‘A Queen Forever’ shoes by Roger Vivier

Made with 55-carat diamond-encrusted shoe
Roger Vivier has collaborated with the East India Company on 'A Queen Forever', a 55-carat diamond-encrusted shoe formed featuring a fleur-de-lys constellation of an eye-watering 3,500 brilliant-cut flat diamonds
(Image credit: Roger Vivier)

The phrase ‘fit for a queen' is bandied around with little restraint these days, but as far as footwear goes, Roger Vivier (opens in new tab)’s recent creation, debuted at the 'Brilliant' exhibition in this year’s Masterpiece London (opens in new tab) art, antiques and design fair, is the real deal.

Meet ‘A Queen Forever’, a 55-carat diamond-encrusted pair of shoes created by creative director Bruno Frisoni in celebration of the Queen’s diamond jubilee (opens in new tab). The shoes themselves are nicely cobbled into royal history, as Roger Vivier, bringer of the era-defining stiletto to the women's fashion arena in 1954, was the very person who designed the shoes Elizabeth II (opens in new tab) wore for her 1953 coronation.

Back then, the pair appeared in golden kidskin leather and embellished with a ruby-inlaid heel and upper pattern ,which echoed the fleur-de-lys motif on the St Edward and Imperial State crowns. Now Frisoni's 21st century version, hand-crafted by Roger Vivier Maison in close collaboration with The East India Company (opens in new tab), is a towering strappy black satin number - a modern personification of the royal classic, with its startling plummage of black feathers.

The fleur-de-lys motif, very much the pièce de résistance in the whole ensemble, is made of an eye-watering constellation of 3,500 brilliant-cut flat diamonds. Remarkably, the sandal's couture construction saw each stone being individually affixed to the shoe's upper with silk threads before the whole pattern was reinforced, rather than assembled together on a separate upper, and then attached to the sole.

The brand was first invited by exhibition curator and jewellery writer Carol Woolton to take part in the innovative 'Brilliant' exhibition in March - a not altogether easy deadline of three months, given a project of this undertaking. Not surprisingly, 17 artisans over at The East India Company - itself connected to both diamonds and royalty (most famously for mining and subsequently presenting the legendary Koh-I-Noor (opens in new tab) diamond to Queen Victoria in 1877) -  worked flat out to create the diamond setting of Frisoni's vision.

Says Woolton: ‘Increasingly bags and shoes are becoming the new jewels, with designs highlighted by flashes of “costume” crystal butterflies, coral rosettes or silver stars, but Bruno Frisoni has used the “couture” embellishment, the diamond, to create a glittering jewel for the foot.'

'Brilliant' diamond exhibition at Masterpiece London

Hand crafted in close collaboration with The East India Company, Roger Vivier's towering strappy black satin number made its debut at the 'Brilliant' diamond exhibition at Masterpiece London, jewellery editor of UK Vogue

(Image credit: Carol Woolton)

Sketch of 'A Queen Forever'

Creative director Bruno Frisoni's sketch of 'A Queen Forever'

(Image credit: Roger Vivier)

Shoe made with golden kidskin leather and embellished with a ruby-inlaid heel

Designed by Roger Vivier, the original shoes worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation in 1953 came in golden kidskin leather and embellished with a ruby-inlaid heel and upper pattern which echoed the fleur-de-lys motif on the St Edward and Imperial State crowns

(Image credit: Roger Vivier)