LFW AW19: Molly Goddard

THE WORLDS of tulle and tailoring collide in a beautiful tempest at Molly Goddard’s AW19 show at London Fashion Week. Famed for her marvellous ruched gowns, the British designer was not afraid to toughen up her iconic dresses this time in a collection she describes as “dressed for the storm”.

If indeed equipping oneself for a storm is key, then the chosen location of Westminster’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office seemed the perfect backdrop. Hidden somewhere beneath the Greek, Sicilian and Belgian marble floor of Durbar Court are Winston Churchills War Rooms, the place Britain’s war-time Prime Minister — whose autobiographical memoir about WWII was in fact titled The Gathering Storm — historically discussed and planned Britain’s conflict politics. But at this time, the three stories of columned governmental offices, topped by an ornate glass roof, contained a whirlwind of their own for Goddard’s AW19 show. Audience’s lined the courtyard as models walked the rectangular space before mounting an elevated runway, where wind machines ruffled the garments in a moments of wonderful theatricality.

The collection weathering the storm featured a hugely varied palette. Pieces composed of robust black, grey and khaki boasted mood of utilitarian practicality, juxtaposed by the sugary-sweet bright pastel shades of pea green, calming lavender, soft mint and of course bold cerise pink. This adjacency continued in the formation of each look, as delicate tulle creations were toughened by heavy, functional boots and strong black trousers.

Models were swathed in colourful scarves beneath their tailored pinstripe suits, as well as the bold patterned fabric being worn as headscarves. Masculine workwear garments were adorned with accents of Goddard’s famous femininity — ruched tulle, tied bows and lace detailing. Knitwear also featured in the collection in the form of argyle sweaters and cardigans, worn with matching neck-scarves and paired with skirts with billowing silhouettes. It was indeed as if Goddard was preparing each of the models for stormy weather as they marched along the runway.

Even her famous head-to-toe tulle dresses featured a tough update, as the final two gowns of huge, bold— almost neon in shade — pink paraded through Durbar Court. The same heavy boots and straight black trousers featured previously in the show could be be seen peeping out from beneath the ruched netting skirt of the penultimate piece. The final dress that followed however did not feature these, allowing spectators to sigh as the romantic silhouette took its full form.

Perhaps Goddard’s intention was to subvert the expectations of her iconic creations, proving women never need to choose between tough tailoring or romantic ruching, but rather by embracing both can be prepared to weather any storm.

by Lucy May McCracken

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