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.
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.
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.