Molly Goddard on creating a community of contemporary brides

As new Molly Goddard bridal wear is released, the designer talks about creating romantic but real wedding dresses, while three recent brides tell the stories behind their own Goddard gowns

Molly Goddard bridal wear
Molly Goddard’s latest bridal collection, which includes the ‘April’ dress (left) and the ‘May’ dress (right)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Molly Goddard)

British designer Molly Goddard – best known for her exuberant millefeuilles of ruffles and tulle – was initially reticent to create a line of bridal wear. ’It was really something that I resisted for a while. Partly, it was because people often chose to wear pieces from our ready-to-wear collections and that felt enough,’ Goddard tells Wallpaper* on the occasion of her latest bridal collection, which arrives in time for this summer’s nuptials. 

She was eventually convinced by the growing number of requests for custom designs from her inner circle, and her first bridal collection was launched in November 2020.  ‘There are enormous taffeta and tulle gowns but also dresses you could easily hem and wear again and again,’ she said of the offering at the time, noting that small, Covid-restricted gatherings needn’t also mean smaller dresses. The launch of a ready-to-wear bridal collection followed, encapsulating the mood of realism and romance that runs through all her work. There were the requisite tulle gowns, but also more humble designs with hand-smocked and shirred details, alongside playful bridal accessories – from a shocking pink veil to a frilled tulle bolero. 

Molly Goddard bridal wear

Molly Goddard’s ‘March’ dress, a soft tulle maxi dress with a scoop neckline and a frilled skirt

(Image credit: Courtesy of Molly Goddard)

’I design bridal in much the same way I design ready-to-wear. I want to know from the team what they’ve been hearing in bridal appointments, what has really resonated with brides,’ says Goddard, who has said this feedback loop has been one of the most rewarding parts of starting the line. ’As well as the dresses there are accessories – veils, cardigans and a signature bolero – which mean brides can create a unique full look. It is very important to us that there are different size samples for brides to try.’ In this spirit, sizes run from a UK 6 to a UK 20, and come in mini, midi and maxi lengths, depending on the mood of the occasion (or, indeed, the number of outfit changes).

The new line includes dresses called the ‘March’, ‘April’, ‘May’ and ‘June’, which Goddard calls ’plays on some of our most-loved styles’. The ‘April’ dress, for example, has a slim strap and gently fitted shirred bodice, before exploding into a romantic full tulle skirt, while the ‘May’ dress is adorned with anemone-like ruffles. ’I always think about our different customers and body shapes so it’s a small new offer but suits what our brides want – volume, craftsmanship and comfort,’ she explains.

Bride in Molly Goddard wedding dress

Molly Goddard’s ‘May’ dress, a stiff tulle sleeveless midi dress with a full frilled skirt

(Image credit: Courtesy of Molly Goddard)

As for her advice for the burgeoning bride – particular those seeking something away from the typical saccharine offerings of traditional bridal stores – Goddard says it’s best to select something closest to your style in everyday life. ’My main tip is not to suddenly become a totally different person. Trying a new silhouette you have never worn before rarely works; people look best when they are comfortable in what they’re wearing... I want people to feel happy and comfortable! Able to move freely and like themselves.’

In this spirit, three recent Molly Goddard brides tell Wallpaper* why they chose the designer for their nuptials, and how their dresses made them feel on the day.

Molly Goddard bridal wear: three contemporary brides

Paula Varjack, Artist

‘[My dress] was kind of a cross between the kind of wedding dress I imagine on the top of a bridal figure on a cake, and something Frida Kahlo would wear. It has this gorgeous full shape with a simple structured bodice, but the ruffles are what really make it something else, particularly with the ivory taffeta. It’s very chic but super fun and playful as well.

‘I've been a fan of Molly Goddard ever since I first fell in love with the iconic pink dress Villanelle wears with clunky Balenciaga boots in Killing Eve – I'm a big Killing Eve fan. So I had a few pieces that I had bought secondhand or on sale. After I got engaged last year, I made an appointment at the atelier. I tried on several dresses but the one I came for immediately felt right. I wanted something that felt elegant but still had an edge, and it was exactly that.

‘I can only speak for myself but for me but Molly’s such an obvious choice for a dress that speaks to being feminine, elegant and fun. So many people said to me, both those at the wedding and those who saw pictures, that I had one of the most beautiful wedding dresses they had seen. Sometimes I think a wedding dress can overtake the bride, and these dresses don’t do that; instead, I think they elevate, they have personality and joy.’

Bride in Molly Goddard wedding dress

Paula Varjack

(Image credit: Photography by Christopher Beschi & Garry Carbon)

Melanie Xu, Artist

’I was extremely lucky that the atelier remade the A/W 2017 ‘Lizzie’ dress in silk taffeta for our wedding. I had been dreaming of these particular whipped cream sleeves for years. Sumptuous, comfortable, joyous!

’I think Molly resonates with brides because you still feel like yourself in her clothes. The dresses are so comfortable but still incredibly indulgent. And it's just really fun swooshing about in all that fabric.’

Bride in Molly Goddard wedding dress

Melanie Xu

(Image credit: Photography by Marta Ilardo)

Heather Halbert, Artist

‘I chose the stunning, ready-to-wear “Larry Dress” in ivory for my wedding dress and it was an absolute dream to wear. It’s the perfect tea-length dress, with an open back, full skirt, and hand-smocked bodice. The dress was constructed out of an ivory cotton that makes it extremely easy to wear. I truly wish I could wear it once a week.

‘As a woman with curves, I tend to struggle to find pieces that fit my body in a way that makes me feel good. But from the first time I put this dress on, I never wanted to take it off. I’ve never felt so beautiful in a garment before.

‘Molly’s designs express such a beautiful push and pull between classic and unique. I am personally drawn to her work because she will almost always show a timeless element like a neckline or a silhouette, but then add something like smocking or ruching that feels so original and fashion-forward.’

The latst Molly Goddard bridal wear is available from the designer‘s website, where you can also enquire about made-to-order dresses.

Bride in Molly Goddard wedding dress

Heather Halbert

(Image credit: Photography by Valerie Thompson)
Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.