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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

footwear design?

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

bridal footwear?

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

big-day shoes?

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

dress styles.

To view Diane’s Hassall collection, along with Rainbow Club’s other

footwear ranges, visit



rummaging in antique shops and vintage clothing stores. The small

details are so important to me, from beautiful pearl buttons to delicate

handmade flowers.

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.