Quintessential British luxury tends to find itself in like-minded company. When it came to the launch of Church’s Royal Collection, for example, the luxury British brand celebrated this triumphant event at none other than The Ritz Hotel; bringing together two bastions of British glamour, quality and unabashed luxury at one glittering, spectacular evening.
As locations go, The Ritz — or, to be precise, the hotel’s William Kent House — was the perfect backdrop to the latest collection hailing from the heritage Northampton shoemaker. The venue exuded luxury from every gold-plated, heavily brocaded surface; and Church’s new Collection, in its richly evocative tones of Burgundy, Ebony, Burnt, Black and Walnut (though more on the collection later) was right at home in this burnished, sparkling setting.
The evening saw guests including actors, tastemakers and friends of the brand, such as Freddy Carter, Giorgio Pasotti, Kit Butler, Nick Hornby, Jonathan Pryce, Josh Dylan, Edoardo Purgatori, Nathaniel Curtis, Giacomo Cavalli, Charlie Casely-Hayford, Matthew Zorpas and more, striding through those world-famous doors to celebrate the latest collection of an equally world-famous brand.
Before enthusing about the new collection at an intimate formal dinner, the guests enjoyed a breathtaking musical soiree while sipping away at Barons de Rothschild ‘Reserve Ritz’ champagne; and when they did sit down to dinner, they enjoyed a meticulously selected menu: curated to reflect Church’s uniquely English heritage.
The evening was evocative of autumnal nights of old. Whether the guests clustered around the resplendent fireplaces, chinwagged over a candlelit dining table or sipped champagne by a richly detailed wall, the whole evening felt like the sort of atmosphere only Julian Fellowes could conjure up in his latest lavish period drama (as well as being the sort of setting where the Succession cast would feel right at home). It’s not easy to create such an air of infinite glamour, inexhaustive luxury and sparkling finesse; but such is the power of both Church’s and The Ritz; especially when the two join forces.
As for the Royal Collection itself; the first point to make is that it’s aptly-named. Having first appeared online and in stores last August, comprises four new styles: the King whole-cut shoe, the Prince straight-capped Oxford, the Duke semi-brogue Oxford and the Viscount classic Chelsea boot; and it was created with only the most discerning customers in mind. Each of the four styles has been produced on the classically English 165 last, with its nipped appearance and round toe shape; a royal aesthetic, if ever there was one.
In true Church’s fashion, the Royal Collection epitomises meticulous detail to the last degree. Presented in the aforementioned five richly burnished tones, the finger polishing carried out on the toecap and the vamp of the shoe, courtesy of the brand’s expert polishers, utilises a traditional technique to create a pétillant finish. It’s a finish that takes many years to perfect, and requires the very finest skill and attention to detail.
We could continue to wax lyrical about the exquisite detailing on each of the shoes in this Collection; whether that be the hand-stencilled design on the sole, the sculptured London waist or the hand-painted finish: but what you really need to know is that the Royal Collection is ‘royal’ in every sense of the word. When you think of royalty, you presumably think of dignity and grace; of tradition, heritage and continuity. Church’s Royal Collection embodies all these qualities while simultaneously being a stalwart of the current age, through merging them with modernity: and the result is a Collection of aptly-titled shoes fit for a king.
The Ritz was the only possible location to launch such an iconic collection; because it’s the only location that would have done justice to the quality and heritage of Church’s. If you weren’t there last Thursday, don’t despair; procure yourself the King, the Prince, the Duke or the Viscount; and you’ll carry this quality and heritage with you every step of the way: through autumn and beyond.
Church's Royal Collection
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