FASHION / November, 2020
The dark romance of Susie Cave's cult label - The Vampire's Wife
So particular, so personal, is Susie Cave’s vision that she never expected her label – The Vampire’s Wife – to become the phenomenon it is today. But that’s exactly what the brand she founded in 2016 has become.
Her aim for The Vampire’s Wife is simple: ‘to make things beautiful by making beautiful things’. Cave describes her aesthetic as ‘subversive femininity’. The appeal of The Vampire’s Wife is that it manages to be at once of another era and thoroughly modern, heart-flutteringly glamorous and yet practically effortless (these dresses make an impact but they are easy to wear, they do the hard work for you). Her designs are romantic, refined and rebellious all at once.
Her distinctive dresses – from the floor-sweeping gowns in metallic fil coupe and Liberty print cotton, to the wiggle-worthy shifts in saturated silks – have quickly become a red-carpet staple. They are beloved by everyone from actresses (Sienna Miller, Cate Blanchett, Ruth Negga) and singers (Kylie Minogue, Florence Welch) to models (Kate Moss, Daisy Lowe) and royalty (Kate Middleton wore an emerald green Falconetti dress for a tour of Ireland.
After running away from boarding to school to New York in her teens, she was discovered by Stephen Meisel. An ethereal beauty with raven hair and porcelain skin, it seems inevitable that an illustrious career as a model followed; she worked with Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood, appeared on the cover of a Roxy Music album and was shot by legendary photographers such as Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton and Nick Knight. This experience has given her an intimate understanding of how women want clothes to look – and feel (born in Cheshire and raised in Africa, the young Susie Bick– as she was known then – would make and adjust clothes growing up).
Today, she works and lives in Brighton with her husband, the musician Nick Cave, who shares the same poetic sensibility as his wife (the couple were introduced in 1997 backstage at a Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds gig by mutual friend Bella Freud). Creatively there is clearly a synergy between them; The Vampire’s Wife takes its name from an abandoned book he started, which a collaboration with Annoushka included charms inspired by her favourite songs and lyrics. She is his muse; he is her biggest fan.
Now for her next move, Cave has teamed up with H&M for a collaboration out on 22nd October.
Famed for its vintage-inspired darkly romantic dresses, the label, helmed by Susie Cave, has attracted fans including Keira Knightley, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Cate Blanchett. The H&M collaboration is strongly reflective of the brand's signature gothic look, and is primarily made up of black prairie dresses.
Lace and rich velvet materials, all of which are sustainably sourced, create a luxe edge. Cave has described the collection as "intriguing and mysterious".
All of the garments in the clothing range are made from recycled materials, H&M outlined in a press release for the launch of the collection.
Shop The Vampire’s Wife x H&M collection in select stores and on Hm.com from 22 October.