Whether you’re knowingly familiar with Susie Cave’s label The Vampire’s Wife or not, you’ve certainly seen photos of it. It’s hard to flick through a glossy right now without bumping into a picture of Sienna Miller, Alexa Chung or Kate Moss wearing one of the brand’s puff-sleeved lurex dresses. Sure enough, we didn’t think we could crave a dress more. It was like 2006 with Roland Mouret’s ‘Galaxy’ dress all over again. Then we came across Batsheva.
Similarly twee, similarly modest, this New York line is America’s answer to TVW. Likewise, since launching in 2016 (two years after Cave founded The Vampire’s Wife) it’s garnered an ardent following that includes Susie Lau, Helena Christensen and Brother Vellies’ Aurora James who wore one of their gowns to the Met Gala no less.
Touching on a Victoriana silhouette and playing with ditsy prints, here’s something eerily similar about Bathseva Hay’s brand. Yet, it’s reworking of pioneer symbols and retooling of feminine detailing into something exaggerated and experimental makes this label feel thoroughly American and fresh. Hay injects volume into shoulders and blows-up collars to refreshing antiquated shapes. Still, as pretty and coy as The Vampire’s Wife, it has a more Hello Dolly-meets-Zoey Deschanel feel to it. It tugs at Laura Ashley and Armish semaphores and dances with the image of Gunnesax to create something wholly modern and nostalgic.
Where TVW is glam and pretty, Batsheva is rustic and experimental. The two may occupy a seemingly similar space and undoubtedly will appeal to the same customer but don’t be mistaken in thinking the two are interchangeable