For A/W15, Molly Goddard and mum Sarah Edwards were responsible for turning part of Somerset House into a kind of art school common room; a life-drawing class complete with nude male model and a heady smell of turpentine. We spoke to the pair to ask how and why they manifested the middle-class bohemian dream to present Molly's collection.
Could you describe the set?
SE: The set was designed to look like a working artist's studio; the room at Somerset House was big, scruffy and grand – the ideal backdrop! All of the models were placed around our wonderful life model, George and The Royal Academy kindly lent us easels which each of the girls will used to draw him. The idea was to make it feel like a lived-in art studio, we worked hard to make it not feel like a set but as authentic as possible, with evidence of previous art classes.
What inspired it?
MG: My initial research for the collection was posh college girls. My last presentation was a school disco and so I wanted to do something that would be equally fun for the models. A life drawing class was the perfect idea!
Is there a reason you are making it with your mother and sister? Has anyone else helped?
MG: My mother did set design when she was younger, and she has the best eye for interiors but also knows how to work on a budget! My sister Alice has always been involved with my work, she helps to balance out the frills and pinkness and is my main muse! And Tom, my boyfriend, helped with the production of the show. I love working with family and friends – most of my models are friends – it just makes everything feel a lot more relaxed.
How long has it taken?
SE: For the past month, my house has been turned into a full-blown art studio. it has created a really inspiring atmosphere and felt like being back in art college. While making sculptures and hunting for props, I set a target to do one painting every day for the past month. It has been a long process to get all the right components to make it feel authentic.
Where have you collected the components from?
SE: I asked friends and family to contribute work to include in the set, sending out packs of references and paper for everyone to use. As well as that, I went chasing around artists and classrooms for old paints and paint brushes. We had 15 jars of pickles to get though in order to get the perfect shaped glass jars.
What are your favourite bits?
MG: The smell of the room! And seeing the audience's faces when they saw George and the corner of sculptures.
SE: The colour and warm atmosphere, and how it complimented Molly’s collection.