On Silvia Simms, shyness and a singular vision

Sylvia Simms

Interview with Susie Cave for Elle Magazine.

Susie, what are the building blocks of your look?
I start with my hair, if I’ve got that right, the rest pretty much falls into place.

How did you discover this?
Having my first job in a hairdresser’s in Chislehurst, sweeping the floor! The salon was opposite the Chislehurst Caves actually. The British actress Silvia Simms made a film in the Chislehurst Caves and used to come into the salon and have her hair done. I could hardly breathe every time she came into the shop. I thought she was so beautiful. That is where my hair obsession began.

At what age do you think you found your style flow?
I think I always had a strong desire to dress up and even when I look back at the clothes I wore and the looks I invented as a little girl, they were very similar to what I like now and have always liked. I think a lot of us find the things we love early, our concept of beauty, and repeat it in different ways. I think the best designers are like that. They have a singular vision from which they never stray too far. I have a great respect for that.

And how did you know when you’d found it?
It is not something you find, really. Maybe your look finds you. You just sort of collect around you things that make you feel good and eventually they become something greater than yourself, something sort of defining.

As you’ve got older, how has your style changed/evolved?
When I was younger there was a radical promiscuity to some of the things I wore, or so I’m told! I never found it that way myself and although I am extremely shy at times, I’ve never had an issue with attention being called to myself. I have found many extroverts are very shy at heart. It’s a paradox, really. Wearing very conspicuous clothing can often act as a sort of armour. Anyway, as I’ve grown older and as a mother, I’ve tended to be a little more demure and cover myself up a little more.

Susie Cave walks in Griffin Park

Susie walks in Griffith Park, Los Angeles.