Molly Goddard Is Taking Over the World!
The British designer is making wearable fairytales for Amy Sedaris, Rihanna, and others celebrities who just want fashion to be fun.
Amy Sedaris in Molly Goddard dress. Photograph by CBS Photo Archives for Getty Images.
Last week, as a part of the press tour for her new show, At Home with Amy Sedaris, Amy Sedaris appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in a shocking melon pink dress, its bonkers tiers of tulle cinched with a pink ribbon. It was the kind of dress a young girl sees whens she closes her eyes and fantasizes, "Fairytale ending," which made it perfect for Sedaris, whose new show is a delightfully unhinged parody of the domestic goddess television genre.
"Well, this is beautiful! This is really lovely!" Colbert said, and then cracked, "Where's the top half?" Sedaris cackled and said, "I don't kiss and tell!" But its punchy hue and voluminous silhouette—not to mention Sedaris's clear joy in wearing it—meant it was instantly recognizable to a growing number of fans of the British designer Molly Goddard.
Asked why she chose a Goddard dress for the occasion, Sedaris wrote in an email this week, "The dress (and all of Molly's dresses) represent everything I love about a dress. Her dresses have that built in 'dress up' feel. Playful. Full of color."
She added, "Her dresses are like frosting: just the best part of the cake."
People always look like they're having the best part of the cake when they wear Goddard, which is perhaps why her statement dresses are becoming a celebrity style staple. Last December, the model Adwoa Aboah wore a highlighter green Goddard gown to the 2016 British Fashion Awards, where the designer was honored for British Emerging Talent. Agyness Deyn got married in 2016 in a funky-ethereal white Goddard dress with a powder pink underskirt.
But of course, Goddard's dresses first poufed onto everyone's radars when Rihanna wore one in neon green on a Starbuck's run in New York in May 2016, about two years after Goddard's debut at London Fashion Week. Since then, Rihanna has worn Goddard's dresses a handful of times, most recently a lavender strapless dress at the Fenty Beauty launch in London in September, and a blue gown with sneakers earlier this month, which she captioned on Instagram as "casual."
"Molly really resonates in a fun, girly way that feels modern and cool," wrote stylist Mel Ottenberg, who works with Rihanna and first brought Goddard's pieces to the singer's attention, in an email. "And I think the key to Molly is that it's about dressing for yourself, dressing for enjoyment, not so much dressing for others, or to be objectified."
Goddard's designs sell primarily at Dover Street Market, the Rei Kawakubo-helmed department store that is a temple to avant-garde fashion, meaning the brand's retail reach is somewhat niche. But despite that, and the fact that the colors are riotous and the proportions outrageous, Goddard's dresses are in fact incredibly wearable, with simple shapes, flattering smocked bodices, and versatile sheer fabrics. "Molly is the opposite of a thot dress, but actually you could wear all that sheer Molly stuff in the most scandalous way possible if you wanted to," wrote Ottenberg. "Good for the street, good for the event, and good for the bedroom."
Asked about spotting new talent like Goddard, Ottenberg offered some advice that could serve as your new fashion proverb: the key, he wrote, is "having an open mind, a love for fashion, not being scared of making a mistake, and having fun with it! It's JUST CLOTHES!!!!!!!!!"