As overdone as the talk about this series has been, I had to post about it today, if for no other reason than to carry on about Lady Mary’s hunting ensemble. If this is not the British tweed of perfection, then I do not know what is. I’m not much of one for shooting at birds, but otherwise I could put myself at that hunting party and be quite happy thank you. That is, provided I could have an equally fabulous tweed outing suit.
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the clothing of this era (1910s), but I do want to say a thing or two about the costuming. The designer for the series, Susannah Buxton, says that the clothing is a pretty even mixture of actual vintage from the era, clothing the costume department has recreated from vintage fabrics and trimmings, and costumes hired from costuming companies. On a site that I can’t seem to locate at the moment, a British blogger posts photos from Downton Abbey and photos from other costume dramas of the same period, and you can see how the costumes often led a prior life in other shows.
I’d like to have a score card to guess which costumes are actual period pieces. It would be a fun game, don’t you think?
All through season 2 the women seemed to continue to wear their mid 1910s Poiret-inspired evening wear, so last night it was a jolt to see them suddenly sporting clothes from the early 1920s. Unfortunately the show does not show them in London and Paris, shopping for the post war fashions, but it was pretty obvious there was a chunk of
Lord Lady Grantham’s money being spent on the Couture!
Before the shopping trip to Paris:
After the shopping trip to Paris:
I couldn’t find a decent photo of the new clothes, but you can sort of see what I mean in this dress worn by Mary. Earlier in the show she wore a very unfortunate choice – a straight chemise that from the rear made her look about twice her size. And just when are those girls going to cut their hair?
All photos copyright Carnival Films for ITV.