This Saturdays’ royal wedding could have been a disaster if a Barnet shoemaker had not stepped in at the last minute.
When Sophie’s shoes, made by Gina shoes in east London arrived shortly before the wedding, dress designer Samantha Shaw was shocked to find they had been made in peach material-even thought the dress was ivory.
It was a potential disaster-but luckily Arty Achilleos of high street Barnet shoe repairers Baboucha was on hand to help.
At 24 hours notice he received a frantic phone call from Ms Shaw.
“She was very exasperated and was just running around saying ‘help, help’.” Said Mr Achilleos.
Recognising the seriousness of the situation, he stepped into the breach and agreed to do the alteration for free – even though he would usually charge £75
“The heels and the soles had to come off” he said ” we had to take the shoes apart and cover every section with the new fabric, which is not a traditional fabric for wedding shoes.
“The fabric I used was the same colour as the dress but I’m not sure if the actual fabric was the same. In the end they looked great”
He said the countess of Wessex would have found the shoes more comfortable after the recovering than before, because they would have been as rigid and therefore easier to break in.
The size five plain court shoes with sweet heart toe, scalloped edges and slender three-inch flute bottom heels arrived in Windsor on Saturday morning, just hours before the wedding.
Mr Achilleous said he also made her a bag in the same material, but as of yesterday he had not received a thank-you from the countess.
“Either she’s busy or is on the royal families bad books for giving the story to the papers on the day of the wedding” he said.
Both the palace and Gina shoes declined to comment.