Glamour At Glyndebourne

One of the world’s oldest and most renowned opera festivals is well underway in the South Downs of East Sussex and there certainly seems to be few more events that epitomise English summertime more than Glyndebourne Opera.

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The audience at Glyndebourne in 1934

Born in the mid-thirties, formal evening dress has always been customary for the summer festival. A tradition that originated from the founder, John Christie, who felt that more formal attire would be a way for the audience to express their respect for the performers. Here at LUX FIX we will be taking a look at traditions old and new to discover how fashion at Glyndebourne has changed over the decades.

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Libelula

For inspiration on what to wear, Libelula is a wise place to start. The British based designer is fast becoming known for in-house designed beautifully cut, timeless and flattering shapes. In keeping with the traditional formal evening dress ofyesteryear, this Libelula classic is your go to piece. The Long Millie Lace and Silk dress is a luxuriously sophisticated piece that is flattering in all the right places. An eye-catching dress that will be turning heads as you walk through the idyllic gardens at Glyndebourne.

A major theme at Glyndebourne is picnics. Drinking tends to start early with the sound of popping corks being heard as early as teatime so it is best to pack your hamper to get you through the day. What better piece to lounge around on the pristine lawns than this Estelle White Maxi Dress by Frock and Frill. This designer creates super glamorous twenties inspired pieces combing vintage shapes with modern trends. The Full-length maxi exudes relaxed glamour, perfect for enjoying a glass of bubbly in the gardens during intervals.

Guests admiring the pristine Glyndebourne gardens

Officially there is no dress code at Glyndebourne but it appears to be convention that many still adhere to Christie’s black tie policy. However, it appears that in recent years the feel of Glyndebourne has become a little more relaxed, whilst guests opt for more flowing dresses and flats in order to avoid sinking into the lawns. For a designer that offers elegant garments with a vintage twist, turn to Nancy Mac. This Sirene Reef and Teal Dress will help you to feel right at home looking out over the undulating fields of the South Downs. The flattering scoop neck and floor length fishtail skirt make this dress a real showstopper, because although black tie isn’t mandatory, it most certainly is encouraged.

Ariella is one of Britain’s leading designers for evening and occasion wear, and this piece is no exception. The Lorraine Embellished Green Dress is simple yet extremely elegant. Featuring beautiful gold embellishments at the shoulder, you will fit effortlessly into the surroundings at Glyndebourne with this easy to wear classic style.

Frock & Frill, Ariella, Nancy Mac

Because nobody trusts the English summertime weather, it is advisable to bring an additional, warm layer. The Hayley Menzies Black Chelsea Fur Trim Shawl is the ideal piece to take to a black tie event. The cashmere and fur stole oozes elegance and will keep you warm after the sun goes down. Pair it with the Jet Faux Fur Muff by Helen Moore to keep you extra cosy.

Helen Moore, Hayley Menzies, Agnes & Norman

If you do want to risk getting your heels stuck in the grass at Glyndebourne, and let’s face it, most people do, then add some vintage glamour to your outfit with these Frankie Antique Grey Heels by Agnes & Norman. The simple design features a classic 50’s silhouette paired with a snakeskin effect detailing. These heels are the perfect accessories to your evening dress, even if it does mean you have to be carried around by your chaperone.

The Beauty of Scottish Knitwear

Scotland has a long tradition of creating great quality, stylish knitwear; most manufacturing now takes place overseas but there are still a core group of Scottish mills producing luxury knitwear. What is it about Scottish knitwear that makes it so sought after?  Well Scottish knitwear manufacturers are able to draw on their centuries of experience and the expertise of the skilled craftsmen in their employ to create high quality pieces. In addition the water in mill towns such as Hawick is ideal for washing knitted garments as it gives them a super soft finish. This combination of skill, experience and natural resources makes Scottish knitwear utterly irresistible.

Today new brands still manufacture knitwear in the Scottish borders to take advantage of these excellent British producers. One such brand is Pip/James; this contemporary knitwear brand has a laid back aesthetic aimed at young, modern clientele. The brand helps to keep the tradition of Scottish knitwear production alive by manufacturing all its designs in a factory in Hawick.  Pip/James’ knits are a million miles away from dowdy jumpers and cardigans you often think of when you hears the word ‘knitwear’. Instead the brand’s pieces are up to date, casual and easy to wear; these are jumpers to be thrown on atop jeans or even just worn around the house. Coming in both classic blacks and blue as well as bright colours and even stripes Pip/James jumpers would easily fit into a youthful modern wardrobe. The jumpers are made of 100% Merino wool making them soft and comfortable but also easy to care for; Pip/James’ pieces can be machine washed and even tumble dried without losing their shape. In short Pip/James’ use traditional manufacturers to create knits fit for today’s knitwear lover.

With young brands, such as Pip/James, bringing Scottish-made knitwear to a new generation hopefully the Scottish mills will be continue producing high quality garments well into the future.

Hannah Balsdon

In Praise of Flats

Heels are great but few women are willing to wear them day in and day out; high heels are certainly attractive but they can also be very painful and are generally very impractical. For everyday wear a girl needs a pair of shoes in which she can both walk and run and flats fill our need for wearable, everyday shoes. Flat shoes are easy to walk in but have long been viewed as somehow less desirable than heels but no more; from trainers to loafers flat are very much ‘in’. There are plenty of fashionable flats available for the style conscious woman and so, here at Lux-Fix, we thought we’d take a look at some our favourites.

Let’s begin with these laid back and slightly masculine Oxford’s by Fred’s Shoes. Boyish Brogues are very much in style at the moment but if you’re after a softer flat then a pair of Oxford shoes could be the thing for you. British brand Fred’s Shoes produce this attractive, easy to wear shoe in a variety of different colours and even prints. This is a shoe you could team with a dress to add a little hint of androgyny or with a pair of chinos and a white shirt for a relaxed look.

If you’re after a more feminine flat try one of the British Flat Shoe Company attractive designs such as this pair of bright, bold pink flats. The British Flat Shoe Company manufacture all their shoes right here in the UK and their simple but stylish designs are ideal for everyday wear. Combining this pair of pink beauties with matching accessories could easily transform any outfit from dull to chic in a heartbeat.

Flats, however, don’t just have to be stylish, or effortlessly chic; they can also be fun. These sparkly, glitter covered pumps from La Paire prove that flats can be as unique and fun as their heeled counterparts. La Paire’s Stardust flats could add a touch of instant sparkle to a day ensemble but would also be ideal for a night out on the town.

Of course today’s dream flat would combine effortless style with up to date design, practicality with desirability and, with that in mind, these pumps from Cleo B pretty much hit the mark. Their pastel blue colour and metallic heel are refreshingly contemporary making these pumps perfect for fashion savvy woman but they’re also functional enough to be worn regularly. These flats may look demure but, in reality, they present the wearer with a variety of styling options; these are shoes you could wear with a summer skirt or a pair of jeans the choice is yours.

Hannah Balsdon

In Praise of Jersey

Jersey is a fabulous material; it’s comfortable, flattering and, above all, versatile. At first glance jersey’s tight-fitting properties may make it a daunting prospect but in reality the seemingly clingy fabric can flatter women of all shapes and sizes. Various brands and fashion designers have used jersey in their designs but few would call themselves ‘jersey specialists’ yet British brand CeMe London do claim to be just that. Their contemporary, creations are all made using soft, pliable jersey making them incredibly easy to wear and could comfortably fit into the wardrobe of any modern woman. Jersey allows CeMe to make form fitting, flattering clothing; CeMe’s dresses are designed to make women not only feel feminine but look it too. To celebrate this wonder material, and CeMe’s stylish designs, we thought we’d give a quick round up of the jersey specialists’ best pieces.

The little black dress is a wardrobe staple and jersey makes an ideal LBD fabric; CeMe make some truly attractive LBDs. This particular black dress is modern but elegant, modest and wearable but also flattering and feminine. This is a dress you could wear to the office, the bar or even to a special event.

Jersey is also very good for draping as this stylish grey dress proves. CeMe use draping in quite a few of their designs and this technique helps to flatter the body without drawing attention to unwanted lumps and bumps. With its trendy cowl neckline this dress would look great simply teamed with a killer pair of heels.

Many of CeMe’s designs come in simple block colours and many of us often think of Jersey in terms of plain, classic colours. CeMe, however, also use bright, modern prints in some of their dresses; this not only adds interest but also presents a contemporary take on jersey-based design. This appealing print dress has a classic silhouette, like many of CeMe’s jersey designs, but its abstract up-to-date print gives it a decidedly modern air. This is a dress you could wear with a leather jacket or a blazer, to work or on the weekend; in short this is a versatile, contemporary dress.

The occasional print aside, CeMe’s designs may seem a bit minimal at times but that’s not to say they couldn’t cause a stir. This white asymmetric dress may look simple yet it’s also incredibly glamorous. This is a dress that flatters you in all the right places; really it needs only a pair of heels and the right accessories and it’ll be ready to hit the town. This is a dress that proves that less really is more and that’s the wonder of jersey; with this wearable yet figure hugging fabric even the simplest designs become extraordinary.

Hannah Balsdon

 

The New Wrap Dress

Like the classic shift and the sexy sheath the wrap dress is iconic style that everywoman should have in her wardrobe. A wrap dress is flattering, feminine and easy to wear; this simple form flattering style can be worn by women of all shapes and sizes making it a modern classic. Over the decades there have been many different versions of the conventional wrap dress but some designers use traditional wrap-dress shape to create unique, new styles. This approach allows designers to utilise the flattering ‘wrap’ silhouette and tweak it to suit their own aesthetic and vision. One such designer using the ‘wrap’ to create stylish pieces is Katya Wildman. Katya’s brand, Bombshell, is known for producing sensuous figure hugging dresses and, as such, the brand’s designs often feature a ‘wrap’ style shape. It’s very hard to resist Bombshell’s sexy designs and their sarong/wrap style dresses are particularly desirable. As such we thought we’d give you a quick round up of some of our favourites…

This sensuous red dress looks fit for a 1950s screen siren; it combines an enticing red print with a warp dress style profile. This is a dress that was just made for hourglass figures and, these days, very few clothes are. Yet for all its sensual glamour this is a versatile little red dress that could take you from office to bar.

Sticking more closely the tried and tested traditional wrap dress this dress has all the style of the original iconic piece but with a twist. The dress has a concealed zip on the front which allows the wear to bare as much or as little flesh as they like. In essence here is a dress that possesses both the professionalism and free spirited sexiness that everyone remembers from the wrap dresses of the 1970s. Bombshell have just brought the 70s dress up to date and added an extra dose of sensuality.

Wrap dresses aren’t just for daywear, the style’s sexy silhouette works equally as well at night too. Bombshell’s elegant evening dresses, like the brand’s daywear, also draw on the ‘wrap’ shape. This feminine and ladylike little number uses a wrap outline to subtly flatter the female form. Like all of Bombshell’s designs this dress is sexy but here the sexuality is muted and restrained making this a dress fit for even the most sophisticated events.

Hannah Balsdon

Dressing for the Big Freeze

It’s January, it’s cold and spring seems far, far away. It’s the time of year when you just want to wrap yourself up in something warm. Dressing for comfort rather than style may seem like a big fashion no-no but at the moment, with temperatures set to plummet, we all need something warm and cosy to wear. On the other hand, as we’ve seen time and time again on the Lux-Fix blog, comfort and style are not mutually exclusive; there are plenty of fashionable brands that produce clothing that is both attractive and practical. With that in mind we’ve searched high and low to find the warmest, most stylish winter-ready pieces available on Lux-Fix.

Knitwear is a must for winter and here at Lux-Fix we stock a variety of trendy, wearable knitwear brands. Needle is one such brand; their modern but relaxed designs are easy to wear, functional and just a little bit luxurious. This colour-block jumper from the brand’s aw14 collection has a fresh, contemporary feel; simply pair with jeans and ankle boots for warm but fashionable casual look.

Those looking to channel a more ladylike look this winter should check out Faux England; specialising in faux fur Faux England create furry clothing and accessories with all the glamour of yesteryear but none of the expense and controversy of real fur. Their outerwear is particularly glamorous and this lovely Orelle coat would make an extremely chic winter cover-up. This is a coat you could wear to the office or throw on over an evening ensemble with equal ease making it a must-have for the lady about town.

Similarly, glove brand Cornelia James create ladylike gloves that are, literally, fit for a queen. These are gloves that could keep even the daintiest fingers warm but can also a touch of class to any wintery outfit. These leopard print gloves are practical enough for day to day wear and stylish enough to fit into any elegant wardrobe.

 

As we’ve seen before on the Lux-Fix blog there seems to be a lot of faux fur around at the moment. Some brands, such as Faux England, produce vintage inspired faux pieces but other brands reinvent and reinterpret faux fur staples for a modern audience. Charlotte Simone is one such brand and Helen Moore is another; both take different approaches to furry accessories but both create pieces that are fun, contemporary and ever so trendy. Inspired by Parisian style Charlotte Simone designs scarves around which a woman can build her entire outfit; this stripy little number has a cool but light hearted feel and would be perfect for injecting a fun into a dour winter look. Helen Moore’s creations are a tad more sophisticated but still trendy and are also beautifully crafted here in the UK. This inky blue pillbox hat is pretty irresistible and could add a touch of modern day glamour any trendy, fashion conscious winter wardrobe.

Hannah Balsdon

Wet Weather Dressing

With cold, wet winter winds hitting the UK the style conscious woman is faced with a problem; how does one stay stylish in the rain? Fortunately Lux-Fix stocks a variety of stylish and practical outerwear and footwear that is ideal for the wet weather. A well designed waterproof Mac or traditional grungy parka can be your best friend in a shower or storm; whether you’re a smart dresser or a casual fashionista there’s a waterproof coat for you. Similarly by ditching the wellies and investing in a pair good quality boots you will be able to face any puddle in style. In short rain doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to take a hit; with a bit of planning and some wise purchases you can look as chic is wet weather as you do in the sunshine. So, without further ado, here’s a quick roundup of the most stylish wet weather fashion Lux-Fix has to offer.

Let’s start with UK based design collective Protected Species; Protected Species use technically sophisticated but functional outerwear that doesn’t compromise on style. Case in point their fashionable West End Waterproof Mac which combines timeless styling with cutting edge design. This traditional looking Mac is actually made of Fluid Intelligent Fabric making it a modern and practical twist on a classic. This coat may be waterproof but you can style it in much the same way as any Mac or trench; in short this is a raincoat that you could wear office in pride.

The parka is the ultimate practical but stylish coat; a good parka should be robust enough to shelter you from the elements but also have a rock ‘n’ roll inspired cool all of its own. Just about every high street store comes up with a parka each winter but British brand Parka London’s coats are a cut above the rest. Their designs are simple, classic and hardwearing with an undeniably British feel; their pieces are simply designed for the British climate. Their Freja Parka (above) is loose fitting enough to fit over even the chunkiest of knitwear and also has a water resistant finish making it ideal for cold, rainy days

A good pair of boots is a must for winter, wet weather or no and a hardy pair of riding boots can make a great alternative to wellies. The Spanish Boot Company creates classic, practical riding boots inspired by traditional Spanish boots. The brand’s boots are certainly functional and perfect for equestrian enthusiasts but they are also well designed and beautifully crafted making them also fit for day-to-day use. Their Polo Boots for example could be used for riding but they would also work just as well as fashionable city footwear. This combination of style and practicality make The Spanish Boot Company’s boots a very stylish wet weather option indeed.

Hannah Balsdon

Faux Fur

With Christmas over and 2015 officially under way now we’re getting to the depressing part of winter. The weather’s still cold but, January sales aside, there’s little to look forward to.  Fashion-wise at this time of year many of us find ourselves hiding under layers and layers of knitwear for warmth but it doesn’t have to be like this. It’s still possible to see out the rest of the winter in style thanks this winter’s most comfortable trend; faux fur. Long seen as a cheap imitation of high end real furs seen on the catwalks faux fur is having a renaissance; in fact even some real fur is beginning to look decidedly faux. Faux Fur today doesn’t simply try to ape the real thing instead it’s colourful, contemporary and fun. This isn’t a difficult trend to pull off; with chic faux fur accessories popping up everywhere even the most cautious fashionista could easily incorporate fake fur into their wardrobe. Today we’ve scoured Lux-Fix to bring you the warmest, chicest furry items our site has to offer.

British brand Helen Moore’s colourful and carefully crafted faux fur pieces are contemporary and have a sort of opulent air. Their fuzzy striking clutches are an incredibly easy way to channel the new fur trend. This furry magenta clutch could add a lovely pop of colour to any winter outfit and is quirky enough for year round usage.

If you’re looking for a warm but stylish winter jacket to get you through the remaining cold weather months you could do a lot worse than one of Faux England’s feminine coats and jackets. Unlike Moore’s pieces Faux England’s designs are pretty traditional and have a nostalgic vintage feel. This is a jacket that could be both paired with jeans and a jumper during the day and thrown on over something sparkly at night. As a result this classic jacket is definitely more of an investment than a seasonal, trend motivated buy.

The party season may be over but if you’re heading out during the next couple of months Helen Moore’s stylish Vixen scarf would make an excellent accessory.  Full of old school glamour yet also thoroughly modern this scarf would look utterly ravishing draped over one shoulder. Frankly whatever your night-out style the vixen scarf is guaranteed to take your outfit to the next level.

Ski bunnies and bohemian travellers alike will no doubt be impressed by Hipanema’s faux fur earmuffs. These are definitely winter accessories for the active and the young; whether you’re headed off to the slopes or just refuse to let the cold weather keep you indoors these earmuffs are an ideal alternative to the ubiquitous beanie.

Hannah Balsdon 

New Year’s Eve Dressing

So, we’ve got one big party left before heading back to work and beginning another year of drudgery. Want your New Year’s Eve to go off with a bang? Looking to say goodbye to 2014 in style? Well with little more than a day to go until we ring in the New Year there’s still just enough time for you to pick up a glamorous new ensemble from Lux-Fix’s range of designers. With that in mind we’ve scoured our site to find the very best party pieces…

Christmas day may be about family (and over eating) but New Year’s Eve is a night for parties and painting the town red. On Christmas you want to be comfortable, for New Year’s you need something sexy and fashionable. Enter Paper London; their sleek, ultra modern silhouettes are ideal for confidant, style conscious party girls. This year slip into their sexy but smart Red Sky Dress for an effortlessly contemporary and slightly edgy look. This is not a dress for the faint of heart but rather a dress designed to bring out your inner diva.

With temperatures reaching record lows if you’re heading out on the 31st you’ll definitely need to wrap up in something warm. ‘Warm’, however, doesn’t necessarily mean ‘ugly’. Keep the cold winter winds at bay in style with Llunaa’s Cream Furry Jacket. This fuzzy jacket is a distinctly trendy take on the fur and shearling jackets of yesteryear and could easily match any up-to-date party outfit from androgynous tailored trousers to sensuous mini dress.

No party outfit would be complete without a killer pair of heels. Shoe brand Fury London make some of the fiercest heels around making their edgy designs a natural choice for an end of year night of debauchery. This NYE try their effortlessly cool and rock ’n’ roll Rex Ankle Boots. These are boots that could add a touch of fierce, hard edged glamour to almost any day or evening ensemble making them a must-have for any confidant young partygoer.

Lastly every girl out on the town needs a place to store her valuables whilst she dances the night away. A clutch may seem like to obvious evening choice but this NYE why not go hands-free with a chic shoulder bag? Spanish leather goods brand Lacambra creates great quality handbags that combine style and functionality. Their small but perfectly formed Mini Chic Bag would make an ideal party bag being just the right size for all life’s essentials.

 

Hannah Balsdon

Spotlight on Helen Moore

Faux fur seems to be popping up all over the place at the moment; it comes without many of the ethical issues of real fur and, coming in a variety of colours, can often be more versatile than the real thing. Helen Moore is one brand that saw the potential of faux fur over 30 years ago and has been creating luxurious faux products ever since. This family run British company takes real care of its faux fur products and carefully manufactures all its designs right here in the UK. Helen Moore’s women’s accessories range from the traditionally stylish to the fashionably unique which makes this a faux fur brand for everyone. Want to incorporate a bit of on-trend fur into your winter wardrobe without going over the top? Helen Moore’s chic accessories could be just what you are looking for.

This winter Helen Moore’s stylish faux fur accessories include collars, muffs, scarves and even hats all of which presents the faux fur enthusiast with an array of furry styling options. The pieces come in a variety of colours and finishes meaning that whatever your style this winter Helen Moore have a piece for you. Traditionalists may want to opt for one of the brand’s more realistic looking faux styles whilst those after something a little more hip may find themselves drawn to modern, almost garish colours. This is a collection in which classic imitation ermine or wolf scarves and hats sit next to bright magenta clutches and powder blue collars. Whatever Helen Moore piece you select you are still presented with many a styling opportunity; the brand’s creations could be used to channel a fairytale-like look or give your outerwear a dose of rock ‘n’ roll glamour. With a Helen Moore piece you could play a Russian princess, a Hollywood star or decadent socialite, the choice is yours.

Faux fur is often seen as a rather low rent sartorial choice with such pieces often being viewed as of lesser quality than the ‘real thing’. Yet Helen Moore, with their attention to detail and commitment to British manufacturing, actually create faux pieces that are luxurious and desirable in their own right. When buying a faux fur piece from Helen Moore you are not settling for second best but purchasing a stylish and unique fashion accessory.

-Hannah Balsdon