“I had [looked at] photos of Victorian christening gowns and even older ones, where babies are smooshed up in their dresses with things poking and squidging out underneath. The dresses I looked at were vintage ball gowns and on the outside they’re actually quite simple, but then you turn it over, there’s layers and layers,” said a pregnant Molly Goddard following her show.
This season she buried exaggerated silhouettes and went neat, showing that her clothes don’t always need to make noise to be appreciated.
Her starting point was diving into the costumes at the National Theatre, from the Regency period to present day. She pinned ideas from each period onto her mannequin to form her thesis: ‘50s bras, crinolines and Georgian underskirts.
A cardigan-cum-jacket with a satin trim in buttery yellow and soft pink; fitted monastery dresses with ruffles poking out; fishtail skirts in the form of a duvet were among the looks. For a designer associated with twee, there was an underlying suggestiveness to the collection without hinging on sex.
House dresses were printed with a faded floral motif that could almost be found in one of the paintings at Christie’s, the auction house where Goddard hosted the show and a place she’s visited many times behind the scenes when exhibitions have been taking place.
“I really wanted everyone to feel quite uniform, but individual,” said Goddard, whose models walked the runway in unison fringe hairstyles, with some in lace-up ballet flats and others in metallic boxing boots.
With her feet on the ground and tulles laying low, the designer has found the right ingredients for style with substance.