A favorite of Alaïa; lensed by Bourdin, Bailey, Newton, Meisel, and Knight; the dollish beauty on the cover of The Damned’s Phantasmagoria and The Best of Roxy Music; and, of course, wife to Nick Cave. The otherworldly Susie Cave (née Bick) has a CV that would put damn near anyone to shame. And today, MatchesFashion.com debuts the latest offering from The Vampire’s Wife, the ready-to-wear line that the former model has quietly been developing over the past year. Borrowing its name from an unfinished story by her husband, the collection brims over with an ultra-feminine appeal and, indeed, even sweetness.
“My aesthetic for the brand comes from a great love of costume, Russian ballet, children’s books, raw nature, art, movies, architecture, all manner of things, really,” Cave tells Vogue.com, also name-checking Isabelle Adjani, seemingly sprung to life from a Modigliani painting, as a muse. “The Vampire’s Wife distills these influences into something that is practical, delicate, modern, and simple.” To wit, the vintage-inflected but timeless shapes: a ’50s-leaning crimson velvet sheath spotted on Daisy Lowe, or the ladylike full skirt in a candy-pink floral silk jacquard that Cate Blanchett opted for at an L.A. BAFTA event earlier this year. With their nipped waists, the styles are undeniably bombshell but unfussy, and far from the corseted, cantilevered vision of sex appeal that still reigns on red carpets. We caught up with Cave to talk about the line’s inception, her everyday style, and playing muse to her husband before the pair ever met.
How did The Vampire’s Wife first come about?
I created it because I needed something to wear. I kept looking around and wondering where the femininity and delicateness was these days, so I decided to create my own clothes.
In what ways has music influenced your creations?
My husband, of course, is a musician. It’s his job. So he is deep inside it, especially the writing of lyrics. The house is full of poetry and music, and I guess the ghostlike quality of his songwriting, the strange ethereal femininity of much of it, is a big inspiration. Maybe that was why he was attracted to me in the first place. He says I was floating around his songs long before he met me!
How did your background in fashion inform what you wanted the label to be?
After so many years in the fashion industry and wearing a million different dresses, I developed my own idea of what I thought looked and felt good. I feel I am acutely attuned to what looks great on a woman and what doesn’t. I wanted to make clothes that accentuate the inherent loveliness of the female form.
How has your personal style over the years evolved? How would you describe your everyday style?
My personal style has not changed much at all really, not in its essence. I guess my style has as much to do with wearing the wrong thing at any given moment as wearing the right thing. Does that make sense? I always loved the person who dressed at odds with their situation. I have tried to create clothes that can transition effectively from eveningwear to daywear simply by throwing off your heels and wearing flip-flops.
What are some of your fondest memories from your modeling days?
The time I spent with the great photographers. Nick Knight, Guy Bourdin, Dominique Issermann, David Bailey, Helmut Newton . . . the moments spent within their extraordinary orbits. In a way, the photos were almost secondary to the actual experience of working with them, the pure joy of it.
Are there any women who you would particularly love to see wearing your designs?
The Vampire’s Wife has been seen on the red carpet quite regularly—before we had even launched the company! Of course, that is very exciting, but what really thrills me is to see an unknown girl, walking down the street, wearing one of my dresses.
(Copy and images taken from Vogue.com. Article can be read here.)
The Vampire’s Wife, $688–$1,170, is available from today at MatchesFashion.com.