#SuzyLFW: Good Girls Grow Into Party Girls
On one side were the innocents – Alice Archer’s girls with sweet smiles and soft dresses posing in a would-be Sicilian lemon orchard.
The opposite vision of young women came from Molly Goddard, whose high-waist dresses with bouncy layers of tulle as skirts were a sign that some girls just want to have fun.
The models swung their dresses down the runway creating a party-girl look that is quintessentially British. But there were more ideas than just tutus gone wild in this upbeat collection.
Both designers are growing like flowers planted at random. Among bigger fashion houses and international offerings, the best word to describe their different attitude is quirky – with a welcome touch of British irony.
Alice Archer brings also the English idea that history is part of everyone’s life. So, when I asked her if these pretty clothes, displaying the embroidery for which she is known, are part of a general fashion move to use fruits as decoration, she explained the larger picture.
“The clothes are more inspired by a mix of Singer Sargent paintings and also, not just the feelings of innocence in his paintings, but the textures of his brush strokes,” the designer said. “Then I mixed that with the very saturated colours of David LaChapelle photos. And having that feeling of light in the summer when it’s really intense.”
With the legendary Joan Burstein wearing Alice’s clothes and that family supporting her fledgling business, Alice is inching forward, showing this season a tailored trouser suit and the gingham beloved by the French.
“It is about the feeling of, yes, innocence. It is my memories of summer holidays and the feeling of joy and youth.”
Perhaps Molly Goddard’s bad girls have more fun – or maybe her bouncy skirts were not for naughty young women, just for showing what you can do with layers of tulle that rise and swirl from below the bust line.
The fearless British school girl has now grown into a young woman. Molly, whose work was displayed recently in the Balenciaga exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, has developed, over three, years a wider vision.
It is true that the models displayed mainly a party spirit, waving wine glasses around along with the occasional cigarette. Yet the clothes included more imaginative cutting and pieces – like a striped sweater and pleated skirt – that you might not wear to a party. Molly is growing up in the most delightful way.