What is The Vampire's Wife? The celeb-approved brand taking over red carpets

20th Mar 19 | Fashion

It was founded by former model Susie Cave.

Royal Television Society Programme Awards 2019 - London

Keira Knightley, Florence Welch and Emma Willis might not have huge amounts in common, but one thing we do know for sure is they all love The Vampire’s Wife.

It might sound like a Gothic TV show from the 90s, but it’s actually a fashion label which is slowly but surely taking over the red carpet. On Tuesday night Killing Eve star Jodie Comer attended a London awards ceremony wearing a shorter version of a dress which is instantly recognisable as The Vampire’s Wife.

Jodie Comer
Jodie Comer (Ian West/PA)

With such a celeb following and a cult brand, The Vampire’s Wife is really one to watch. Here’s everything you need to know about the retro-inspired label…

Who’s behind it?

Susie and Nick Cave
Susie Cave with her husband Nick (Ian West/PA)

Susie Cave set up The Vampire’s Wife. She’s a former model who has worked with everyone from Azzedine Alaïa to John Galliano. She also happens to be the wife of Australian rock star Nick Cave, and the label’s name apparently comes from a scrapped novel Nick was writing.

Charlotte Riley and Tom Hardy
Charlotte Riley wearing The Vampire’s Wife to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Cave established the brand back in 2014, and last year it was truly solidified as a celeb favourite. Her dresses were so well-received she soon expanded into jewellery and bags, and we can expect the brand to continue growing.

In 2015, Cave’s 15-year-old son tragically died, and The Vampire’s Wife became a welcome distraction. She told the New York Times: “When you lose a child, nothing will take away the pain, not ever. But I did realise that if I could focus on something completely outside of what had happened, that if I could separate myself somehow from it all, even for a few seconds, and start creating things in those moments of escapism, then that might be an important thing.”

What’s the signature style?

Emma Willis at the 2018 GQ Awards
Emma Willis at the GQ Men of the Year Awards (Ian West/PA)

It’s basically retro-glam meets Little House on the Prairie. Cave’s designs are all about luxury – colours range from jewel to precious metal tones, and materials used include velvet and satin.

Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley models one of the floral versions of the iconic dress (Ian West/PA)

Most of the dresses from The Vampire’s Wife are variations on the same shape – they’re characteristically demure, with high necks, puffy shoulders and bell sleeves. Sleeve and skirt lengths are different, but Cave has managed to create an instantly recognisable signature design template.

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🐉 @thevampireswife x @gucci

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Cave’s clothes have won a legion of famous fans of all different backgrounds and ages. One thing that is particularly remarkable about the dresses is how they are modestly designed, while still managing to seem sexy.

What sets it apart from other brands?

Erin O'Connor
Erin O’Connor wore a bespoke gown and cape by The Vampire’s Wife for last year’s Fashion Awards (Ian West/PA)

Unlike almost every other label, The Vampire’s Wife isn’t a slave to the brutal fashion calendar. Cave has never shown at fashion week and she doesn’t advertise – instead, she releases collections as and when she feels like it, both on her website and through upmarket stockists like Dover Street Market and Matches Fashion.

It’s oddly refreshing in comparison to the hectic nature of other fashion houses, and doesn’t seem to be hindering the brand one bit. We can expect to see a lot more of The Vampire’s Wife on the red carpet in the future.

© Press Association 2019

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