If you’re on the hunt for wedding shoes, Rainbow Club is the name to remember.
The driving force behind this award-winning brand, designer Diane Hassall, has created some of the most gorgeous wedding shoes to ever adorn the feet of brides. I even wore Rainbow Club shoes for my real wedding in 2009! So where does Diane get her inspiration? “I’ve always loved fabrics and drawing, and went to college to do a fashion degree, specialising in embroidery. My other great love, like most girls, was shoes, and I produced a handmade shoe collection for my final year, spurred on by work placements with Emma Hope and Jimmy Choo. After this, I was mad keen to make handmade shoes and accessories and started out in a little studio in London. At first I made fashion shoes with some wedding shoes but then, one day, I was lucky enough to be asked to make a pair of wedding shoes for one of the big wedding magazines, and, after that, things just took off. At that time there was little choice and I could offer something really different, as my training in textile design and love of fine embroidery and exquisite fabrics meant I was designing shoes that were very detailed and beautiful, using lots of lace, beading and embellishment. It was hard work but I loved it, and I still do. Now I am Head of Design at Rainbow Club, designing all four collections and oversee the design process at Joyce Jackson and Rainbow Club veils, too.”
Although Diane designs across the board, her own collection Hassall, is still very important to her. “It’s all handmade using beautiful lace, embroidered tulle and organza and gorgeous handmade flowers. I get so excited each year when it comes to designing the new collection and I gather together all the beautiful new flowers and laces that I’ve sourced throughout the year. It’s like being in a sweet shop, without the unwanted calories! My favourite shoes ever are Roger Vivier beaded and embroidered shoes from the 1940s and 1950s. He designed for Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli, they are so beautiful, glamorous and special you would want to keep them forever, that’s what I strive for in Hassall. Every year I discover a new fabric to work with, so things are always evolving and changing to keep in touch with fashion.”
And what about next year’s collection of wedding shoes? “It’s coming together nicely, and I’m right in the thick of it at the moment! There are some fabulous styles, I don’t want to give too much away but let’s just say there are some divine details and gorgeous laces highlighted with beautiful sparkle. My favourite wedding shoes change every season, although I do have some old favourites – Liliana and Pearl Drift in particular – but this season I’m absolutely love Bon Bon and Enchanted, both with their statement flowers, the stunning velvet pom pom on Bon Bon and Enchanted’s amazing detailed crystal florette. I already have a favourite from the new collection, so you’ll just have to watch this space.”
If you watched the Royal wedding closely, you may have spotted some Rainbow Club creations on the feet on the flowergirls! “Rainbow Club played a small part in the Royal Wedding when we were selected to make and hand colour shoes for the little flower girls, and like many of you we were all glued to the TV that day. Kate’s dress was a source of great debate, and personally I think she looked absolutely stunning. Lace is one of my most favourite things and we’re introducing even more styles in lace to the new collections. In fact, one of next year’s biggest trends is lace. We have seen an increased demand for lace-edged veils as well as shoes, and styles like Spellbinder from Rainbow Club are doing really well.”
Talking of next year, what wedding shoe trends can we expect? “The international runways influence bridal trends and there will be lots of retro next year, inspired by the 40s and 50s. Sparkle is always popular, but this season in a more grown up and glamorous way, with a retro feel. Fashion looks including peep toes, platforms and court shoes, and watch out for the new sharp pointy toes! Yes, they’re coming back, looking super sleek and super sharp. I can’t wait!”