“It takes a village” might be one of the most used and abused idioms in the English language – along with an enthusiastically delivered “better late than never!”, and “penny for your thoughts?” which is never not annoying – but in the case of Molly Goddard’s eponymous brand, started four years ago after she dropped out of the MA in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins, it is true. “It takes a family” might be more appropriate, though; her sister Alice Goddard styles her shows, her mum Sarah Edwards oversees the playful sets, her boyfriend, Tom Shickle, has been involved from the off. And then there’s the extended family of models, many of whom had their first break with her, and collaborators. The list goes on.
And what better way to celebrate that list than with a book? Photographed by Tim Walker and styled by Alice, Patty celebrates the Molly Goddard family tree in all of its eclectic glory. “My mum’s in there, my granny is in there, my boyfriend, my guinea pig...” Goddard explains. (The guinea is the titular Patty, no less.) “Anyone that was there on the day ended up having their photo taken.”
Rather than a retrospective look back over the past few years – eventful though they have been, including, most recently, Goddard’s win of the Vogue Fashion Fund – Patty was more an opportunity to gather all of these like-minded people in one place. “It wasn’t really about the looks,” Goddard continues, “because they are from different seasons, and a lot of them you don’t really see as clothes. Instead, Alice and I went into it thinking about creating new and interesting shapes that we haven’t seen before on the body. We had that freedom where, if you move, it’s all going to fall off, but we didn’t have to think about the practicality. Instead we could put four dresses on top of each other, or tie dresses to legs, or whatever it was that create a shape or texture that we thought was interesting.”
The resulting meeting of minds is vivid, dynamic and full of life – a series that straddles fantasy (see: layer upon layer of tulle; fairytale make-up, faraway faces) and the gritty everyday that has grounded Goddard’s brand from the very first collection (the simple white backdrop; the real-life bodies in the clothes). It’s a joyous and ephemeral celebration of everything the brand has come to represent, captured by a good friend with a similarly flamboyant outlook. And, available in a print-run of just 250, it’s soon to be snapped up. Long live Patty!
Patty, by Molly Goddard and Tim Walker, is currently available in-store at Dover Street Market London. It launches at Comme des Garçons Trading Museum and other Dover Street Market locations later on this week.