Sunday, November 9, 2014


Yesterday I spent several delightful hours wandering among forty historically inspired costumes from the immensely popular Emmy-winning PBS series "Downton Abbey."  The exhibit, at the Winterthur  galleries, will end January 4th.  If you can't make it, here are a few pictures of the glorious garb that will make you even more ready for the fifth season of the show, which premiers in the U.S. on January 4.

This beautifully presented exhibit informs on societal dress codes, tiaras, corsets, afternoon tea, and much more.  The costumes were made to fit the actors who wore them, so you can conjure up images of your favorite characters standing before you.  And, mourn the ones that have left the series . . . 

According to Downton Abbey costume designer, Susannah Buxton, the costumes are "translations of period dress, inspired by the past but influenced by modern styles and enhanced for dramatic television effect." 

Just as the stories of both the "upstairs and downstairs" characters are told in the series, the costumes of both were displayed.
I wonder how many apron changes a real-life maid would make during a work day in order to remain so pristine.
The manly Mr. Bates in his own version of an apron.
Here are a few examples of the gorgeousness of the gowns included in the exhibit.
A vision in rose
Lady Cybil's daring harum pants
The dress is magnificent, but look at that fabulous face . . .
Lovely wedding attire, even if the event was rather a bust!

It was fun to closely examine the intricate detailing on many of the garments.
Vintage and new combined with exquisite results.

What a statement one could make wearing this hat!
Why doesn't L. L. Bean carry stuff like this?
Back home again, I long for the new season of Downton to begin.
Shall I fiddle with photos and dream that I'm wearing one of those magnificent gowns?
Or just hang out in my study, drinking a cuppa tea!

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