The dress code of royalty according to The Vampire’s Wife

On Thursday 23 June, the first official portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was unveiled by award-winning British portrait painter Jamie Coreth. For the occasion, Lady Middleton chose to wear an emerald-colored metallic silk dress with puffed sleeves in full ‘prohibitionist’ style, the Falconetti Dress of the brand The Vampire’s Wife, the same one she had already sported for a visit to the Guinness factory in Dublin in 2020. A rather unexpected decision by the future queen, to turn to an underground brand for the first official couple portrait. Not so much for the dress itself, which in terms of length and centimeters of skin left uncovered respects the requirements of the label, rather because, if on the one hand the British brand fulfills the obligation to promote local fashion, on the other it differs from the chaste and monochromatic sheath dresses that we are used to seeing on official occasions.

The Vampire’s Wife was one of the few brands capable of simultaneously conquering the approval of the top of fashion and the royal family. Co-founded by Susie Cavewife of the rock star Nick Cave as well as an ex-model for the likes of Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood, and her friend and business partner Alex Adamson in 2014, the project was originally born as a capsule collection “for insiders only”before British trendsetters of the likes of Sienna Miller, Alexa Chung and Kate Mossbeyond Cate Blanchett and Salma Hayek overseas, they sensed its potential and made chaste velvet dresses weighing 3,000 pounds the new object of desire in international fashion.

«I emphasize the feminine shapes, the waist, the shoulders, making them quite large in order to make the wearer feel strong, but with very simple lines, so as not to be pretentious. In a way, I’m very minimalist. That’s how it all started “- told Vogue Susie Cave, that with her lunar complexion and raven hair she actually looks like the perfect consort of the “Prince of Darkness”, as her husband has been nicknamed. Floral prints in perfect ‘prairie house’ style alternate with opulent monochrome velvet, high-necked dresses with silk bows and padded shoulders, highly wearable and always flattering silhouettes, a certain Macabre Victorian aesthetic which draws inspiration from the poems of Gwendolyn Brooks and Shu Chi’i-siang, from Mary Shelley and Isabella Rossellini. “Those outfits make one feel like I’m practicing witchcraft in a very romantic cult, which is how I always want to look. As a musician, I worship Nick Cave’s altar, so I’ve always been fascinated by Susie as her enigmatic muse and inspiration. It was wonderful to see the muse become a creator in turn “– he has declared Florence Welsh. This was the formula that conquered the princess, even before Kate Beatricewho owns at least three dresses of the brand, while at the 2018 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, three different guests were seen wearing garments of the independent brand.

When Kate Middleton first wore the sparkly green dress in March 2020, British Vogue proclaimed it a “important moment for the royal wardrobe” while theEvening Standard he said he had given “goodbye to sartorial safety”. Given the success, she has since turned to the brand for other occasions, including a formal reception in Belize where she opted for a sparkly pink long dress, abandoning the solid but boring suits. Eponine, Catherine Walker or Boden. For the Duchess, this metallic midi dress represented a risk: cool, but modest, vintage-inspired, but not dull, a balance that is difficult to find in a dress. As the future queen, Kate’s entire life is based onbalance between tradition and modernity, including her style: she’s never indulged in Queen Elizabeth’s matching caps, but she isn’t known for being an out-of-the-box trendsetter either. Susie Cave may not have been thinking about the royal family when she created her own line, but she may have created the perfect brand to accompany the Duchess of Cambridge to her coronation.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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