You all know how much I adore shoes. Just imagine my excitement when I was invited to design my own by the team at Upper Street, the creators of a shoe wonderland where you design it and they loving create it. I wanted to document my experience for you Bijou brides and hopefully answer all the nagging questions you may have about designing your own wedding shoes.
Firstly the location. Upper Street’s luxury Shoe Lounge is located in Fitzrovia, the heart of the west end of London. It’s an inspiring space with luxurious furnishings (hello Velvet couch), funky patterned walls and of course lots of beautiful shoes. But you don’t have to venture to London as you can also use their online shoe designer to whip up your dream heels or sandals from the comfort of your own home.
It would make for a fun afternoon spent with your bridal party perhaps with accompanying treats and champagne. Well, how often does one get to design their own spectacular shoes?
There is a stylist on hand to offer advice which was much needed as I liked everything. Further complicated by the fact there weren’t really any restrictions – hundreds of different styles, colours, materials and heels that can create over 4 million unique designs. Woah. Plus they now have super cute boot styles too! But I settled on a block heel court shape, as long wedding days and regular treks around London just don’t work in my super high stilettos! The team really care about comfort and have tested the selection of heels, peep toe positioning and everything else via their ‘Analysis of pain.’ You won’t be out of balance or uncomfortable once you sink into the amazing cushioned soles. At the design appointment they also get you to try on different sizes as not only do they stock sizes 33-44 but also offer 4 different width fittings.
Once we had the basic shape logged into the online 3D design tool it was time to choose materials. My wardrobe might be mostly black but my shoe collection is every colour of the rainbow. So I struggled to decide between the various glittering fabric swatches and colour options. Luckily Helena (one of the Upper Street stylists) was on hand to help me browse through street style Pinterest boards of ideas. I choose a nude leather that’s super flattering and perfect for Spring. Of course I had to throw in a sparkly element with an amazing gilver leather heel. You even get to choose the colour of your shoe lining, for you brides perhaps this could be your ‘something blue.’
For a Wedding you may want something really specific such as to match the tartan of your groom’s kilt, your stationery print or an exact colour match and you can because Upper Street have a facility to screen print or use material you provide.
Then it was a case of waiting patiently for the courier to arrive with my new shoe babies. All shoes are handmade at the Upper Street workshop rather than factory produced so you get that extra bit of love with every cut and stitch. Crafting and delivery takes 3-4weeks (International shipping is available too) plus there is a priority option of 2-3weeks. And here they are…
So I know what you’re thinking, firstly ‘how much’? Prices start from £195 and it would obviously depend on the style of shoe and number of embellishments you add but certainly cost less than most of the off the shelf designer bridal shoes. Gift idea? Drop hints to your bridal party and thoughtful groom about how designing your wedding shoes would be the perfect gift and memento from the day. And next you’re asking, ‘what if they don’t fit or I don’t like them’? Shoes can be exchanged for an alternative size or returned if you are not completely happy with them for any reason.
To book your own wedding shoe design appointment, party or ask the Upper Street any questions I missed t: 0207 148 7070 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org And you just have to check out the Upper Street website for heaps of inspiration and general shoe admiration – www.upperstreet.com
All Bijou images captured on Olympus PEN camera