Few periods in the social calendar are as intimately associated with style as Britain’s summer season. Events like Royal Ascot come with dress codes that work as a creative challenge to guests, their carefully considered outfits later lighting up the fashion pages.
For Creative Director, Sara Prentice, a brilliantly chosen jewel is another way to be part of the drama and add excitement of the day. “Jewellery can tie the different elements of an outfit together,” says Sara, “or add drama by introducing a bold contrasting colour. More than that, it can turn heads with the flash of white diamonds or glimmer of a gorgeous gemstone.”
"You can turn heads with the flash of white diamonds or glimmer of a gorgeous gemstone." Sara Prentice Creative Director
Sartorial elegance starts with the hat
At an event like Royal Ascot or a traditional summer wedding, the most iconic element of an outfit is the hat. A strict dress code makes guests even more inventive, and Sara sees this as an invitation to accessorise with well-chosen jewellery from the House collections. “I love the idea of working with a milliner, adding a touch of mystery to a hat’s design with a brooch from the Albemarle collection, or making a witty addition to a floral arrangement with one of our Enchanted Palace bug brooches.”
With the hat as the highlight, Sara suggests using jewellery to complement its shape. “For a wide brim, think about an attractive, understated pair of studs like the delicate diamonds flowers in the Petal collection.” The addition of a necklace from the same collection is a chance to continue the theme.
“Comfort is also something to consider,” says Sara, “and earrings that wrap around or hug the ear combine style with wearability for a long, sociable day.” The Albemarle and Muse collections both offer choices in white and rose gold, set with white diamonds.
Colour cuts through the crowd
“Jewellery can draw attention with a pop of colour from a sapphire, yellow diamond or emerald,” says Sara, “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.”
The Jewelled Vault is a celebration of colour, with one-off pieces showcasing the finest sapphires and emeralds. “In rings, oval-shaped gemstones are surrounded by thread sets of white diamonds to heighten their colour even further. Alternatively, make a statement with a magnificent pair of drop earrings designed around the most remarkable emeralds or sapphires.”
Balancing subtlety with style
Jewellery can also be chosen to make a more subtle impression, and it’s this effect that Sara is personally drawn to this year. “I’ll be wearing Filigree from our Muse collection when I visit Royal Ascot in June,” she says. “It was inspired by Queen Alexandra, a great fashion icon of her day and regular attendee of the event, and it holds diamonds in filigree work so refined as to be barely visible. The overall effect is both delicate and dazzling.” With a ring, bangle, pendant and earrings all available in this design, there’s the opportunity to focus style on a single look and tone.
Where beauty meets wearability
“At Garrard our focus is on making jewellery that is versatile, in proportion and a pleasure to wear,” says Sara. “When you’re choosing jewellery for one the summer’s long, prestigious events you need to think how it will feel to wear that piece through the day.” House collections include designs that are lightweight, comfortable and often transformable with removable elements like pendants and tassels. “Everything we do is designed to be worn, so you can be 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 Vivien Sheriff.