It's a week of following up, catching up and hunting down as I dip in and out of some of the fantastic menswear collections on show at LC:M, head down to the colleges to see more graduates as well as sniffing out leads for Paris before I head over there the haute couture shows. Like I said last week when I posted about Shao-Yen Chen, it's nice to see some continuity when talking up young designers. It's not an ideal situation to bound about a name and then not hear a peep about them forevermore. When I was rounding up the upward motions of the high street back in January, I mentioned that ASOS would be collaborating with Central Saint Martins BA class of 2012 graduate Molly Goddard, who I singled out last year. Now the fruits of that union are nearly upon us and it's a pretty and concise lovefest of all the things that I can't resist – sheer, delicate, layer-friendly and best of all, a unique collaboration that goes against the norm.
I believe this is the first time ASOS have collaborated with an undergraduate designer and one that isn't schilling her own mainline anywhere else. "It's strange that nobody knows who I am and I'm not in a position to sell clothes any other way, and so to have things that people can buy, is really exciting," said Goddard. That first part may not be true as Goddard's collection from the last CSM BA show was such a memorable stunner – a wonderful homage to dreamy ideals of childhood attire and to the physical act of handcraft. It's no wonder that it impressed ASOS. "Molly's BA collection was not only accomplished but incredibly beautiful," said Emma Fox, womenswear fashion director of ASOS. "The carefully constructed pieces are the work of an exceptional talent and we are honoured to be working with her on this special collaboration." Looking at the three dresses Goddard has designed for ASOS, they contain some essence of her BA collection – namely the tulle outer dress and volume-creating gatherings at the waist. The underlayer of hand crochet has now become three easy-to-wear slip dresses made up of a machine embroidery into a traditional lace pattern. Combined together they're the sort of dresses that are begging to be taken out of their pretty-pretty fem-fem context. You definitely get an urge to go to the supermarket, ride the 43 bus or walk into an old man's pub wearing one of these ballooning fluoro pink tulle dress just for the sheer hell of it. Goddard seems to have a similar idea. "They could be worn during the daytime and then you might end up at a weird party accidentally."
Essentially though you have two dresses in one that come together in harmony but can also be taken apart for other layering adventures. Combined together they're beautiful just as they are but I like bang for my buck and I personally think the tulle outerdresses are magnificent as they are, acting like shells to layer away as you please. They're daring you to up the contrast levels to counteract the femininity and childish whimsicality of the material and shape. Jeans, trainers, sportswear and rubbish t-shirts would be my chosen weapons of down-dressing all that tulle. Or you could just go all out and run with the heightened frou-frou fantasy of all that tulle and pair up with other similar garments which collectively conjure up a mixture of My Little Pony, rave fairy costumes and Bubble's wardrobe from Ab Fab.
Molly Goddard for ASOS Salon dresses worn with Miista holographic brogues
Molly Goddard for ASOS tulle dress worn with Simone Rocha lace skirt, Sorcha O'Raghallaigh embroidered top, vintage slip dress, Comme des Garcons Tricot collar, John Rocha black tinsel headband, Him & Her neon headband, Meadham Kirchhoff x Pollini shoes
There's an one more sleeveless tulle dress style in a lighter shade of pink, which I didn't photograph so here are the official lookbook images. The collab will hit ASOS.com on 24th June (next Monday) and prices will range from ¬£120 to ¬£150. I'm looking forward to some resemblance of a summer where I get to gather up these giant skirts of tulle to ride the bus, do my supermarket shop and maybe wind up in a park somewhere drinking cider. Anyone else along for the ride?