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What I Know About Style




Designer Suzannah Crabb on her love of vintage and celebrity clients

What’s the concept behind your boutique?

The inspiration behind the boutique is to showcase the collection in its entirety in a quaint, personal environment. The inspiration of the collection is ‘Where Paris meets New York’ – New York understated cool with Parisian chic. There is also a vintage couture influence. I think this comes across subtly.

Who or what sparked your love of fashion?

Initially, John Galliano sparked my love of fashion. His pieces for Dior are incredible. I am also inspired by an American designer James Galanos. He cut the most incredible ready-to-wear – extremely beautiful tailoring which had refined couture spirit and finish – during the Forties and Fifties.

You are known for your vintage couture principles. What is so special about vintage couture?

I am inspired by the perfection, the charm, the cut and the finish of vintage couture. The ultimate femininity and masterful cutting and proportion of vintage couture are always referenced in my designs.

What’s your favourite fashion era?

The fabulous Fifties. I love waist emphasis.

You have developed quite a celebrity following. Can you name-drop a few?

Denise Van Outen has become a Suzannah tea dress fan – she looks totally amazing in them. Holly Willoughby, Kelly Osborne, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Julie Christie are also fans, so quite diverse.

Suzannah is a destination store, off the beaten track. Why did you choose to be located in Little Venice?

I was looking for a studio initially and then came across the most charming shop in Bristol Gardens. It was – and is – my dream come true and a perfect setting for the collection; old-fashioned streetlamps, wrought iron railings and so much charm, charisma and eccentricity. It has the hidden and found feeling of a small New York boutique you stumble across in the depths of Greenwich.

How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe myself as dress-obsessed! I struggle to look casual. I like to accessorise too. I am a big jewellery fan and I love to layer up with vintage pieces.

Who are your style icons?

I tend to look to black and white screen stars for style inspiration.

Your collection features a lot of dresses. Describe the perfect dress…

Flattering, subtly sexy with an element of cheekiness.

What’s your wardrobe staple?

A James Galanos vintage coat. I team it with most things – it gets me out of most dilemmas.

What do you get up to in your free time?

I like to cycle and play tennis. It’s good to be able to switch off and take my mind elsewhere for a while.

What’s your current bestseller?

The super-flattering tea dress.

Suzannah, 6 Bristol Gardens, London, W9; www.suzannah.com; 07902  433948; 020 7286 8280

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