What inspired you to start The Vampire’s Wife?
I created it because I needed something to wear. I kept looking around and wondering where the femininity and delicateness were these days, so I decided to create my own clothes.
Where does the brand name The Vampire’s Wife come from?
Well, The Vampire’s Wife was a name of a book my husband started writing about the role of the muse, but he abandoned the book and gave the name to me. It seemed like a perfectly playful, memorable name! But I feel like it informs the ethos of the company because I feel the way I design things is a little vampiric! I’m always feeding off of my influences to form my own personal aesthetic.
Being that your husband is a musician, do you find any inspiration from music when you’re designing?
Well, of course, music, of all the art forms gives us our greatest spiritual sustenance, so in that respect, I’m very fortunate to have a musician as a husband, because music for us is all around and everywhere. When I’m actually working on the dresses I’m playing music all the time. We have a lovely old upright piano in the basement of the offices and my husband is often banging away on that while I do the fittings.
Full-length dresses are your signature and you’ve labeled them “street-sweepers”, what is your creative process when designing a new dress style?
My dresses start in the dream world—quite literally. I have regular and very debilitating migraines. Two days spent in a darkened room, sometimes. For some of the time, I fall into a kind of semi-delirious dream state, and dresses literally march across my field of vision. Beautiful, strange, elegant dresses, full of color. These imaginings become the basis of many of my dresses.
How would you describe The Vampire’s Wife customer?
The Vampire’s Wife customer generally has a deep understanding of beauty coupled with a strong, defiant streak! I see my dresses as a way of simply announcing in the boldest and most beautiful way possible a woman’s presence. They’re unashamedly female in the most traditional way. They’re concerned with silhouette and shape and the effect that can have when entering a room. There’s a sense of what I call ‘subversive femininity’ to them.
How has designing during the pandemic changed your process?
Little has changed and everything has changed. As no one is going out at the moment much of the focus has been on loungewear and masks. However, I have designed and made the most absolutely beautiful collection of dresses in lockdown that I am immensely proud of. It was hard to do, but the clothes are divine!