In the Mood for Monsters and Madonna

A few shows have taken place inside museums this season: Dunhill at the National Portrait Gallery; Harris Reed and Roksanda at the Tate Britain, and 16Arlington at Barbican Centre, which was the only one daring enough to change the interiors by draping the entire space in a black cloth with streams of spotlights on the floor as models walked in from one side and exited through another.

This was the story of monsters — and there was nowhere for them to hide inside Curve Gallery.

“It’s this idea of lurking behind corners and the curve has no corners — it’s just this continuous stream of concrete and you don’t quite know what’s coming,” said designer Marco Capaldo during a preview interview.

“We see monsters in fairy tales and in society as these quite scary things, but actually, beneath the surface, there’s something very beautiful and very endearing about them,” he added.

Capaldo fixated on the works of the author Charlie Fox, referencing his exhibition “My Head Is a Haunted House” that took place at Sadie Coles HQ in 2019 and his books “My Head Is a Haunted House / Dracula’s Wedding” and “This Young Monster.”

He presented shades of monstrous purple and mint green; leather skirts that felt like pimpled skin; prints that when layered create an illusion of smoke underneath the skin; a large black shearling coat that was half shaved to create a chevron print in a nod to the floor in Fox’s exhibition; a stray dog on mohair sweaters cited in Fox’s book; pumps covered in fuzzy shearling, and boots without the toe box to give the impression of a monster trying to escape from inside a body.

Capaldo titled the show “I’m Not Sorry, It’s Human Nature,” a tribute to the American pop star’s 1994 song “Human Nature.”

While researching for the collection, he came across a video of Madonna from 2016 accepting the award for Woman of the Year at the Billboard Women in Music award show.

“She was villainized by society and has had a controversial career to some, but has she really? Or has she just been outside of what’s deemed normal? What really stood out to me from that interview was that she said the most controversial thing she’s done in her career has been stick around,” said Capaldo.

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