Molly Goddard’s rapid ascent from Central Saint Martins graduate to fashion world darling hinged on one factor: her ability to make the opulent feel casual. Goddard’s signature voluminous tulle dresses—made in bold shades of bubblegum pink, banana yellow, and cyan blue—have the lightweight feel and easy movement of a T-shirt. Her ardent fans, among them Adwoa Aboah, Rosamund Pike, and Rihanna, are as likely to wear them with chunky flat boots or over a pair of jeans as they are with towering stiletto heels.
That blend of glamour and intimacy was even more potent for Spring/Summer 2022, which may have been Goddard’s most intimate collection to date. Goddard began the design process while pregnant with her first child, then finished the collection after her son’s birth. Children’s clothing—a long-time fascination—became a central theme and inspiration. “I was eight months pregnant when I started designing this collection and imagined the clothes my child would wear,” she said of the collection. “I was fixated on smocked dresses, tracksuit bottoms, and ballet pumps. I enjoyed the repetition in this collection and the familiarity, it is nostalgic and visceral.”
Goddard blew up baby dresses—including a specific dress she herself wore as a child—to adult sizing, tracing the original patterns and making them 10-20 times larger. It wasn’t so much ‘maternity dressing’ as it was a study of the roles fashion plays in our lives, our whole lives, and how we tend to abandon the values of comfort and familiarity the older we get. Tulle blouses were worn with loose baggy denim jeans, smocked dresses were styled over tracksuit bottoms (Goddard’s sister, Alice, styled the show), and the shoes were flat ballet pumps in primary shades of green and metallic pink. It was warm and welcoming but impeccably crafted: quintessential Molly Goddard. “It’s a collection that already feels familiar to me,” she wrote in the show’s notes. “Full of good memories of growing up, and the anticipation of the exciting time ahead I have with my son.”