Duke of Richmond honors Molly Goddard for ‘luxurious and flamboyant designs’

British fashion designer Molly Goddard has already designed looks favored by celebrities on both sides of the pond, and her intricate and rebellious style has had a huge impact on her peers. Last week, she made British fashion history when she was awarded the Goodwood Talent in Fashion Award by the British Fashion Council and Duke of Richmond. The award is named after the Goodwood estate, which has been the seat of the duke’s family for more than 300 years.

In a statement, the duke explained why he was honored to present Goddard with the award. “Molly was a clear contender for this year’s award: Her collections are bursting with bright and cheerful colors and she is known for her luxurious and gorgeous designs,” he said. “This fits perfectly with Goodwood’s approach to fashion, which embraces a glamorous yet relaxed style.”

As part of the award, Goddard created three garments based on the atmosphere at the estate, and they will be added to the estate’s permanent collection, alongside his prized paintings by artists such as George Stubbs and Canaletto. Goddard’s three-dress capsule collection debuted during the July 26 opening ceremony of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, a five-day annual series of horse races also called Glorious Goodwood.

“The three dresses I created were inspired by the incredible art collection and interiors of Goodwood House; I am extremely proud that my work will become part of this wonderful collection,” Goddard wrote about her collection. “When I visited, it was immediately clear how special Goodwood is; upon arrival, I was ushered into the main house through a room filled from floor to ceiling with beautiful Sevres porcelain.”

The award was chosen by a panel of judges, which included the duke and Lydia Slater e Harper’s Bazaar UK together with Sian Westerman AND Caroline Rush of the British Fashion Council. Rush, chief executive of the council, said: “Congratulations to the brilliant British designer Molly Goddard for being honored with this year’s Goodwood Talent in Fashion Award. The Duke of Richmond is building an extraordinary archive of British creativity through this annual award, which highlights the role of fashion and style at this quintessentially British racing event.

Goodwood Estate sits on 12,000 acres of land in Chichester, West Sussex, about 60 miles south of London, and has been in the family since the first Duke of Richmond, an illegitimate son of King Charles II, acquired the land along with a house small for use as a hunting lodge in 1697. The current Duke, Charles Gordon-Lennox, is the 11th Duke of Richmond and was known as the Earl of March before his father, the 10th Duke of Richmond, to die in 2017.

The 10th Duke was known for renovating the estate in the 1960s and ’70s, and for his progressive social views. As well as the famous Sussex Downs horse racing course, there is a motor racing track, an organic farm, a golf course, a hotel and pheasant shooting grounds. Spectators from all over the world come for Glorious Goodwood, other horse racing and motor racing events and an annual festival called the Goodwood Revival, a motor race where attendees dress up from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s to promote sustainability and recycling .

The Goodwood Talent in Fashion Award was established in 2020 and was first awarded to a designer Richard Quinn. The idea for the award was born after the British designer of Syrian origin Nabil Nayal was commissioned to design three looks for Qatar Glorious Goodwood in 2019. His designs were a stunning suite in black and white.

“We have always been known for this ‘England in Summer’ style of dress since King Edward VII and Lillie Langtry came racing in the 19th century,” the duke said in his statement praising Goddard. “This award is designed to support innovative British talent while helping us build a unique collection of one-off pieces here at Goodwood. We are thrilled that Molly’s dresses will become part of our fashion heritage.”

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