By Laura Janelle Downey
Dating back to the 1860s when Queen Victoria would host afternoon “breakfasts” at Buckingham Palace, garden parties attracted everyone from socialites to government leaders for a jubilee under the sun. The prestigious event, which called for an alfresco meal of finger sandwiches, fruitcake, tarts and tea, also beckoned the best from style icons.
Little has changed, as exclusive garden parties are still a ubiquitous warm weather affair with a distinct dress code—think breathable fabrics, colorful patterns and comfortable footwear. When springtime comes around, designers draw inspiration from the garden and incorporate elements into their collections.
“The season feels dreamy like something out of a fairy tale,” explains fashion stylist Christie Moeller. “Florals and botanicals are big trends for spring/summer 2016. The runways were a virtual greenhouse, and everyone from Alexander McQueen to Gucci and Valentino showed that spring is blooming this season.”
Diane Von Furstenberg’s NIEVES SILK WRAP DRESS, $598 (Sea Island Shop; 912-638-3611, ext. 5538)
Trina Turk’s PERSIA JUMPSUIT IN CORAL, $368 (Sea Island Shop; 912-638-3611, ext. 5538)
Abbey Glass’s KIM CROCHET TOP, $310; GABI TWILL SKIRT, $260 (abbey-glass.com)Christian Louboutin’s PIGALLE FOLLIES CLAIR DE LUNE FLAT VEAU VELOURS BLACK, price upon request (christianlouboutin.com)
Peter Millar’s SHEILA PERFORMANCE TATTERSALL WOVEN SHIRT, $135 (Sea Island Surf Shop; 912-638-3611, ext. 5547)
Chikimiki’s SYDNEY TOP, $345; ANT PRINT SILK COTTON TWILL KEIRA SKIRT, $621 (chikimiki.com)
Sid Mashburn’s KINCAID NO. 3 JACKET IN NAVY SILK, $1,095 (sidmashburn.com)
Jack Rogers’ RED PAXTON SUEDE DRIVER, $148 (jackrogersusa.com)
Res Ipsa’s TAN HERRINGBONE LOAFERS, price upon request (resipsausa.com)
Peter Millar’s HAMPTONS PANE SOFT COAT IN JET STREAM, $898, PERFECT PIQUE POLO IN WHITE, $158; NANTUCKET BANDANA POCKET SQUARE, $68 (Sea Island Shop; 912-638-3611, ext. 5538)