I have lost count of the hours I have spent feverishly searching the internet for the source of dresses I have seen being worn on television or on social media, only to track them down and find they are made by The Vampire’s Wife and come with a £600 price tag. The brand, presided over by Susie Cave, make the kind of dresses that stop you in your tracks, the kind of dresses one might daydream about. I, for one, have spent many an afternoon fantasising about how their gothic-cum-prairie ball gowns might feel against my skin, how their frilly accents might twirl and swish with my movements. Something about the brand’s signature oh so flattering form-fitted silhouette, puffed sleeves and ruffles, give way to something so sexy yet conservative, so old-school feminine, yet so, well, vampiric – an utterly bewitching combination that one cannot help but lust after.
I had come to terms with the fact that I must be content to live vicariously through those who were lucky enough to don the frocks for themselves: Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Killing Eve; the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Beatrice at various royal gatherings; Dakota Johnson, Elizabeth Moss and Alexa Chung on the red carpet, and so on. I could not – and for that matter could never imagine – ever being able to justify spending upwards of £600 on a dress, however beautiful that dress may be. Until I saw an incredibly exciting announcement which made me cartoonishly rub my eyes and pinch myself to assure myself I was not dreaming: on October 22nd, The Vampire’s Wife x H&M goes live (just in time for Halloween).
Like many of H&M’s previous collaborations (2005’s collection with Stella McCartney; Versace in 2011, and more recently, Moschino’s offering in 2018, to name a few), the offering promises something of The Vampire’s Wife’s iconicity in an altogether more accessible form: wearable, everyday pieces and high street price tags to match. In sneak peek images published by Vogue, peter pan collars peeking out of necklines, plush velvet and witchy lace mini-dresses abound. Think Natasia Demetriou’s Nadja in What We Do In the Shadows distilled: everyday goth-princess looks that mean you wouldn’t look too out of place whilst doing your food shop.
The collaboration will be available in selected stores and online from the 22nd, and for those who are eager to own something by The Vampire’s Wife after years of lusting from afar, now is your long-awaited chance.