Yesterday at Christopher Kane’s show, for the first time ever (I think) he had written a lengthy press release. The reason being is that it was dedicated to his former mentor at Central Saint Martins Louise Wilson. He talked about looking back to the past to get to the future. Many designers have paid homage to Wilson in the wake of her death in May. Kane’s was the most prominent as one of Wilson’s starriest proteges. Spare a thought though for the current crop of MA students at CSM, who lost a key tutor and at a crucial time in their design education. It’s not just the loss of the tour de force that was Louise but it’s the loss of a guiding educator which will have possible ramifcations on their final year collections, to be presented in February next year.
Molly Goddard won’t be a stranger to some of you. She was a star graduate of the Central Saint Martins BA course in 2012 and that led to a collaboration with ASOS where her shamelessly whimsical tulle shell dresses were paired with embroidered slip dresses. After deferring for one year, Goddard embarked on the CSM MA course and was on course to show her final MA collection next February. After Wilson’s death in May, everything changed. Goddard decided that she wouldn’t stay on to complete her MA. And in a matter of months, she left CSM and decided to pull together a collection to show quite casually this season at London Fashion Week.
I say casual. The clothes were anything but. Eschewing formal presentation style, Goddard got together a group of her personal friends to wear her collection of beautifully smocked frocks and basically have a fun fun fun party. No silly posing. No models looking awkward as they meander around a set. Just a gang of girls necking beers (for real), chatting, having a laugh and dancing. Some wore the dresses in shades of coral, duck egg blue and deep yellow on their own. Some had band t-shirts and jeans underneath. Like Goddard’s pieces for ASOS, these dresses showed versatility, despite the fact that they are dramatically constructed out of multiple layers of tulle. Tegan Wlliams, one of Molly’s friends, who I had met on an Elle Collections shoot, is a tomboy in real life but she looked totally at ease all trussed up in voluminous pink. If you’re not into frou frou, tulle or pink then Goddard has also introduced some really beautiful dark indigo taffeta smocked dresses which were a bit shorter too.
Goddard isn’t quite sure where Molly Goddard – “the brand” – will go next. She’s sure to have interest from buyers but it’s whether she’s ready for the challenge of setting up her own label, so soon after she’s left education. In any case I’m grateful for Goddard’s off-off-schedule presence at London. I loved that it wasn’t entirely serious and that Goddard was kind of winging it. That’s often when creative expression is at its freeest. Planning every step meticulously has become the modus operandi for designers everywhere as they’re coached to become brands very quickly. Less planning and more doing would suffice for me. In a flurry of two months, Goddard just wanted to create. And create she did.