British designer Molly Goddard (seated) had a small mess on her hands four years ago, with her academic career at Central Saint Martins stalled in a fatal downwards spiral. A devoted boyfriend persuaded her "to take one more stab at it", writes Lynn Yaeger for Vogue US. In a lightening flash, Molly's younger sister Alice was in charge of styling. Her parents were assigned staging, and that included mum Sarah Edwards who is a set designer. “Really, we just threw a party—all my girlfriends were there, with my dresses over their jeans,” Molly Goddard says, laughing.
Dover Street Market was in the house that night -- it helps to have influential friends in high places. The result was an order for 86 pieces of Goddard's oversize tulle frocks and being crowned the winner of the 2016 British Emerging Talent Award.
"If her work at first glance seems the embodiment of girlish charm, it has—in common with many of the most interesting designers working today—a transgressive current rumbling underneath all the frothy folderol," writes Yaeger. Goddard has managed to imbue her designs with a rebellious spirit that is as feminist as it is feminine. Her most recent collection, for spring 2018, was a breakthrough: From the moment Edie Campbell opened the show, wineglass in hand, clad in an exquisitely refined high-waisted ivory dress—a dress that would suit Kate Middleton -- fashion history was on the move.
This fashion love story has a happy ending -- at least for now. The devoted boyfriend Tom Shickle is now her business partner. Alice handles styling and casting. Mom wields a hammer building sets. Read on about a maybe fashion star in the making. Then again, reading her list of supporters, this is as close as any aspiring designer can get to a sure thing.
The extended Goddard clan includes Rihanna, who was an early adopter of the Molly smock; Cindy Sherman; and Edie Campbell. Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo is sort of a fairy godmother, insisting that she wear a Goddard dress to the 2017 Met ball until Adrian Joffee told his wife "no, no, no." After all, the exhibition was a tribute to her: 'Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between'.
Roles get a bit shifted in this March 2018 American Vogue presentation starring Edie Campbell and the Goddard women. Verity Parker does the styling with photography by Scandebergs (the creative studio founded by Stefano Colombini and Alberto Albanese) for 'The Goddard Family'. / Hair by Kei Terada; makeup by Lucy Bridge
Related: Edie herself has a shop at New York's Dover Street Market.