The House had been supported by Frederick, Prince of Wales from 1735 and his heraldic badge hung above its entrance on the corner of Panton Street and Haymarket. As a prominent patron of the arts, he was a regular visitor to the area, frequenting exclusive entertainment at venues like the Theatre Royal and Kings Theatre on Haymarket.
These events were the place to see and be seen. They would begin in the theatre with an elaborate staging of an opera, where the audience would briefly stop talking to applaud the performance of a popular aria. They would then conclude in the supper rooms above, where refreshments would be served on silverplate supplied by Garrard.
Attendees spoke of the magnificence of these occasions, describing the blaze of light from the chandeliers, the richness of the gilded decorations and the brilliancy of dress and jewels on display. This was a chance to mix in the highest of circles, and both ladies and gentlemen used it as an excuse to show how they had mastered the art of dressing up.
Nowhere was this more evident than in the fans that the ladies carried, made with mother of pearl, precious metals and gemstones, the slightest move of a fan would catch the light. It made them perfect both to hide behind, and to attract attention, and it was this combination of mystery and drama that provided the starting point for Fanfare, Garrard’s new collection for 2018. It can be seen in the sweep of a white diamond and onyx ring across the hand, the ripple of tassel earrings against the neck and the fall of a necklace down the back.
From the rise of the curtain, to the flicker of candlelight over the theatre’s gilded decorations, many aspects of these royal entertainments are brought out in the collection.
In places, Garrard’s signature designs are present too. The diamond and dot motif from Queen Mary’s Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, and the regal motif from the monarch’s sceptre make an appearance, bringing another layer of history to this reimagining of the House of Garrard’s past.