Photography by Jonas McIlwain
In her AW16 presentation, which is her fourth show on London Fashion Week, Molly Goddard showcased 19 looks made in gathered tulle, shiny bold orange taffeta and sheer organza. “I’m always very excited about the fabrics,” she says. The rich textures and intricate hand-craft she displays in her work have followed her ever since her BA graduate collection in 2012, where she patched together crocheted table-cloths and smocked layers of light, transparent nets. Following her interest in children’s clothing, her fascination for fabric manipulation is useful when it comes to creating big, flouncy silhouettes. “We did a lot of textile manipulation and experimentation, like trying to fit 40 yards of fabric into a dress.”
“I must have been running like four miles just since we got here,” says Molly’s sister and partner-in-crime, stylist Alice Goddard. When she finally appears to the audience after stressing around in the nooks and corners of the backstage area at the Tate, dressing frizzy-haired girls in gathered tulle leggings and pointy black flats, she’s happy with the outcome. “It’s better than I thought it would be, actually. It’s not that I wasn’t convinced that it would be amazing, obviously, it’s just that I’m so overwhelmed by how happy I am! It’s always nice working with family. Obviously it gets a bit intense sometimes, but I feel that we communicate much quicker than with other people. We’re on the same channel.”
As friends and family are contributing and supporting Molly Goddard in her work, this time her mother Sarah Edwards is responsible for the set design. With tables covered in heavy white cloths, chairs randomly spread out over the floor and a big white piano wing boasting in the foreground, the surreal setting looked like the ghost of a shut down restaurant. Inspired by the cult yakuza film classic ‘Tokyo Drifter’, they managed to create an abstract world that complements the original venue very well.
As alternative ways of presenting fashion are starting to emerge, Willie Walters agrees with Molly’s decision of having a presentation rather than a show. “This is a really beautiful setting. In this case, I’d say that a presentation format works a lot better than if they would have thrown on a fashion show, definitely. If you imagine the looks coming one by one down the catwalk, it wouldn’t be nearly so effective. Now there’s time for the girls to pose and create attitudes. I like that they’re chatting together, and sit down and stand up and walk a little bit, you see the clothes in movement very well. I love fashion shows, but, I mean, sometimes some of them are a bit boring! Still though,” she continues, “if you’re at a place where you’re about to see someone you’re really excited about, it can create an amazing atmosphere, which you perhaps can’t create at a presentation. You know, when you’re waiting for each one to come out, the feeling of excitement and then the applause at the end! Especially if it’s someone very well-recognized that’s done something very beautiful before that season, or if somebody is new. I definitely felt that during the Fashion East show this morning. That was really exciting.”