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The Vampire’s Wife Changed Fashion, Says Greta Bellamacina



Before I met Susie, I started wearing her dresses for my poetry performances. I liked the shape and structure of the dresses on stage with their gothic shadows inside them. It gave me the visual reference to my own words. In the silent moments, the dress did the talking. A gentle reminder of a more magical and stranger world.  A defence and escape against it all.

I met Susie one night at a Nick Cave concert. There she was: gentle, mystical, an indefinable beauty. A living embodiment of the dresses themselves. I was nervous to meet her after all this time admiring her work from afar. But Susie is just like her dresses. She is kind. This kindness comes across in the way the dresses hold you and make you feel adorned. Every woman I have ever spoken to who has worn her dresses speaks of this transportive quality. They give you a sense of belonging in your body.

Susie became a generous supporter of my poetry, and I was so touched to model for The Vampire’s Wife. There was a real sense of community and family about the way the shoots were put together with Nick and Susie – always together – and their friends and collaborators. A gentle atmosphere, everything was said in the unspoken. There was always the right amount of space for a little bit of life to be thrown in – like when we decided to put Lucian, my son, and my husband, Robert, in the shots with me. Or to keep my eye make-up as I had done it already at home. I remember at the end of a shoot talking to Nick and Lucian, who was a baby at the time, gripped his little toes around Nick’s hand as if to say hello.

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