Today we’re delighted to feature an exclusive interview with Diane Hassell, Rainbow Club’s Head Designer and an amazing British shoe designer who has worked with the likes of Jimmy Choo and Emma Hope. She has designed shoes for celebrity weddings and her designs have featured in many prestigious exhibitions…
Diane Hassell Interview
Who is Diane Hassall? Can you tell include one fact about yourself which would surprise people?
I run half marathons, I love gardening and I’m a prolific cake baker!
Can you tell us a little about your training?
My training began when I started my degree in Fashion and Textile Design. However my focus and love for shoe design really began when I spent valuable time with Emma Hope and Jimmy Choo.
Early on in my career I also spent time in a shoe factory – working on the sewing machines, cutting, covering heels, doing a bit of everything and learning on the job. I also trained with a bespoke shoe maker who did everything by hand. However, a huge amount of my craft has been self-taught, through various books and trial and error!
How do you go about creating your designs, and where do you feel your inspiration comes from?
My design process begins with mood boards and from that there is a natural organic process. However, the design journey does not simply go from mood board – to drawing – to production. As beautiful as a sketch can be, the shoe may not look as planned when brought to life. When samples are received different decision may need to be made, for example the heel may need altering or less detailing might be needed.
Regarding inspiration, I am always banking ideas as inspiration comes to me at the strangest times and places. I’m also a bit of a magpie, constantly collecting trims, flowers, pieces of old lace. I also collect magazines and attend many trade shows as these are both great sources of inspiration.
What inspires you?
I love exhibitions, galleries and museums as even the tiniest detail on a painting can spark a lovely idea for finishing a shoe.
What is the most unusual shoe you have designed or been asked to design for a client?
I once had to design a shoe which featured a bride’s tattoos on the back of the heels. The tattoos were both scrolls that had names written across the centre. When I asked if they were her children’s names she said, “oh no, they’re my cats!!”.
Do you have any predictions for trends in bridal shoes for 2014/15?
I think colour will continue to be more important in 2014, it is already growing and I think this is a trend which is set to continue for some time. The vintage look will also develop, with 20’s and 30’s retro looks becoming more popular.
Different fabrics will also play a greater role over the next few years. Satin will still dominate, however it will be combined with other contrasting fabrics and unexpected fabrics like suede and leather will begin to emerge.
What do you think is the most important piece of advice to give a bride as she begins to think about the design and style of her wedding shoes?
Have fun with them! This is the one occasion where you can totally indulge yourself. It’s your big day so treat yourself and choose something really special and a little bit decadent of course!!
The Rainbow Club has been designing, making and colouring handmade satin wedding shoes since the mid 1980s and we are now firmly established as the UK’s leading and most inspirational producers. Take a peep at their wedding shoes!
Category: Fashion & Bling