Simple Things. Molly Goddard Resort 2021

Going back to the roots, enjoying the simple things. In the uncertain times – and 2020 is a winner in this category – designers and labels yearn for a more organic approach, one that opposes mindless abundance. In her resort 2021 collection – which is more of a capsule really – Molly Goddard is serving her all-time signature, tulle dresses, in a more everyday mode.  Molly’s clothes are as cheerful as ever, dresses and skirts made “in all the ways I can think of,” she told Vogue, with the smocking and ruffling techniques she developed as a student. The shirred polyester taffeta – this season in neon pink with burgundy velvet trims, or inky blue flounces – is “so comfortable to wear, because it just stretches with you,” she explained. “So you can sit down, lie about, do anything in it. I think that’s why people like it. Because you can wear these things in an everyday way, not just for parties.” True to her hands-on resourcefulness, the designer decided to keep things going during the height of the lockdown. “We all worked remotely, doing fittings on ourselves, which was quite funny.” She runs a tight and friendly business. “I didn’t furlough anyone. I thought it’s important to maintain our relationships with all the people who we rely on, the fabric suppliers and the local London factories who managed to keep ticking over, with people taking work home.” There’s knitwear, too, now –  shrink-pleated stretchy sweaters and wool cardigans made in England. She’s also spent her time developing accessories: ruched bags made from her signature fabrics, and solid-but-perky leopard-spot and emerald green creepers in collaboration with the British brand Underground. And how does the designer see the future? Who knows whether there will be a usual London fashion week schedule this September. But then, do creators like Molly need those? “Really, I never meant to get into that whole fashion week thing of having huge shows and all the nightmare that goes with it,” she says. “Honestly, I’d love to get back to what we did at the beginning, just being able to do something that feels spontaneous and fun.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Your Inner Child. Molly Goddard AW20

Freeing your inner child through fashion began this season at Alessandro Michele’s Gucci menswear and recently has also appeared at one of my favourite labels in London – Molly Goddard. In lieu of a press release, Goddard sent out a throwback London street style photo as the explainer for her new collection. First published in Fruits, the cult Japanese magazine, back in 1992, the image features just the kind of cool-looking dad and daughter duo you’d expect find on bohemian Portobello Road: him in distressed denim-on-denim and a baker boy hat, his insanely cute sidekick dressed in a tiny ruffled skirt over jeans and a chunky knit sweater. “The little girl is me!” said Goddard backstage at the autumn-winter 2020 show. “I remember those times growing up in Notting Hill so fondly, and really wanting to get dressed up for the market and all the characters who lived there.” In this joyful line-up, you could trace the influence of her toddler self, starting with an exploding blue taffeta dress that was layered over a salmon pink cardigan and worn with chunky creepers, then topped off with a beanie hat that was topped with a giant bow (the accessory of the season is here!). Then, things got even better: Molly’s signature tulle dresses in crayon kept on growing in size, while her sense of layering made it all look somehow… wearable. Goddard showed menswear for the first time this season, largely inspired by her musician-turned-fashion-PR boyfriend Tom Shickle. “He always moans that there’s nothing for him to wear, so I made a suit,” said Goddard, laughing. The retro-leaning checkered tailoring she created had a nerdy sway about it, something you could imagine Jarvis Cocker might have worn in the 1990s. One of these Fair Isle cardigans, please!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Tulle, Knits and Love. Molly Goddard SS20

Hello London! And again, I’m in love with Molly Goddard. Even though her spring-summer 2020 collection is all about her well-known signatures – dresses made of acres of tulle and delightful colour palette consisting of candy pink, lettuce green and bold blue – there’s a certain factor behind Goddard’s style that never gets boring. Her fashion is not about being precious or pristine. Those looks are made for summer picnics, outdoor walks, brunches with your friends… also, I’m really obsessed with Molly’s expanding selection of knits. The ribbed sweaters with big bows and ties at the shoulder are so good. And there’s nothing better than a classical black cardigan and a voluminous, sheer skirt in coral.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Dressed for The Storm. Molly Goddard AW19

You might know Molly Goddard for her voluminous tulle dresses, but it would be a mistake to say that her brand is nothing more than that. Goddard’s autumn-winter 2019 was one of her best, as it didn’t only demonstrate how she can expand her style, but also, it showed her signature in a new context. “Dressed for the storm” is how the designer describe the look of the season. If knitted balaclavas, utilitarian accessories and weatherproof knee-high boots didn’t exactly ring a bell, then the wind machines installed on the runway were a quite straightforward metaphor. The way Molly’s XXL tulles in green and pink drifted in the abrupt air was so, so beautiful, simply speaking. Rhombus patterned knits, easy-looking frocks and laid-back tailoring were as well something new, a nod to the English countryside style (I’m thinking of Stella Tennant and Isabella Cowdor’s style seen in their Holland & Holland reinvention). Goddard’s shows are always a delight, whether it’s a kitchen after-party, Mediterranean market or an imaginary storm.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki feauturing a painting by Genieve Figgis. 

Molly Goddard & Her Charm

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It’s impossible not to fall in love with Molly Goddard‘s charming, carefree and one-of-a-kind designs. During the last London Fashion Week, I had an impression that it was Molly’s show that really stood out the most. I wrote about the slight Lady Bird feeling I had throughout the autumn-winter 2018 outing. And now, when I’m looking back at this tulle-loving and gingham-patterned collection, so much optimism comes up to my mind. It’s like Kylie Minogue’s ecstatic Impossible Princess album from 1997 – loud, powerful, happy. Also, everyone should admit that Goddard’s impact across the industry (and other designers’ moodboards…) is very, very noticeable. Just look at Off-White and Stella McCartney this season – I see you, copycats. I doubt they would cherish tulle that much if Molly didn’t make it a statement again.

If you’re about to invest in a piece to love this spring, see the grey Robyn dressruched sleeve sheer top in pink and the delightful August skirt.

 

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Lady Bird. Molly Goddard AW18

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While looking at Molly Goddard’s autumn-winter 2018 collection, I was just impressed with the way this young designer does everything so effortlessly, with so much joy. And, simultaneously, with success. Although Goddard usually goes for party-themed venues, this season the set was an industrial kitchen, probably inspired with those in hotels. Models stopped for a bottle of wine, casually, or a chat. Was it an unofficial after-party scene we all witness from time to time? “It’s where I always end up at a party,” the designer said. “Usually that’s the best part of the night.” Few seasons ago, Molly stormed the London fashion week with her signature, over-sized tulle dresses and a cool, ‘what a girl likes’ mood. Right now, the designer moves towards new territories of 90s crop-tops and gingham, so that she doesn’t feel trapped in a garment she is known for making so well in her studio. “It gets very boring to be confined to the pretty bracket,” she said. “Being girlie is fine, but I think that girlie is often misinterpreted as wishy-washy or prim. I’m the opposite of prim.

Still, it was the ‘dress’ part of the show that really got everyone talking. The last looks, kept in happy shades of pink and orange, somehow reminded me of Christina from Lady Bird – the main character in Greta Gerwig’s debutant film, starring the phenomenal Saoirse Ronan. Just like Lady Bird, the Molly Goddard girl is a beautiful soul in the middle of a difficult world. Still, she’s got balls to go against the flow. Was that an unintentional tribute to all the Lady Birds out there?

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Danish Girl. Cecilie Bahnsen AW18

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LVMH Prize finalist Cecilie Bahnsen draws on the minimalist aesthetic of her Danish heritage for her eponymous, Copenhagen-based label. The Royal College of Art graduate’s selection of ethereal gowns, elegant dresses and sophisticated separates are a showcase of girlie silhouettes with a sculptural edge. Each piece is handmade with phenomenally soft, fluffy fabrics and finished with couture-like details. For autumn-winter 2018, especially look out for tulle dresses in pastel pink and those cute, quilted skirts. Copenhagen fashion week is a great source of fresh designers with Scandinavian sensibility, and this time around, it’s Cecilie that caught everyone’s eye. Also, feel free to fall in love with this velvet goodie and one of these collars coming from Bahnsen.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Not Just Pretty. Y/Project SS18

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Deconstruct and reconstruct with sense of costume history – that’s something Glenn Martens is keen on doing at Y/Project. Here, the Belgian designer’s garments aren’t just ‘over-sized’ like in case of many long-emerging, not-fully-established designers in Paris. It’s more about a witty take on Henry VIII’s and Hamlet’s volumes. Martens knows a lot about fashion (read FASHION, not #fashion) and its old techniques – this let’s him to experiment with the silhouette freely, choosing such fabrics like linen or tulle to do the shoulders and sheaths. From extremely big coats with ruffles and pleats to pearl embellished dresses, Y/Project is a combination of street and royalty. Of course, everything’s worn with the brand’s signature, folded thigh-high boots or laced-up sandals (covered in those kitschy roses). It’s also worth noting that other than dramatic tracksuits and oddly cut ball gowns, Glenn adds more affordably looking pieces, like the dusty pink trousers and baby-blue shirts in his spring-summer 2018 line-up. 

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.