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.

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

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