One night at Glyndebourne Part 2: Best dressed guests

I told you what I drank, ate and (of course) wore at the opera, but what about the other guests’ sartorial choices? If you’ve never been to Glyndebourne before, wondering what to wear is one of the biggest dilemmas. I was also slightly concerned that everyone would be mega-posh, wearing top designers, and that I’d feel intimidated.

In reality, the fashion was eclectic, individual and exciting. The audience members we met, and the Glyndebourne staff members, were friendly, chatty and passionate about the event. We met people of all ages from all over the country, and although the dress code is formal, black tie (a tradition that persists as a mark of respect to the performers) lots of the guys bend the rules a little, putting a splash of colour and personality into their outfits (although I have to say it was quite a thrill to see my fella in the classic black dinner jacket and crisp white dress shirt combo he bought hastily for the occasion).

Far from being a designer-fest, or even a dress-up competition, the women are glamorous yet relaxed. There is a riot of colour on the lawn when all the women mingle and there are as many quirky and vintage styles as there are sequins and sparkles; for every satin cocktail dress, there is a floaty summer maxi.

To give you a feel for the fashion at Glyndebourne, I photographed some of the very best-dressed ladies for you to look at; perhaps they’ll inspire you if you decide to catch the Glyndebourne Tour 2012 (launching 4th October), or if you’re up for the 2013 summer festival…

This dress was fabulously eye catching and although the colour blocking and Grecian neckline could have been safe territory for a night at the opera, that funky belt is all kinds of dangerous cool
There were a few vintage dresses on show and this was one of my favourites: I like the way she’s accessorised such a girly dress with nude shoes, drop crystal earrings and black clutch and shrug
This gorgeous, emerald green evening dress looked superb on the lawn – and the flats are perfectly in keeping with an outdoor event (as well as adding a relaxed finish)
You can’t beat a classic Italian designer for a night of opera – although Emilio Pucci adds a healthy dose of “funky” to any outfit, and the purple wedges, over sized sunnies and silk wrap really set this look off
Groups look just as stylish as individuals – these guys were great fun and I love the array of looks they’ve got going on, particularly the scarf maxi, the black wedges and the lady in all black with her hair flowing looks elegant and just slightly Bo-ho at the same time
This young lady just looked beautiful: With her stunning figure, the asymmetric striped maxi dress is ideal. The fishtail enhances her height and posture, with a bando and drop earrings giving an almost fairy princess finish
You don’t have to go all-out for a full-length evening dress; I liked this simple, fashionable look – particularly the coral skirt with the silver stilettos
These guys were lovely and their relaxed 50s-inspired outfits were right up my street: The young lady on the left paid just £5 for her vintage dress from a shop called Yellow Submarine in Kensington gardens, Brighton (you know where I’ll be shopping next time I’m down on that there South coast)
Green is my favourite colour and there was lots of it at Glyndebourne – this lady looked really elegant in her gown and wrap, particularly against the “English garden” backdrop
Another really fun group, these girls had a clubby vibe going on, which I loved – and proof that you can still stun at the opera without going for the traditional, long evening dress
They insisted I grab another shot of them with their smartest accessory (aka, Dad)
I believe this lady may be Italian, which explains the perfect way she has captured trend and elegance – the draping on the skirt and metallic jacket looked awesome
And perhaps my favourite dress of the day/night: I’m a big fan of orange and pink and this eye-popping colour block dress (which the gorgeous young lady thinks is Issa London) was an absolute knock out
And if you’re still not sure what to wear to Glyndebourne, you could always pick up one of the signature Urkel Jackets from the gift shop…

With many thanks to Glyndebourne and all the stylish opera-goers featured above

Written by Johanna Payton