Stepping out Cinderella style
PUBLISHED: 10:38 12 January 2015 | UPDATED: 10:38 12 January 2015
Looking to add the wow factor to your wedding? Harlow based artist Claire Jones offers brides-to-be their Cinderella moment withstunning designs for a bespoke pair of keepsake wedding day shoes
Whether you’re a closet Imelda Marcos, would give Carrie Bradshaw a run for her money or are an average girl with 20 pairs — it can’t be denied, women love shoes. When it comes to preparing for their nuptials, prospective brides don’t just want their fantasy frock, they also want to glide down the aisle donned in perfect, bespoke footwear.
Claire Jones makes that dream a reality for many brides, by painting their shoes with any design they choose. Some opt for flowers to complement their bouquet, while others have their shoes adorned with a quote pertinent to their romance.
‘Some brides opt for traditional wedding themes such as flowers and hearts, while others choose something more personal like their pet’s portrait; one bride had a pair of football boots painted as a memento for her husband. Other themes have ranged from skulls and gothic castles or lace designs with hidden wording, even a rubber duck, an art deco golfer and the plough star constellation. No two pairs are ever the same and there’s no limit on what brides can have,’ says Claire.
Claire’s artistic flair was evident from her childhood creations and she was always keen to make a career in the arts. After graduating from Middlesex University with an honours degree in illustration, she did a mixture of private painting and drawing commissions along with illustration work for various clients, but sought a steady flow of work from within the wedding industry.
‘People are always getting married, so the market is there. I started by offering wedding portraits, as it fitted the romantic, floral and feminine style of a lot of my previous work. Then, in 2012, a friend asked me if I could put some artwork onto her wedding shoes to personalise them for her. I showcased the shoes along with some others at a vintage and alternative wedding fair near Chelmsford and they were very popular,’ explains Claire.
Under the brand name Beautiful Moment, Claire still offers wedding portraits, but the majority of clients now come to her for painted shoes. Personalising footwear is not a new concept. In the 18th century Louis XIV had his shoes painted with red heels as a sign of wealth, which may well have been the inspiration for shoe designer Christian Louboutin to adorn his luxury shoes with red soles. Claire’s brides supply the shoes they want to be painted and she gathers inspiration for the design after speaking with them.
‘Some of my clients have a clear idea of what they want. Some want specific things included in their design and send me lots of pictures, while others readily admit they have no idea and leave it to me. I try to get as much of a feel for their theme as possible, including what colours or flowers they will have,’ says Claire.
Claire currently works from her studio at Gatehouse Arts in Harlow. Although she was raised in Enfield, Essex has been home for Claire for the past 17 years with her Essex-born husband and she juggles her work with raising two young sons. Her amazing painted shoes have certainly helped many brides to step out in style on their wedding day and they have even featured in British Vogue magazine’s Wedding Wish List. But, fear not! If there is no wedding on the horizon, and the princess in you just can’t do without a pair of fairytale shoes, Beautiful Moments can still make a girl’s dreams come true.
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For further information and to see examples of Claire’s work, visit www.beautifulmoment.co.uk