14 June

An encounter with Molly Goddard, a young designer in the running for the LVMH prize

 

Her graduation collection at Central Saint Martin’s celebrated the artisanal techniques of smocking and crochet that we usually associate with clothes for little girls. Transposing the cutesy side of meringue dresses for kids, Molly Goddard has made a name for herself in just five seasons by assuming her love of pink, tulle and prom queen dresses. Numéro caught up with the English designer gunning for the LVMH prize, and asked her a few questions. 

By Delphine Roche

  • Numéro: Your love for pink has already become a signature of yours and you often say this colour isn’t girly. How do you perceive it?

    Molly Goddard: It’s true that pink is one of my favourite colours… because it sometimes conceals a true ugliness that I find fascinating.  

     

     

    Your collections abound with voluminous tulle dresses. Would we be right in thinking you’re an eternal fan of the party dress?

    I adore party clothes and those worn for ceremonies, when they’re linked to a social ritual or a particular occasion. Christening dresses and Sunday best clothes express all the attention and love that were required in their making. I love transposing these ceremonial clothes into daily wear, just by playing with the styling and the way I present my collections.

What you essentially suggest is the wearing of meringue dresses with jeans, a hoodie and sneakers. Is that how you personally would wear them?

Yeah that’s how I like to wear them. I love slipping a pair of jeans or a t-shirt under a dress. So I basically started producing these pieces to complete my collections.

 

It’s often remarked that your collections subvert the ‘pretty’ and the ‘feminine’ and their accompanying magical elements. Is that your intention?

My research and my references are never anchored in fairy tales, or in what is traditionally considered as the feminine domain. I think maybe that’s what creates this subversive element: those notions just don’t exist for me.  The fantasy element in my collections comes from a desire to inspire women, rather than just sticking to the every day and banal. 

 

Are your pieces mainly crafted by hand? Where is your studio based and how many people work on your team?

The development of the prototypes, the fabrics and the prints happens in my studio. Then several English factories produce my pieces. Most of the techniques we use by definition are worked by hand. Sometimes we try and create the same effect in a more pragmatic way, like for example using a piece of lace that could be mistaken for crochet. Making pieces by hand is my favourite part of my work. I really hope I can maintain that as my business grows.

Were you surprised to be among the finalists for the LVMH prize?

Yes of course. The whole experience of participating has been very informative. Particularly having to talk about my brand to people who didn’t even know it existed. Explaining my work in a minute made me realise what really matters for me, and everything I’ve still got to learn

 

What will you do with the prize money if you win?

I’ve got so many ideas about how I’d invest it. But I still need to think about that a bit more! 

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