At Molly Goddard’s Autumn/Winter 2020 show this weekend, she showed menswear for the first time – here, she tells us why
- TextTed Stansfield
It’s funny how four looks can end up being the highlight of your London Fashion Week. But that was the case this season, thanks to Molly Goddard and the quartet of menswear looks she showed as part of her Autumn/Winter 2020 show. This was the first time the London-based designer has shown menswear and, while the looks were devoid of her signature tulle, they nonetheless bore all her trademarks: colour, a sense of fun, and a certain off-kilter chic.
The first look comprised a suit cut from a dusty pink Prince of Charles check with a light purple shirt underneath, and what appeared to be her take on a Fair Isle cardigan – also in pink. The second comprised a similar cardigan (this time green), a white shirt and suit trousers cut from a Prince of Charles check – also in green; the third look was made up of similar suit trousers and a fabulous dark grey coat with ruching around the edges and a red and blue jumper underneath; while the last of the four comprised a suit cut from a dusty orange Prince of Wales check and an orange and blue jumper underneath. The looks had a charming but perhaps deceptive simplicity to them.
“I’ve been thinking about doing menswear for quite a long time,” says Goddard, speaking to Another Man the day after the show. “I’ve just wanted to know where it would begin, which is with a good suit, a good jumper and a good shirt. I made those pieces quite early on in the development of the collection. It was kind of an experiment because I knew what I wanted to make, but I wasn’t totally sure whether it worked until a couple of weeks ago when we started doing fittings. And it did work. I’m happy we did it.”
Goddard continues to say that the menswear came from a similar place to the womenswear; that both are worn in similar ways – i.e. “layered up” – and that they represent an amalgamation of the old and new.
And that’s where we arrive at the crux of her approach to menswear – an aversion to the totally new or ‘trendy’. “I find menswear quite challenging,” she admits, “it’s all very fashionable and so I wanted to do something that wasn’t fashionable, wasn’t overly done, but was fun and colourful at the same time.”
As for the inspiration, she cites the men in her life, such as her boyfriend, the fashion PR Tom Shickle, who shares this perspective. “Tom wears a lot of suits – this a certain kind of suit from this one shop on Golborne Road,” she says. “And that’s where it came from... People out and about [inspire me] too; friends like Arthur who took our photos at the show, the fit models who come in, just generally my friends. It wasn’t one specific person. It’s a little bit of all these people.”
While the menswear looks were modelled on men, the clothes themselves, she reiterates, are unisex and she hopes to see them sold in shops alongside her womenswear garments. “The customer is anyone who wants it,” she laughs. “I hope it would be mixed in with the [womenswear clothes] and a woman would buy a jacket with a dress.”
Ultimately for Goddard, this was an experiment and one she’s glad she carried out. “I’d like to keep going,” she says. “Like I said, this was an inane, simple little tester in a way, and I’m glad I felt like it worked.”