Taking inspiration from the past and incorporating those elements to form contemporary pieces is a common thing among designers. Two womenswear designers who have been very successful at this are newcomers Molly Goddard and Daniel Silverstain. While their design aesthetic couldn’t be more different, both create collections that evoke positivity and optimism; they are feel-good garments that are much-needed additions to update and refresh the wardrobe.
Goddard, who is based in London, never expected that her debut collection would accidentally become a successful business. After leaving her MA course at Central Saint Martins, she decided to start her own line and put together a 22-piece collection in six weeks. Under a tight budget, she decided to forego the conventional runway presentation and threw the aptly named ‘Fun Molly Party’ instead, and invited her friends and family to model her designs, which comprised of sheer tulle dresses with voluminous skirts. Worn over their everyday clothes of vintage t-shirts and jeans, the tulle dresses became an unexpected hit, with orders soon placed by Dover Street Market. Her succeeding collections included variations on the tulle dress, with seasonal updates in sleeve lengths, embellishment, and varying patterns and prints.
Inspired by old family photos, her own childhood dresses, and children’s knitwear patterns, Goddard’s handmade designs are a dreamy, frothy concoction of tulle, crochet, pleats, smocking, gathering and ruffles. Her fascination is rooted in the theme of childhood, particularly with the haphazard way children throw their clothes on, which is reflective upon her loose, oversized silhouettes that encourage movement. She enjoys playing and manipulating different types of cheap fabric into high-end, luxury items, such as using poly-taffeta for her A/W16 collection.
Putting on a Molly Goddard dress is transformative; it takes you back to your childhood days of dressing up in your older sister’s poufy prom dress. Most importantly, it is a must-have for those off days when you just need to be in a good mood.
New York-based designer Daniel Silverstain never meant to study fashion. Born in Tel Aviv, he spent much of his childhood wanting to be a musician or an architect. It wasn’t until he spent six months traveling through Nepal and India that he became interested in textiles, screen-printing, and knitting. This ultimately led to his decision to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he balanced his studies with work experiences at Calvin Klein Collection, Elie Tahari, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Living in Manhattan ignited Silverstain’s fascination with architecture and industrial design; two major influences he incorporated into his label aesthetic. His SS15 debut collection at NYFW was inspired by the evolution of Brazil in the 1960s, an era where innovation and optimism was at their prime, promising hope for an exciting future. Simple silhouettes, solid colors, geometric shapes, and metallic accents reflected his belief in retro-futurism, which aims to bring back the positivity of mid-20th century thinking to the present day. His most recent collection, SS16, mimics this and is inspired by Expo67, a world fair in Montreal that celebrated Canada’s centennial year. Expo67 turned Montreal into one of the most cosmopolitan and modern cities in the world, and this is echoed in Silverstain’s use of a neutral color palette, geometric patterns, and splashes of primary colors on white backgrounds.
To date, Daniel Silverstain has been chosen by Vogue Italia as one of the ‘Top 10 Most Promising Designers,’ has dressed Lady Gaga for her birthday, and was recently awarded a CFDA Plus for his designs.
-words by Megan Que