Usually turning up to an event wearing the same dress as another guest (let alone two!) is the unedited definition of awkward. With the question of ‘who wore it better’ floating in the air, it’s impossible to not size up the competition. Now imagine that scenario but at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding when the eyes of the international press are on you and editors are quick to size this up as a clickbait headline. Against the odds, Sara Parker Bowles - wife of Camilla’s son Tom - and Peaky Blinders actress Charlotte Riley who’s married to Tom Hardy - lucky lady -, as well as another guest, all managed to rise to the top of this weekend’s best-dressed list. How you ask? Three words: The Vampire’s Wife.
With jet black hair and an impish quality, model-turned-designer Susie Cave (née Bick) is the perfect spokeswoman for the label, which she founded in 2014 with business partner Alex Adamson. Like the music of her husband, Nick, there’s a sense of drama and occasion to this sumptuous brand. He may have been nicknamed the ‘Prince of darkness’, but her clothes are sumptuous with ruffles and puff-sleeves crafted out of glitzy fabrics like woven silk and ditsy prints. There’s a surprising sexiness to these Little House on the Prairie dresses, which may explain why they’ve become a red carpet favourite.
See: The Vampire's Wife Celebrity Fans
The Vampire's Wife, Silver Metallic Festival Dress, £1,765
Other than the royal wedding triplets, Thandie Newton most recently wore an emerald green silk gown of theirs at Cannes. Chloe Grace Moretz has worn The Vampire's Wife at least three times and Sienna Miller, Alexa Chung and Maggie Gyllenhaal are also repeat offenders. These women have such different personal styles, and yet there’s something about the label that appeals to all these women. Laura Antonia Jordan, Grazia’s fashion news and features editor, believes their flattering cut suits many body types. Cave’s instinct for cut, colour and trends may have been honed during her modelling career, but the designer’s said it really tracks back to her grandmother who taught her to sew when she was 11-years-old. That said, her exposure at age 14 to photographers like Steven Meisel and David Bailey couldn’t have hurt.
The label may have started as a commission-based project for close friends (like Daisy Lowe) but Cave talks of it as a lifeline when her son, Arthur, tragically died aged 15. Looking at the joyful, prim and unabashedly girly aesthetic only the brand’s moniker hints that there’s something more complex peddling beneath the surface. ‘The clothes have a lightness, which is sometimes the opposite of how I feel personally, so it’s a very creative thing for me.’ She told Matchesfashion.com, ‘I get really lost when I’m designing, time just flies by. It’s actually an absolute gift because the worst thing happened to me. I channel any positive energy I can into creating clothes and I really love it.’
As the midi dress and ruffle trends continue to roll into the summer months - met gleefully by Coach and Zimmerman -The Vampire Wife’s twist on this flouncy fashion is the zenith of spring summer 2018