All things bright and beautiful…
If anyone can make embroidery cool again, it’s Molly Goddard. In a new interactive exhibition, the 27-year-old Brit designer of the moment is inviting visitors to grab some yarn, maybe a pal and get doodling...On seven-metre long, fluoro-tulle dresses, we might add. The private view for her show What I Like at the NOW gallery in Greenwich is packed. And rightly so - Goddard is hot property right now.
Molly Goddard's debut catwalk show for SS17 in September 2016
In September, the Central Saint Martin’s graduate enjoyed her first catwalk show and she took home the 'British Emerging Talent’ gong at this year's Fashion Awards.‘There’s so many amazing people around right now, so to be recognised for your work is…it’s just lovely,' Molly tells me, after we settle on a quiet spot in the gallery.
Instagram / @mollymgoddard
Much like her signature princess-style prom dresses, Molly’s own breakout story is pretty fantastical. Born in West London, she completed a BA in knitwear at CSM in 2012, but decided to drop out of her MA course before completion. Although she did take some sage advice from her professor – the late, great Louise Wilson, OBE (whose former students include Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha and Roksanda Ilincic). ‘She was always just trying to tell me 'do what you want to do, do your best and do it better every single time.’
Two years on from her DIY ‘debut’ show – throwing a party and inviting her mates to model her pretty punk creations during London Fashion Week – the young designer has rocked up an impressive fanbase from blogger Susie Bubble to Rihanna. ‘It feels very weird,’ she admits. ‘Rihanna bought the dress as well - from Browns I think - which is nice. I’d love to meet her.’ And then she was commissioned to design model and actress’ Agyness Deyn’s wedding gown this summer. ‘We worked on it for two weeks - she was like “more is more”. We had similar ideas and got it right quite quickly which is the best thing.’ Your dream customer to dress? ‘The Queen would be quite funny! In a matching hat of course.’
Instagram / @aggy_deyn
‘Who is the Molly Goddard girl? I think someone with a sense of humour and practical. I know that sounds a bit weird. But she’s someone who feels comfortable in a big dress, moving around. She doesn’t just sit and pose.’ Her younger sister, Alice, styles and casts her show, featuring only 'real' models. ‘Each girls' personality is a big factor when we put the looks together,’ Alice says.‘We need to get to a point where we're accepting beauty in all forms.’
One big issue Molly and many key figures within fashion industry are less than accepting of is the Brexit vote. ‘I personally think it will have a negative impact. It’s a very international job and the more free and open the better. Anything that hinders that is never a good thing,’ Goddard reveals. ‘I’d love to work around the world and European people to work with me too. I think it could cause a lot of financial problems for young designers.’
'What I Like Now' at the NOW gallery in Greenwich is Molly Goddard's first art partnership
But instead of wallowing in the aftermath, a post-Brexit result actually inspired a YOLO, ‘live for the weekend’ culture among many remain supporters. ‘Let’s go out! Party! Join a dating app!
Molly’s SS17 collection celebrates this feeling - with playful, technicolour tea dresses, tutus and patchwork hoodies inspired by New York’s underground club scene in the '90s.
‘It was about having lots of fun… which sounds like a really basic subject!’ she says laughing ‘But I was thinking about people forgetting everything and having the best time ever.’
With 2017 fast approaching, I ask if she has any New Year’s resolutions. ‘Oooh, maybe to just have a bit of time out.’ Something tells me she might struggle with this one.
Molly Goddard’s installation 'What I Like', is free and open until 19 February at the NOW gallery