The Duke of Richmond Awards Molly Goddard for Her “Lavish and Flamboyant Designs”

The British fashion designer Molly Godard has already designed looks loved by celebrities on both sides of the pond and her intricate and rebellious frilly style has had a huge influence on her peers. Last week, she made British fashion history when she received the Goodwood Talent in Fashion Award from the British Fashion Council and the Duke of Richmond. The award is named after the Goodwood Estate, which has been the seat of the Duke’s family for over 300 years.

In a statement, the Duke explained why he was honored to present the award to Goddard. “Molly was a clear contender for this year’s award: her collections are full of bright, cheerful colors and she’s renowned for her lavish, flamboyant designs,” he said. “It fits perfectly with Goodwood’s approach to fashion, which embraces a glamorous yet relaxed style.”

As part of the award, Goddard designed three outfits based on the estate’s atmosphere, and they will be added to the estate’s permanent collection, alongside his priceless paintings by artists like George Stubbs and Canaletto. Goddard’s capsule collection of three dresses debuted at the July 26 opening ceremony of the Qatar Goodwood Festival, an annual five-day horse racing series also known as Glorious Goodwood.

“The three dresses I designed are inspired by the incredible collection of art and interiors at Goodwood House; I am immensely proud that my work is part of this incredible collection,” Goddard wrote of his collection. “Upon visiting it was immediately apparent how special Goodwood is; upon arrival I was ushered into the main house through a room filled floor to ceiling with beautiful Sevres porcelain.”

The award was selected by a panel of judges, which included the Duke and Lydia Slater of Harper’s Bazaar UK with Sian Westerman and Caroline Rush of the British Fashion Council. Rush, the council’s managing director, said: “Congratulations to brilliant British designer Molly Goddard on receiving this year’s Goodwood Talent in Fashion Award. The Duke of Richmond is building an incredible archive of British creativity with this annual award, which highlights the role of fashion and style in this quintessentially British racing event.

The Goodwood Estate is set in 12,000 acres of land in Chichester, West Sussex, about 60 miles south of London, and has been in the family since the first Duke of Richmond, illegitimate son of King Charles II, acquired the land with a small house to be used as a hunting lodge in 1697. The current Duke, Charles Gordon-Lennox, is the 11th Duke of Richmond and was known as the Earl of March before his father, the 10th Duke of Richmond, does not die in 2017.

The 10th Duke was known for renovating the property in the 1960s and 1970s and for his progressive social views. Next to the famous horse racing course, the Sussex Downs, is a motor racing track, organic farm, golf course, hotel and pheasant hunting grounds. Spectators from all over the world come for Glorious Goodwood, other horse racing and car racing events, and an annual festival called Goodwood Revival, a car race where participants wear vintage clothing from the 1940s, 50s and 60s to promote sustainability and recycling.

The Goodwood Talent in Fashion Award was founded in 2020 and was first awarded to a designer Richard Quinn. The idea for the prize was born after the Syrian-born British designer Nabil Nayal was commissioned to design three looks for Qatar Glorious Goodwood in 2019. His designs were a remarkable suite of black and white color blocks.

“We have always been known for this typical ‘England in the Summer’ way of dressing, ever since King Edward VII and Lillie Langtry came racing in the 19th century,” the Duke said in his statement praising Goddard. “This award has been created to support innovative British talent while helping us build a unique collection of one-of-a-kind pieces here at Goodwood. We are delighted that Molly’s dresses are part of our fashion heritage.

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