Design Matters: fashion designer Molly Goddard on working to your strengths and not being some girly thing.

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 03.42.21.png

Design Matters: The Elements

Form: Molly Goddard


“I’m not going to do a street wear collection. I focus on this one thing, and I have very specific strong links to it, very strong references to it, and knowledge of what I do. ” We meet the London-based fashion designer and talk about manipulating fabric, feeling comfortable and making something from nothing.


Can't stand it

It makes a lot of sense that Rihanna, one of the world’s biggest pop stars chose to wear a the bright blue tulle cascades of one of Molly Goddard’s statement dresses with a pair of white trainers. As Goddard explains in the latest episode of Bang & Olufsen’s Design Matters video series, however classically-inspired and dramatic her collections, Goddard's design sensibility is definitely rooted in contemporary life. 

“For me it’s about feeling special, glamorous, even sexy, but feeling incredibly comfortable,” Goddard says of her work. “I really can’t stand it when you see someone in a dress that’s too tight and heels that are too tall and they look so uncomfortable.”


A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

“If you do what you do best, then people respond to that.”

Learn to Fail

Speaking about her dress appearing on Rihanna’s Instagram last autumn, Goddard told Vogue that “Rihanna wearing the Rio dress with trainers is something I hadn’t imagined, but I literally couldn’t think of a better way to wear such an enormous dress. I love it!”
29-year-old Goddard graduated from Central St Martins Fashion Knitwear BA in 2012. Failing her MA was, she tells Design Matters, a learning experience rather than a hindrance, teaching her the importance of sticking to what she does best.

This Pussy Grabs Back

Her pleated, gathered dresses inspired by craft techniques like crocheting and knitwear manage to reflect fashion traditions without being fusty and dated. Although she says that she’s unlikely to be embarking on a streetwear collection any time soon, she insists that her working methods and inspirations “it doesn’t mean you’re this prim, fussy, girly thing - which we’re definitely not”.
Rihanna would seem to agree, reflecting the radicalism of Goddard’s work by choosing to pair one of her dresses with a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “This Pussy Grabs Back” at the 2017 Women’s March in New York.

More More More

What makes Goddard collections so versatile? As she explains, Goddard works by hand in her studio, so as to be able to see instant results and be able to immediately see if an idea is worth pursuing, or perhaps even developing to become the “more more more” that makes her voluminous dresses (some of which feature as much as 120 metres of fabric) so distinctive.

Something from nothing

Yet these are not difficult pieces of haute-couture, but airy and adaptable. She uses the experience gleaned studying how knitwear “makes something from nothing” to use light materials like tule and mesh. As the designer explains, “it’s been about making people feel comfortable in what they wear, so they can be themselves”. If you do what you do best, then people respond to that.”


Sound Matters: Portable Revolutions

Nathaniel Budzinski

Bang & Olufsen x Saint Laurent

Nathaniel Budzinski