Earlier this month I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with famed footwear designer Penelope Chilvers. Penelope has the reputation as one of the most talented footwear designers in the London set at the moment. Her boots, espadrilles and bespoke slippers are coveted by the jetset around the world. Kate Middleton, Cate Blanchett, Claudia Schiffer and Jemima Khan are just a few familiar faces you will have seen wearing Penelope Chilvers out and about, not to mention the countless glossies that feature the footwear on a regular basis. Chances are that even if you aren’t familiar with the name, you’ll recognize the shoes.
So you’ll understand that I was absolutely thrilled to be asked down to Penelope’s studio to have a look around the collection and to meet the woman herself. After spending five minutes with Penelope, I could see why her collection is so magical. This is a woman that is passionate about her designs and has spent a great deal of time and effort in creating timeless pieces that women keep as favourites for years.
While my heart beat sped up with one look at the Frida Boots (a southern girl’s dream city cowboy boot) and the Santa Boot, my love of classics had me running for the long tassel boots. I knew I recognized these from somewhere and it wasn’t just People’s Style Watch magazine. Then I spotted a picture of Kate Middleton, and not just any picture…one of the first model-like pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge. Low and behold, she was working Penelope Chilvers’ long tassel boots. Even as I mention it I fear revealing such a secret as I don’t want these boots to sell out before I can get my order in…but buy at will ladies as these truly are worth every penny you put into your purchase.
While I was in with Penelope she also gave me a little peek at her new “bespoke service” online. Whereas in previous seasons the dandy slippers have only been offered in velvet, they’ll now be offered in suede and with a greater variety of design options (my personal favourite being the neon highlights now available). Besides thinking of needing a pair with an FFG logo on the front, I thought it would be an amazing idea for a gift for a close friend.
Now I know you’re probably getting antsy, so let’s skip right to the heart of the matter here. Without making you wait any longer, here’s a look at some of my favourite Penelope Chilvers pieces, a mix of classic and new…