Frill Seeker: 7 things to love about Molly Goddard
Frills are the fun-est thing ever to wear. They inspire visions of Kirsten Dunst rubbing cake into her face as a powdery-wigged Marie Antoinette. Or the worryingly flammable Disney Princess gown your little brother liked to twirl in at birthday parties, accompanied by bemused eyebrows from Uncle Simon. All in all, frills are extravagant, camp, 'girlie' and fabulous.
But Molly Goddard is bringing them a tough new look. The 29-year-old fashion designer isn't quite a household name yet, though it may not be long, as she recently showcased her fourth collection at London Fashion Week.
Here are seven reasons to pay Molly Goddard some attention:
1) She's a pioneer of dressing for yourself and no one else
There's a definite fancy-dress box theme running through Molly Goddard's work. The colours are paint pot bright and many of the garments are unapologetically huge. Even her spring/summer 2018 collection, about which Vogue exclaimed her work was suddenly all grown up, is still packed with chunky dresses that a cut less than grown up silhouette. These are simple, statement shapes that refuse to be synched in or snipped to take up less space in the world. If Molly's models aren't barefoot, they're clomping in brogues or wearing floppy black wellies, suggesting her clothes are intended more for puddle-splashing than a runway hair swish.
2) She dropped out of her MA and still made it
If you're on the brink of quitting the lovely, sensible job you hate or have recently failed an exam you'd pinned your hopes to, it's always nice to know the career paths of 'successful' people can be just as wobbly. Molly Goddard studied a BA at Central Saint Martins but quit her MA without completing it.
Dazed and Confused magazine covered her first show in 2014, which was in a church hall and cost £500 to make. It was there where the fancy Dover Street Market spotted her work and offered to buy her dresses. Let's ignore the fact this church hall was actually in Mayfair and feel inspired to live our own dreams; from ruffles to riches, regardless of past failures.
3) She's the Queen of Frills (and frills are very much in, I'm told)
Once you've unexpectedly managed to sell a great collection, you kind of need to stick with the winning formula. For Molly Goddard, that trademark is puff, bounce and plenty of volume. Which is handy because apparently frills are extremely on-trend right now. The Alexander McQueen collection for spring/summer 2018 is packed with them. You can spot a few in Karl Lagerfeld's work for Chanel (which is otherwise a bonkers concoction of miniskirts in Coco's iconic tweed and Blade Runner style transparent thigh-highs: actual genius.)
4) Celebrities love her
When Badgal Riri starts tweeting your wares, you know you've made it.
Seeing Rihanna rocking dresses not even Jessica Rabbit could slink while wearing seems to hit Molly Goddard's nail right on the head. These clothes are pure fun. Wearing quite so many layers of tulle could hardly be anything else.
Other famous fans of Molly Goddard include the hottest woman alive Zawe Ashton, who proved at the Elle Style Awards that all you ever need to jazz up your table cloth is a peek of cold shoulder. Agyness Deyn looked so great in her wedding day Goddard it actually makes me start believing in marriage.
5) She's bringing crafty back
There's something about Molly Goddard's work that makes you feel 'I could make that.'
I mean, obviously you couldn't because a) the woman's a magician and b) if you're anything like me your sewing machine has been jammed with a sequin since Pride 2011.
But the simplistic finish of her garments somehow gives that thrill of the Year 9 textiles workshop. The journey from C&H Fabrics to cutting room (/living room) floor, to the runway that was the Art Block corridor.
While your 'Cute Crafts' Pinterest board is gathering as much dust as the pine cone you once sprayed gold but can't remember why, seeing fashion that looks home made, roughly cut and raw is genuinely inspiring.
6) Her models have fun
At London Fashion Week the women modelling Molly Goddard's newest collection threw peace signs, gave cheeky wiggles and one even chuffed on a cigarette (gross, but still cool apparently.) In the past she's presented her work by organising a life drawing class, where the audience could inspect the models' sketches as well as the portly man hunched naked while being immortalised in pencil.
Another presentation had her work hanging from the ceiling, with guests encouraged to embroider their own messages into the garments. A third show saw models wearing Molly's designs as they prepared sandwiches with salad ingredients to match their gowns. Breaking with the traditional straight lines and stern catwalk stares we're used to is another way Molly Goddard makes us look twice.
7) Her shows are a family affair
If you're lucky enough to be related to people who like each other even when it's not Boxing Day, working with your family is probably the coolest thing ever. Molly Goddard is based in the same spot she grew up - Ladbroke Grove. Her business partner is also her boyfriend, her sister Alice took to the streets to scout models for her first show, and the girls' parents even help out back stage. Like many of us, Molly got her best asset (in this case, sewing expertise) from her Mama.
When Hong Kong-based designer store IT demanded a batch of her dresses straight after her first London show, it was in the family home that she set to work on her machine to create them.
Her story brings fashion back to its roots. Yes, champagne is fun. Scandals are wonderful. As are A-list selfie-sprees on the Frow. Molly Goddard actually gives us all this, but she is also just one woman-next-door bringing her colourful dream to life a stitch at a time.
That is all.