Molly Goddard has always loved thinking about the internal workings of garments. Her signature tulle dresses transform a ‘ hidden’ fabric — traditionally used on the inside of ball gowns to give them structure — into the main event. This season she took her exploration a step further, spending time in the National Theatre costume hire, where she studied her beloved crinolines as well as other types of historical underwear including 1950s bras, Victorian christening gowns, and Georgian underskirts.
After spending time among the thousands of beautifully crafted costumes, furniture props, and armour from past National Theatre productions that fill the theatrical supplier’s shop, Goddard chose another place filled with beautiful old things to show her spring/summer 2024 collection: the auction house Christie’s.
Goddard showed the collection on models of all sizes, and it was great to see some of the more skin-bearing styles on a range of bodies.
The Front Row:
The FROW was a literal explosion of tulle, with musicians Nia Archives and Griff, actor Emma Appleton, ballerina Francesca Hayward, beauty entrepreneur Emma Lewisham, and Instagram’s head of fashion partnerships Clara Cornet dressed in rainbow colors. Kuddos to the Getty photographer who managed to fit them all in one pretty epic photo.
The SS24 collection went whole hog on deconstruction. In the costume hire, Goddard turned undergarments inside out to discover what gives them structure. She took these components — grosgrain strapping, internal zips, boning, and binding — and made them key elements in her collection. Grosgrain strapping formed vertical stripes on bandeau tops, while bra seam lines figured prominently on the bodices of dresses. Cotton wrapped elastic, zig zag stitching, and undone zippers also featured as decorative motifs.
White frills exploded from beneath hemlines of varying lengths from mini to midi, while pin tucks were cut on the bias to create new silhouettes and draping. One particularly inventive pairing featured a bandeau top and New Look-ish full skirt with cascading ruffles that felt both midcentury and thoroughly modern.
The Thank Yous:
Goddard’s interest in exposing internal workings extends to her team. While it’s typical to include credit lines for some of the key players in a fashion show like the stylist and hair and make-up leads, Goddard’s show notes included a paragraph — almost as long as the notes themselves — which listed the names of each and every person who contributed to the making of the collection form the garment technologist to the sample cutter.