We talk to footwear designer and Rainbow Club collaborator
Diane Hassall about antique shops, period drama heroines
and the importance of breaking in those big-day heels
It’s so easy to say ‘well, no one will see my shoes,’ but
your guests will, and the accessories finish the look. If
you’re wearing beautiful shoes you will feel beautiful.
What made you pursue a career in
I’ve always loved shoes – ever since I was really young, a new
pair of shoes was the biggest treat to me. Every birthday and
Christmas, they’ve always been at the top of my list and it’s not
all that different now!
What made you decide to focus on
I happened across the wedding world almost by accident.
After graduating from university, I made some ivory,
embroidered silk shoes which looked quite bridal, and as a
result, some of the wedding industry’s press featured them.
Then, the editor of
asked me to make her big-day
shoes. They were featured in the magazine and the day after
it hit newsstands, my answerphone was full of messages from
brides wanting to order a pair. I’ve never looked back.
What led you to collaborate with Rainbow Club?
Working with Rainbow Club was like a meeting of minds really.
I met with Richard Marsh the managing director and got on
so well with him that it just made sense – we have the same
outlook on the bridal world. The label wanted to incorporate
a more luxurious range into their collection and I was keen to
work with them.
What inspires your designs and has there been a key
influence behind your most recent collection?
Inspiration comes from so many places and things, I love to visit
museums and look at the beautiful details on period shoes and
clothing, but I’m also inspired by what’s on the catwalk. I love
What tips do you have for brides-to-be looking for their dream
I always advise brides to splash out and go for really beautiful shoes. After all,
this is their
moment and they should spoil themselves. It’s so easy to
say “well, no one will see my shoes” but your guests will, and the accessories
finish the look. If you’re wearing beautiful shoes you will feel beautiful.
On a more practical note, I suggest that you wear your shoes in a little, if
at all possible, and choose a heel height you can comfortably wear for a long
time. If height trumps comfort, get two pairs for the big day – a pair of heels
and a pair of flat pumps.
If you could design wedding shoes for any famous bride, past
or present, who would it be?
Historically, it might be a cliché but I’d love to have made shoes for
Audrey Hepburn or Sophia Loren, they both epitomise femininity and
come from an era I admire, which was all about elegance and glamour.
I’d also love to make shoes for Demelza from the new version of
She’s beautiful, with her porcelain skin and red hair, and is also very feisty,
which I love.
Which Rainbow Club shoes are your
favourites at the moment?
In the current collection I love Primrose, an
elegant lace peep-toe sandal with a delicate
organza ruffled edge. It’s so pretty on
the foot and looks great with most
To view Diane’s Hassall collection, along with Rainbow Club’s other
footwear ranges, visitwww.rainbowclub.co.uk
rummaging in antique shops and vintage clothing stores. The small
details are so important to me, from beautiful pearl buttons to delicate
Which footwear designers do you admire?
I absolutely love Rene Caovilla pieces for their sheer elegance and
beauty, and British designer Sophia Webster for her cartoonish sense of
fun and flamboyance.