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LFW AW21: Molly Goddard balances tulle with practical sensibilities

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Feb. 23, 2021

There is something delectably fun and glamorous about seeing an oversized tulle Molly Goddard dress bounce down the catwalk, or in this case across her studio in Bethnal Green. For autumn/winter 2021, the designer offered a more pared-down, highly wearable commercial collection that she describes as “long lasting, but spiced up wardrobe classics”.

Yes, tulle is an intrinsic part of the Molly Goddard DNA, but for autumn/winter 2021, the British designer showed that it isn’t all about her frothy sensibilities, this was a collection with a commercial edge and a conscious effort to think more sustainably.

The designer shared transparency on her fabrics from wool sourced in the UK to royal tartans woven in a small village in Scotland, while taffeta was woven in Northern Italy using 100 percent recycled yarn and the men’s suiting was done with fabric originating from the town of Melton Mowbray in the heart of the East Midlands.

Alongside statement voluminous tulle dresses, Goddard was inspired by books she had at home, including Tina Barney’s Europeans, David Douglas Duncan’s Goodbye Picasso and many Terence Conran House and DIY books, all of which “occasionally feature a well-dressed person in a beautiful home”.

It was these image of people, especially families of all generations and how they wear clothes that drove the autumn/winter 2021 collection, explains Goddard in the show notes: “The contrast between characters and styles. A glamorous smoking grandmother, sulking teenage son, an old man in tweeds and a young girl proudly ready for a night out.”

Molly Goddard highlights sustainability with transparency on fabrics for autumn/winter 2021 collection

Goddard tamed her over-the-top tulle with what’s she is calling “classic items of clothing” from pink herringbone tweed mini skirt suits to Fair Isle knits, frilled tailoring, long striped scarves and wool coats with velvet collars and buttons.

As well as classics, Goddard also showed that dressing up can be fun, with Fifties-style taffeta party dresses with stiff bows placed randomly, day dresses in plaid, and a knockout creation that requires 13 meters of tulle and takes 36 hours to create.

Commenting on the collection, Goddard, said in the show notes: “I loved the idea of making the ultimate dresses, based on classic prom or party dresses that are so recognisable, but a little twisted - the tulle dress becomes so loud and clashing that it is almost ugly, the taffeta bows are spiky sharp, as are the bows on the shoes.

“Everything has a toughness and practicality despite the colour and scale. Colour and detail are key, layers of socks and tights and lace up leather, building up colourful and intricate outfits from simple pieces. I am quite fed up of seeing leggings and black puffa jackets for walks in the park. Pieces in this collection are for celebrating and enjoying. Each item could have been handed down through generations, and now hopefully will be.”

Goddard also brought menswear back to the catwalk, with frilly tartan trousers, Fair Isle sweaters with neon stripes, tartan kilts, long stripe scarves, tailored jackets and frilly shirts.

Images: courtesy of Molly Goddard by photographer Ben Broomfield