We know Kate Middleton has impeccable style, and while we can make a fairly calculated guess of her preferred fashion brands based on which ones she wears the most, we’ve never known exactly which of her looks over the years has been her favourite to wear.
Well, the Duchess of Cambridge made that question slightly easier to answer recently, as she and husband Prince William’s first official joint portrait as a couple was revealed.
The royal couple went to visit the portrait for its grand unveiling last month, which took place at the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum. In the portrait, painted by award-winning British portrait artist James Coreth, Kate is wearing a £1,595 emerald gown by The Vampire’s Wife, a dress she first wore during a visit to Dublin in March 2020. Her dress is accessorised with £875 Manolo Blahnik green satin stiletto heels.
Clearly a fan of The Vampire’s Wife, Kate donned another dress by the brand in March this year on her and the Duke of Cambridge’s official visit to Belize.
When it comes to official portraits of royals, every element is carefully considered, especially what the subjects are wearing, so for Kate to choose to be immortalised in this particular dress suggests it means a great deal to her.
But what is The Vampire’s Wife?
If you’ve never heard of the cult brand before, you’ve very likely seen its dresses on the red carpet and on your Instagram – it’s a favourite among many celebrities, including Holly Willoughby, Sienna Miller, Cate Blanchett, Florence Welch, Kylie Minogue, Maya Rudolph, Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh.
The label was founded by Susie Cave and exudes a certain dark romance that is now quintessential of the brand. Both vintage and modern in feel, the dresses are glamorous and sumptuous yet effortless, often touting metallic satin fabrications, romantic ruffles and 3/4 hemlines, all of which are now synonymous with the brand. You can spot a The Vampire’s Wife dress a mile off, so distinct a style has Susie carved for the brand.
After launching in 2016, the brand quickly became a phenomenon with celebrities and fashion influencers alike lining up to wear Susie’s designs. Not only is her husband Nick Cave, of the band Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, but Susie’s background in fashion helped to solidify the credentials of her fledgling brand when it first began. Starting out as a model – after being discovered by the legendary photographer Steven Meisel – Susie worked with designer brands including Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood and was shot by photography royalty Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton and Nick Knight.
In 2020, The Vampire’s Wife undertook what is these days something of a rite of passage for any designer fashion brand – a high street collaboration with H&M. With its affordable price tags, the collection sold out instantly, so keen was everyone to get a slice of the iconic style for less.
If you’re keen to swipe a bit of The Vampire’s Wife for yourself but can’t afford those prices (they are quite eye-watering), right now you’ll find a gorgeous selection of The Vampire’s Wife pieces (including a mini dress version of Kate’s emerald green gown) with up to 50 per cent off in the Net-A-Porter sale. The price tags are still up in the hundreds, but if there’s a style you’ve had your eye on for a while, this is probably the cheapest you’ll ever get it for. Show the sale here.