Molly Goddard brings a kaleidoscope of joy to London Fashion Week

(AFP via Getty Images)

Imagine something pink. Make it brighter. Throw some tulle. And then some more. Again. Continue until what you have in front of you resembles a type of foam barrel cake. This is Molly Goddard. Okay, not quite. But you get the idea.

Since 2014, the West Londoner has made a name for her voluminous, larger-than-life dresses. Coming in countless shades, they’re almost always one of the highlights of the season, bringing a much-needed dose of wardrobe energy to the runway.

Although Goddard has been a household name since her eponymous brand began, it was thanks to a starring role in 2019’s Killing Eve that the designer became a household name.

Jodie Comer famously wore one of Goddard’s pe-colored creations as Villanelle, the strangely glamorous assassin who spends the show playing cat and mouse with British intelligence officer Eve Polastri (played by Sandra Oh).

There was just something about seeing such a dangerous character dressed in such a joyous outfit that struck a sartorial chord — and photos of the scene in which Comer wears Goddard’s design went viral on social media.

Goddard’s reputation went into the stratosphere, however, after Beyonce wore one of her fuchsia creations in her visual album. Black is King.

Since then, Goddard has continued to push the boundaries of what it means to have fun with fashion. The tulle has become crisper, the last girth higher.

This season, the brand returned to Seymour Leisure Centre, where it also showcased its Autumn/Winter 2022 collection – guests walked in unforgettably drenched in British rain, broken umbrellas in tow, or maybe it was just me. This time, sunnier climes were thankfully upon us, meaning the mood was altogether brighter inside. In the front row, we saw the likes of Laura Bailey, Adwoa Aboah, Ramla Ali and Edie Campbell, a close friend of Goddard’s who usually models in her shows.

The collection was divided into four parts. Each featured a group of models following a pattern around the gymnasium before they all disappeared, making way for the next draw. It all unfolded to the sounds of 1980s holiday hits, including “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads.

Molly Goddard (Ben Broomfield @photobenphoto)

Molly Goddard (Ben Broomfield @photobenphoto)

The first part of the collection consisted of a palette of creams and blues, with structured strapless, full-skirted dresses worn over printed jeans and cowboy boots, while high-waisted sculptural skirts were paired with strapless cotton tops. A tangerine blouse came by way of a stripped blouse, which was offset by tailored black trousers. There was tailoring elsewhere too, with a dark pink single-breasted suit making its way down the runway on one of the male models.

Then came Polkadots: navy blue tulle tops with tutu-like tufted collars and jackets. Variations were designed in peach and red, while this section also featured heavier printed fabrics on skirts and sleeveless dresses. By chapter three, we were seeing things through Goddard’s familiar kaleidoscopic lens. Cotton dresses with endless ruffles at the hem came in lilac and ochre. Cable knit cardigans were pale pink and deep sea blue. And then there were the handbags: rectangular designs with red and blue lightning bolts.

Molly Goddard (Ben Broomfield @photobenphoto)

Molly Goddard (Ben Broomfield @photobenphoto)

But it was the fourth section that really felt more in line with Goddard’s signature aesthetic. A full-length purple tulle dress was worn beneath a neon green button-up blouse—we saw the same look reimagined in burnt orange and accent pink—and sheer dresses draped over striped cords featured in green, yellow and, of course. pink.

The star of the show, however, was the final look: a giant – and utterly pointless – white gown with more layers of tulle than one could count. Imagine the size of Carrie Bradshaw’s famous mille-feuille dress. Now triple that.

“I wanted the staging of the play to feel like a break from the relentless movement,” Goddard says in the show’s notes. “The in-person viewing experience is different from online viewing—slower, messier, wider.”

It was this spirit of joy, optimism and hustle that we all needed.

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