Molly Goddard's sweet sixteen: the London designer parties in tulle and taffata dresses with friends like artist Phoebe Collings-James
Bright coloured party balloons anchored to a fence led the way to Molly Goddard’s birthday party, “The pre-collection to the next collection,” as she calls it. At the door, it’s obvious the adults have been relegated to the next room while the teen debauchery carries on in the lounge. Inside, Goddard’s laughing, hugging, dancing friends are a sea of her creations; smoking cigarettes under the annex and spiking the punch with a bottle of Wray and Nephew rum. Party poppers at the ready, in the corner the token party singer is knocking out Ricky Martin’s greatest hits – Livin' La Vida Loca!
“I think it’s moving up a few years,” says Goddard, a Central Saint Martins BA graduate who counts herself as one of those tutored by the late-Louise Wilson (who she gives special thanks to in her presentation notes). The young designer is referring to progressing from her graduate collection, which was inspired by her own baby clothes, to her teens. Volumes of tulle and taffeta, the ultimate in party wear, are central to the collection; “It’s that awkward party dress thing where someone sits down and the dress is like ‘poof’. It pushes up above their shoulders because it’s just so full and ill-fitting. Obviously I didn’t want to make them ugly, but it’s like your ultimate party dress. It’s that whole thing of getting ready for the party,” she reveals. Styled by Goddard’s sister Alice, who accessorised a selection of the dresses – all intricately different from one another, in a selection of Barbie pink, gunmetal grey, periwinkle blue and more – with band t-shirts, piercings and disposable cameras, which hang around their necks. Poised on the cusp of adulthood, it felt like that coming of age battle of taking control of your life while still having to listen to your parents. Teenage angst at its finest.
What’s been the party princess’s ultimate birthday party? “Going mud sliding,” she smiles, in a complete contrast to the scene unfolding around her. “We drove to the countryside and went on these BMX tracks. It was raining and we all just went sliding around on our bums. We went back to my granny’s house, got dressed up and had a little disco in the town hall. That was the best birthday ever!”