Rainbow Club's head designer Joanna Stoker talks to us about festival weddings, block heels, Miucca Prada and the new Boho Butterfly collection

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What made you choose to become a footwear designer?
I originally studied fashion design and my work was very textile based. My work was quite avant-garde, and I soon realised my aesthetic was more suited to accessories such as shoes, as my colourful textiles and applications would be more wearable and contemporary. I've always loved shoes and designing them feels so natural to me now, especially more recently with my new Apple pencil and iPad Pro. 

How big is the difference between designing fashion footwear and bridal shoes?
There are more factors to take into consideration when designing bridal shoes, it's much more of an occasion. The shoe needs to be practical and comfortable, but still have design details that complement wedding trends. The theme of Rainbow Club's 2018 collection is Boho Butterfly, and it features elements which hint at a more relaxed and fun bridal theme. 

Have you noticed any bridal footwear trends?
The main bridal theme that has been coming through for the past two years is the festival wedding which has a more relaxed vibe. However, this doesn't necessarily mean low-budget wellies! I've been to numerous weddings where it's planned exactly how a normal festival would be, with installations, bands and glamping-style accommodation – and the bride has still worn heels! Block heels are becoming more popular with brides which is why we've added this shape to the new line, including Ebony, a court shoe with a modern block heel and Birdy, a shimmering rockabilly-style block heel finished with a delicate heart motif.  

What inspires your designs for Rainbow Club?
I'm inspired by a range of different concepts and ideas that I pull together from going to weddings, looking at vintage shoes in museums, Instagram and places I visit. Vogue Wedding Japan is great for trends and I spend a lot of time in Sri Lanka; that's where I designed most of this collection. I spent time sitting in the lavish Colonial hotels in Colombo taking inspiration from the ornate architecture and interiors.

Do you have a favourite pair from the current collection? I can't make up my mind at the moment, I love all of them! I'm drawn more to the elaborate pairs and this season we have some amazing styles with bows, such as Lillie, and butterflies, like Zarah, as well as very sophisticated and elegant silhouettes, which can be seen in Astrid's design especially.

Who's your favourite footwear designer? 
Prada and Miu Miu Shoes have always been my favourite. I would say Miuccia Prada's career is what I aspire to. The shoes are just so cool and spectacular every season. 

Do you design with a particular woman in mind? Who is the Rainbow Club bride? The Rainbow Club bride is sophisticated and elegant, very much an English rose who wants to wear a pair of handmade, luxury Italian satin shoes. However, with the new range, I hope to capture the eye of some of the quirkier brides, as the collection has a lot of fun elements in it with heart motifs, bows and butterfly details.

What footwear advice would you give brides?
One of the first things to consider is the length of your dress and appropriate heel height to match. Ensure that you choose a comfortable yet beautiful shoe that will take you from aisle to dancefloor. Rainbow Club's unique Bliss Cushion Comfort padded lining and super-soft underfoot comfort will ensure tired feet won't be an issue.

Finally, how can a bride ensure that she can walk down the aisle in her shoes with confidence?
Comfort is key. Make ensure you're not wearing heels that are too high. Practise walking in the shoes in advance and if you're planning on wearing stockings, make sure they're not going to slip off your feet! 

To view Rainbow Club's full footwear and accessories ranges, visit www.rainbowclub.co.uk

 
 
 
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