Ever since Molly Goddard burst onto the scene in 2015, her voluminous neon-hued tulle frocks have become the must-have hot ticket of London Fashion Week.
The Victoriana-inspired unbridled girlie vision the London-born designer presents has proved so popular (seen on the likes of sure-fire profit-catalysts Rihanna, Agyness Deyn and Fearne Cotton) it’s hard to tell what came first: the fashion or the following.
It hardly matters, though, once you reach a certain point. And Molly Goddard has unquestionably reached it.
With her family-affair brand that sees her sister Alice Goddard style and cast, her mother Sarah Edwards oversee set design and her boyfriend Tom Shickle as her business partner, Goddard has gone from a flailing St Martins student ready to throw in the towel to a designer stocked at infamously exclusive Dover Street Market.
While most fashion lovers have a fantasy of flouncing around in a wildly absurd milles feuilles of bright puffy fabric, the Goddard appeal comes not from a saccharine femininity but an obstinate, rebelliously feminist approach to dressing that echoes the Japanese Lolitas of Harajuku: an in-your-face almost aggressive femininity that threatens anyone to undermine or challenge it. This was writ large in Goddard’s spring/summer 2018 show, that saw models including Edie Campbell stomp around sloshing glasses of wine as they walked.
This season, the party girls became elegant European women. Transforming (or possibly not transforming) New Covent Garden Market into a ramshackle Moroccan souk-meets-continental bazaar, Goddard sent her models meandering through lines of press, buyers and bloggers carrying lettuce as well as handbags.
Developing on her signature style, the 29-year-old designer cast off her tulle shackles to present a collection of gingham frocks, trousers, shirting and Orla Kiely-esque prints with the odd dash of sparkle.
Staying true to her style, there were thankfully still ruffles in abundance, but they came also as detailing, crop tops and peplums. No longer just for the wild child, Goddard’s unique originality shone through garments that one could even imagine paring with jeans and trainers for a summer picnic.
The fun wasn’t lost, either. As cool-girl models Campbell and Adwoa Aboah walked with the designer for her final bow, they pranced and laughed like old friends, reminding us that – while Goddard has certainly grown up – it’s thankfully by not too much.