How to wear a dress by The Vampire's Wife

Susie Cave aged 6Susie aged 6

What kind of dress has always appealed to you? Are there any shapes or styles that you naturally gravitate towards?
The shape I gravitate towards is a strong silhouette that shows the power and glory of the female form without a need to show a whole lot of flesh. There needs to be a tension between what is seen and what exists within the imagination. The imagination is the wellspring of sensuality!

How should a great dress make you feel? Should you have an emotional response to it?
Of course! You should have an emotional response to everything you wear. A great party dress should ignite the magic inside; embolden you, so that you can step into a room and it becomes an event in itself. A great party dress should stop time itself!

How do you approach sparkle and sequins in an adult, elegant way?
Sparkle and sequins reflect the light, of course! So they give a sense of luminescence to the dress. This lifts the heart! Rather than them being ‘adult’ my dresses inspire in me the incandescence of childhood, of playfulness, of dreams. But my dresses are elegant too. They are elegant hallucinations!

How high is too high in a shoe?
In the past my husband has had to carry me home, because I have worn shoes to high to handle. I have given that up these days. These days you need shoes that are practical enough to outrun the end of the world.

How important is comfort in finding the perfect party look?
Sensuality and a certain comfort go hand in hand. There is nothing more despairing than seeing a woman utterly restricted in her clothing.

Are there any traditional evening looks that you tend to avoid and why?
I like to feel that what I am wearing is, at least in part, a product of my own imagination. I don’t like to go out feeling like I am complicit in someone else’s dream. I like to have creative input in what I wear.

How do you incorporate a hint of seductiveness to a party look?
Seductiveness is in the imagination. Seductiveness has to do with self-love. It is not something that you can simply put on. The wonderful thing about it is that it is not dependant on ‘looks’ but more of a certain precocious self-regard in the way you navigate the world. It’s on how you feel within your self.

Susie for Harper’s Bazaar