Stylist and editor Alice Goddard kicks off our three-part muse series
In Greek mythology, the nine Muses were goddesses who presided over literature and the arts and sciences. Throughout time, they have had a role in inspiring artists from Picasso and Marie-Therese Walter, Isabella Blow and McQueen, Amanda Harlech and Karl Lagerfeld; but in recent times, they have moved to being a more active participant. Insiders meets three modern muses.
When asked to name a style icon, most people usually go for their mothers or classic movie stars. Few though would nominate George Costanza – the short, bald antihero from Seinfeld. When asked to explain her offbeat choice, 22-year-old stylist and editor, Alice Goddard expands, “There’s something about wardrobes on TV shows – they can say so much about a character in a way. Besides, the people I find inspiring in the public eye are the people who don’t pay much attention to what they’re wearing.”
She could as well be describing the minimalist aesthetic of the beautifully low-key biannual magazine, Hot and Cool that she co-founded with her boyfriend, 23-year old photographer Theo Sion four years ago. What makes Hot and Cool stand out from the pack is its refusal to adhere to the conventional wisdom of fashion magazines: its editorials frequently features street-cast models in a mix of luxury labels and vintage clothes and variously been inspired by cartoons and screenshots of people in Middle America taken using the Google Maps app.
Taking its name from a book about Miami interiors, Hot and Cool may be informed by its makers’ love of 90s Vogue Italia and early issues of Self Service and Purple but remains one of the freshest, most inspiring publications out at the moment. “We were trying to make something that wasn’t already there,” says Goddard. “It was about finding somewhere to put our photos.” Hence the magazine’s mission to shine the spotlight on the new vanguard of talent ranging from Sion, Colin Dodgson, Oliver Hadlee Perch and Harley Weir in addition to interviewing personal heroes like Whit Stillman, Tina Barney and Joe McKenna.
Slight, blonde and softly spoken, Goddard’s inner resolve reveals itself incrementally in conversation. Growing up in West London; Goddard’s early experiments in fashion involved rummaging through the thrift stores in Portobello to find vintage pieces to customise. After studying fashion design at Central Saint Martins, she would go on to collaborate with older sister, Molly on a clothing range, Lovetits (she now styles Molly’s shows at London Fashion Week) and dabbled in modelling, featuring in shoots for The Gentlewoman and & Other Stories.
"I like fashion that’s not self-conscious" — Alice Goddard
“Modelling was a good experience when I needed it,” she says. “It helped me to realise I wanted to be part of this fashion thing.” It was while assisting stylist John Colver that she would meet London’s rising design stars Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques' Almeida and become their fit model and muse. “We’ve known Alice since we started MA,” explain the duo. “She was dragged along by our stylist, John Colver, to do our first hair and make-up test and we’ve had her around as much as we can ever since! She’s a massive inspiration for us. We are obsessed with seeing our clothes on her and also she’s incredibly talented!” For Goddard’s part, she sees the term "muse" having different connotations to the past: “It’s a very flattering word I think. But I feel like it’s more of an active role nowadays and that’s a better version of it.”
For now though, she’s focusing on her styling and her magazine, which continues to quietly go from strength to strength. Though an infamous feature in New York magazine lumped her magazine in with the Normcore movement, her work remains defiantly unclassifiable and unique. “I don’t think Normcore has much to do with my styling,” states Goddard. “Maybe it’s more that I like fashion that’s not self-conscious,” she adds. “I always try and keep things within my means so I know I can achieve them – so it’s not precious.”
Issue 8 of Hot and Cool is on sale now.