Garrard’s Creative Director shares her advice on what to wear.
Many events in the British social calendar are intimately associated with elegance, but perhaps none quite so much as the races at Ascot. In particular, the royal meeting's strict dress code presents the ultimate sartorial opportunity to guests in the Royal Enclosure, their carefully considered styles later lighting up the fashion pages. For centuries, Garrard has played a part in the drama of this event as supplier of the winners’ trophies. Now Creative Director Sara Prentice looks at how the House’s jewellery collections also bring impact and style to this and other highlights of the social season.
“Jewellery can draw attention with a pop of colour from a sapphire or ruby. It can calm colours down with the subtle shimmer of pearls or flash of white diamonds,” says Sara. “More than that, it can tie all the different elements of an outfit together.”
The hat is the highlight
First in Sara's list of considerations is the hat. “For me, the hat is the highlight of so many events this summer, from Royal Ascot to the quintessential country wedding. I would choose earrings that really complement its shape. For a wide brim, think about an understated, intriguing pair of studs. Where all the detail rises above the head, I’d go for longer earrings, perhaps a tassel design.” The Enchanted Palace 18ct white gold earrings set with rock crystal, round white diamonds and pearl tassels answer both descriptions. By removing the tassels, these earrings can be worn on two visits to the races.
Jewellery can also be incorporated into the hat itself adding a touch of mystery, as Sara explains. “I love the idea of working with a milliner, adding a touch of mystery to a design with a brooch from the Fanfare collection or making a witty addition to a floral arrangement with one of our Enchanted Palace bug brooches.”
Jewellery can also be incorporated into the hat itself adding a touch of mystery. Sara Prentice Creative Director
Making a statement
Rings are a powerful way to make a statement. “Ascot is as much about the races as the socialising. Whether you’re raising a glass of champagne or taking a look through your binoculars, why not catch people’s attention with a large coloured stone or a ring that sweeps across your hand,” says Sara.
The Jewelled Vault is a celebration of colour, with rings designed around the finest sapphires, rubies and emeralds. Alternatively, Fanfare’s dramatic fan motif unfolds in a ring set with onyx, mother of pearl or ruby.
The neckline of a dress, jacket or jumpsuit can show off the décolleté or cover it. “Garrard’s slider necklaces are perfect for adapting to different cuts,” says Sara. “This year I’ll be wearing my personal favourite, the Albemarle Deco, which features the House’s signature diamond and dot motif.” Also included in this collection is the Albemarle tassel necklace, which offers a burst of colour from the polished sapphire, emerald or ruby beads which gradually appear among the pearls. “Another highlight for me is the 18ct white gold Cascade pendant necklace from the Fanfare collection,” she adds. “The iridescent pieces of mother of pearl are both subtle and fascinating.”
"Garrard’s slider necklaces are perfect for adapting to different cuts. This year I’ll be wearing my personal favourite, the Albemarle Deco, which features the House’s signature diamond and dot motif." Sara Prentice Creative Director
Pleasant to wear
For Sara, there is one key consideration to bear in mind when choosing jewellery for the Ascot racing calendar, and that is matching comfort with style. “As well as making sure earrings, necklace or brooch complement an outfit, it’s important to consider how it will feel to wear a piece through the day,” she says. “At Garrard our focus is on making jewellery that is versatile, in proportion and a pleasure to wear. These are the qualities that will make sure you don’t just look good, you feel good too.”
Get in touch to arrange a summer style consultation with one of our team.
All millinery featured was supplied by Fenwick, this year's Royal Ascot Official Millinery Sponsor.