SUSIE ON THE SILHOUETTE
Since the start of your label, most of your dresses, whether short or long, are based on a very specific, victorian-looking silhouette. Why did you make exactly this silhouette your trademark and how have you developed and perfected it over time?
I remember when I had designed my first couple of dresses my dear friend and designer Bella Freud said, ‘Susie, you have discovered the silhouette!’ My discovery came very easily because it was based on the shape that I felt most flattered and amplified the essence of a woman—that was unashamed celebration of the feminine form, without irony or artificiality. I have returned again and again to this silhouette, refining and perfecting it. There is a balance I am trying to find, where the female form is both eroticized and decorous, where the dress is both ultra-present but somehow protected by the aura of its own special kind of beauty.
How do you explain that the nostalgic, high-necked look to which you have remained true since the beginning is just so incredibly popular right now?
You are right, this look has become very popular with designers—but in my view it is not that easy to get this look right. Many of the dresses I see these days seem to be literally consuming the person inside them. They can look heavy and old-maidish and depressing. We need to remember our innate power and not drown ourselves in piles of fabric.