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The Summer Season

The Summer Season

Our homage to an action-packed summer, Social Butterflies is all about the top places to be this season and how to style yourself out. Starting with the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, our VIPs head to this summer’s key events, sharing their highlights and fashion secrets along the way...


Wilderness Festival

3-6 August 2017

With its seriously impressive line-up – Grace Jones anyone? – and a restaurant roster to satisfy even the most hard-to-please foodies – Petersham Nurseries, The Pig, Patty & Bun and Ottolenghi are just a few of major note – it’s hardly surprising that Wilderness has become one of the summer festivals to be seen at. We joined our VIPs, editor Katherine Ormerod, British GQ publisher Vanessa Kingori MBE, and blogger Peony Lim, in Oxfordshire as they soaked up the cultural – and mostly sunny – rays beaming over Cornbury Park.

  • Wilderness Festival; Peony Lim
  • Wilderness Festival; Katherine Ormerod
  • "Wilderness is a fancy dress party at heart!"
    Katherine Ormerod

On Summer Style Staples...

"Sun dresses teamed with ankle boots or statement sandals. Pops of colour from accessories, particularly handbags and earrings - I love a good earring! Of course, great sunglasses are essential - a good selection to suit mood or tone an outfit up or down. I'd be too embarrassed to share how many pairs I own..." – Vanessa Kingori

"I'm a real dress girl, so my summer wardrobe is all about throw on, lightweight dresses. I've got a few by Isabel Marant and Maje." – Katherine Ormerod

On Festival Fashion...

"I chose to wear loose-fitting bohemian tops over cut-offs with Converse sneakers and Hunter wellies (weather depending!) to nail that classic festival look. I also chose an ankle-skimming dress by Red Valentino covered in stars - an iconic festival motif- to bring a slight feeling of dress-up to my look. Wilderness is a fancy dress party at heart!" – Katherine Ormerod

"Be practical - you have to wear it all day in changing weather, but also have fun. If that’s not your thing with clothes, do a fun hair or make-up look." – Peony Lim

On Summer Beauty...

"Bronzer - find you're perfect shade and it’s almost all you'll need." – Peony Lim

"Look out for products that have SPF built in as they save time while still keeping you protected. My Clarisonics (I have several for travel etc.) are my hands-down, favourite all-year round beauty tools. Summer makes it even more necessary because of all of the different products we put on our skin and the sun's ability to push these into our pores (if we're lucky enough to see the sun!) Heavier sun creams, festival glitter and the like are no match for a twice-daily buff." – Vanessa Kingori

"I use By Terry Baume de Rose face cream, which is moderately thick because I get really dry skin in summer and it really keeps it supple. I also think that nothing beats regular facials; when I was younger I thought they were a waste of time, but now I'm a real convert. I also wear SPF 30 every day - it's boring, but hopefully will keep that skin pigmentation at a minimum!" – Katherine Ormerod

On Festival Highlights…

"The food at Wilderness is always first rate - we had a pretty banquet with Deliciously Ella, some obscenely tasty doughnuts from Bread Head and some very naughty bacon and egg butties from The Pig and Café Murano. Bonobo was great on the main stage and we had late-night fun in the valley." – Katherine Ormerod

"Meeting Grace Jones backstage after her brilliant performance - a real bucket-list moment for me. She was every inch the Grande Dame you'd expect; we chatted as she drank Cristal and snacked on 24 oysters wearing oversized sunglasses in the dead of night. She was also so many things I wasn't fully prepared for: accommodating, hospitable, complimentary and hyper observant. It’s rare to meet one's heroes and have expectations exceeded. A moment I'll never forget." – Vanessa Kingori

On Summer…

"Great energy - everyone is happier in the sun, especially after a good holiday. There's something magic about summer, the weather allows for greater spontaneity so increased opportunities for chance encounters with friends old and new." – Vanessa Kingori

"Sun, pools, the vegetable garden and long weekends with friends and family." – Peony Lim

"It means being outside, swimming in the sea, spending time with family and wearing swishy red summer dresses with tanned legs." – Katherine Ormerod

  • Festival Style

    "I think festivals provide a great opportunity to be an amped-up version of oneself. Some revellers feel there is a festival uniform they are compelled to adhere to; the result can be that so many people look the same – painting-by-numbers dressing. I love to see all different walks of life and style when roaming around a festival - a reminder to celebrate all of our fabulous differences." – Vanessa Kingori

  • Wilderness Festival; Vanessa Kingori - The Look


July 2017

An event that never fails to get the crowds in year after year, Wimbledon did not disappoint for 2017. World-renowned tennis players hit the courts and showcased astounding talent and skill, while spectators looked on, enraptured.

Scroll through our Wimbledon gallery below, plus, discover our edit of essential Wimbledon facts.

There are 15,000 seats on Centre Court.

Over 50,000 plants are supplied to Wimbledon each year.

During the fortnight of Wimbledon, around 28,000kg of strawberries and cream is consumed. Usually Grade I Kent strawberries of the highest quality are used.

The average number of bottles of Champagne supplied to the Championships each year is 25,000.

On average, over 40 miles of string is used on rackets by the Championships’ stringing team.

Henley Royal Regatta

2 July 2017

One of the most celebrated events of the summer season, spirits were set high as the sun came out in full force for the annual Henley Royal Regatta. Crowds came from near and far to watch fleets of boats row down the River Thames, while tucking into perfect picnics accompanied with Pimms. Niomi Smart, blogger and author, said the event encompassed everything that summer is about for her; "spending time with family and friends, wearing the prettiest things in your wardrobe and having picnics."

  • Henley Royal Regatta
  • Henley Royal Regatta with Niomi Smart
  • "A brightly coloured handbag gives an outfit a wonderful pop."
    Niomi Smart

On Her Look For The Henley Royal Regatta…

"I chose a fitted, ballerina-length dress by Milly in a white and navy pattern to go with the nautical theme of the day. I love the pocket detail on the front as this gives it a laidback but tailored edge."

On Accessorising…

"A brightly coloured handbag gives an outfit a wonderful pop. For Henley, I chose one in bright red; it was perfect for holding my purse, phone and a few make-up essentials."

On Summer Beauty…

"I always carry a lip balm in my handbag to keep my lips moisturised. I also use a moisturiser with a high SPF before I put my make-up on to make sure my face is protected in the heat. Looking after your skin is the ultimate beauty essential."

V&A Summer Party

21 June 2017

Summer evenings were made for occasions such as this; the Victoria and Albert Museum opened its grand doors to a host of leading industry names for its annual summer party in collaboration with Harrods. Along with fashion's elite - Alice Temperley, Emilia Wickstead, Edie Campbell - and Hollywood's A-list - Liz Hurley, Jack O'Connell - our VIPs also enjoyed a sundown soirée in the London landmark's inner courtyard. Sarah Mikaela, Laura Jackson, Martha Ward, Pippa Vosper, Sophie Paterson and Matthew Zorpas joined the crowds, dressed in their finery, no less, while indulging in Harrods canapés and ice-cream, refreshing summer mocktails and delightful macaroons and sweet treats. Wrapping the evening up with a sultry-smooth performance, singer Nao ignited the atmosphere with her tones as spectators savoured the still, blissful evening.

  • V&A Summer Party in Collaboration with Harrods; Sophie Paterson
  • V&A Summer Party in Collaboration with Harrods; Sarah Mikaela
  • "Being in such an iconic museum in the evening was magical."
    Sophie Paterson

On Getting Ready…

"As I am limited for time now that I am a mum and run my own business, I get the glam squad in! I have someone come to my house twice a week for blow dries and I also have my nails done at the same time - it’s all about multi-tasking these days." - Sophie Paterson

"I usually meet friends before any event for a drink before heading to the venue with them, it always makes the evening more relaxed and fun this way." – Pippa Vosper

"Pour yourself a glass of wine, take a cold shower to wake you up, put on that face, choose your outfit, accessorise it, watch check, perfume check and you are ready to go." – Matthew Zorpas

On Summer Beauty…

"Scented body oil a few hours before getting dressed and fragrance are a big part of me feeling ready for a party. And don’t powder out as heat and re-application can result in make-up caking. Instead, go for a tinted moisturiser paired with highlighter and liquid rouge, and if it feels too shiny, carry blotting paper around!" – Sarah Mikaela

"I find that skin gets so dry in the summer, so I always up my water intake and use a richer moisturiser than at other times of the year. A SPF50 for the face is a must and a facial highlighter to give a sun-kissed look in place of an actual tan works so well." – Pippa Vosper

"Bobbi Brown’s tinted moisturising balm, Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow duo powder compact, TOM FORD's eyebrow enhancing pencil (a summer essential), and CHANEL lipsticks in pink and coral shades (my only colour palette for summer)." – Martha Ward

On Party Highlights…

"The food, music and atmosphere were all great. Being in such an iconic museum in the evening was magical." – Sophie Paterson

"The setting, the warm night and seeing everyone enjoying themselves so much - the mood on the night was so relaxed and it was wonderful to see so many people that I hadn't seen in a while. Oh, and the incredible sweets and cakes, they too were a highlight!" – Pippa Vosper

"Being in the beauteous courtyard of the V&A was the highlight! It's the most spectacular space, a really secret little spot at the back of the museum, and I am never not enchanted by the surroundings. Second to that was the ice cream trolley, which I confess to visiting twice." – Martha Ward

"Getting to meet Alice Temperley - a beautiful and inspiring woman." - Matthew Zorpas

On Summer…

"Summer to me means a time of celebration; I always start the season with the Chelsea Flower Show as it’s such a nice way to welcome in the season by looking at beautiful flowers." – Sophie Paterson

"Summer to me means time to be with friends and family, to go on more adventures, to feel far freer. I am definitely a summer person." – Pippa Vosper

"Sunshine, late nights and lots of dancing." – Sarah Mikaela

"Summer is about getting out into the parks with good friends, strolling by the canals... It means summer sandals, light suits, strawberries and watermelon. And hop-on hop-off Greek islands!" – Matthew Zorpas

"It’s all about bronzed skin, body oils, coral lips, sundresses, bare shoulders, baskets and all manner of raffia accessories!" – Martha Ward


Cartier Queen's Cup

14 June 2017

As observers descended upon the Guards Polo Club, the sun also came out for Wendy Nguyen’s first-ever jaunt to the Cartier Queen’s Cup. The blogger and founder of Wendy’s Lookbook said, "I’ve never seen a polo match – it was just so impressive. I have a deep appreciation for the ponies and the pure skill that was required to ride them, hit the ball and run the whole time!"

  • Cartier Polo Queen's Cup; Wendy
  • Cartier Polo Queen's Cup; Wendy and Partner
  • "Matching in pink with him. Our first time at the Cartier Queen’s Cup and we had so much fun!"
    Wendy Nguyen

On Her Look For The Cartier Queen’s Cup…

"I wore a light rose, high-low hem dress and some nude pumps paired with a Prada bag that looks like a book – which I love! I wanted it to be light, fun and fresh – with a hint of romance to it."

On Summer-Event Dressing…

"I think it depends on the occasion, but for the most part, I just really adore mini lengths and, even more, a flare silhouette or something that gives you room to dance and flow more. It really sums up the essence of summer for me."

On Summer Beauty...

"For make-up, blend nude looks with a nude lip, browns on the eyes and a dash of blush - keep it very minimal. You don’t want to wear too much when you’re outside, but you also want it to be weatherproof."

On Enjoying British Summers…

"There are so many events, so give yourself permission to get dressed up and to enjoy good company."

Cartier Polo Queen's Cup; Wendy
"I adore something that gives you room to dance and flow more - it really sums up the essence of summer for me."
Wendy Nguyen

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

27 May 2017

A destination synonymous with botanical bliss, Martha Ward and Laura Jackson attended the Chelsea Flower Show only to be wowed by the otherworldly creations and floral displays. From the Silk Road Garden, inspired by the rich history and culture of Chengdu, capital of the ancient Chinese Shu kingdom, to The Bermuda Triangle – a depiction of an active volcanic landscape interwoven with stunning tropical planting – remarkable and innovative ideas were not in short supply at 2017’s show.

  • "So many incredible flowers, the most beautiful day!"
    Laura Jackson

The Guest List

Laura Jackson, presenter and author, and Martha Ward, stylist and editor.

The Wardrobe

Laura wore a summer-perfect white Valentino dress adorned with floral cut-outs, while Martha opted for beautiful bloom prints courtesy of Giambattista Valli and Gucci, punctuating her look with a wicker Mark Cross bag. “I intended to clash the florals: the ditsy print and ruffles of the Valli top clashed with the oversized bloom print on the Gucci skirt - I always like to be a little unexpected,” adds Martha.

The Highlights

"I loved the 'Welcome to Yorkshire' garden by Tracy Foster which displayed a beach, the sea (with boat), and a green, rugged backdrop with wild flowers, overgrown grass and a little bench - a very poetic scene indeed." – Martha Ward

"I think the most amazing garden at Chelsea Flower Show is the Mexican garden. I know I'm obsessed with Mexico, but look how amazing it is! Thank you Harrods for letting me stand and stare for 20 minutes." – Laura Jackson

"I love that it's quintessentially English and that it's such a tradition."
Martha Ward
  • The Look

    On her mix-and-match look, Martha shares, "Giambattista Valli can always be relied upon for a pretty floral and the Gucci skirt added a modern touch, and then it seemed obvious to select some wicker by Mark Cross for the expedition."

  • RHS Chelsea Flower Show; Martha Ward - The Look