Is Downton Abbey Sparking a Trend for Early 20th Century Fashion? - Page 2 - the Fashion Spot
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ultramarine's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Originally Posted by Crying Diamonds View Post
I think some of the characters, such as Sybil (the young rebellious sister) embrace the 'twenties trends while the older sisters are a bit more conservative in their dress.
I'm glad to see that the characters aren't always garbed in entirely new outfits every episode, seeing as they certainly wouldn't have been considering the cost of the clothes and the fact that they dressed for dinner every night..

Yes, I agree. I must start watching it.

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Meg's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
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The costumes on this show are amazing - and they have definitely put me in the mood for Edwardian and WWI era clothing. I agree that the pictures do the dresses no justice - on TV they are really rich looking, with beautiful column shapes, depth of color, draping, a lot of delicate details. They are so gorgeous - especially this season thus far.

Plus it's a great show

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Downton on the High Street: How Lord Grantham's girls have brought Edwardian elegance back to the shops

By Jan Moir

What manner of madness is this? Downton Abbey fashions, reinvented by (whisper it, ladies) the High Street?
Oh shiver me lawks and put an extra pennyworth o’ bobbin on the liberty corset, or whatever it is the mistress of the wardrobe doth do with her ladyship’s flannelette unspeakables and afternoon tea gowns.
Downton Abbey fashions for all? You mean that even shopgirls and the second maid of the coalscuttle can now afford to wear the kind of elegant velvets and fur shrugs that were once enjoyed only by the proper ladies of the aristocracy?

Blouse, £49, viyella. Palazzo pants, £15, Feather hair clip, £18, Gloves, £69,

Cream chiffon dress, £150, houseof Nude shoes, £59.99, zara. com. Bronze clutch, £45, Embellished hairband, £7.99, and earrings, £3.99,

Well I never. This is the kind of thing that would give Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, as played by Dame Maggie Smith, a fit of the oyster-eyed vapours. Yet this is exactly what is happening.
Today, millions of women don’t just love watching Downton Abbey, the blockbuster ITV costume drama created by Julian Fellowes. They want to shop the look, too.

This season, sales of Downton period-perfect accessories such as silk gloves, empire-line velvet dresses and demure strings of pearls have surged.

The popularity of the drama series and the beauty of the costumes worn by the female cast has manifested itself in a demand for the discreet charms of the Edwardian-style fashions of the day.

No, not the mob caps and frilled pinnies of the downstairs crew. No one wants to head out on a Saturday night looking like Mrs Patmore the cook — unless you happen to be Christopher Biggins or perhaps even a slumming-it Russell Grant.

Burgundy dress, £150, Pearl necklace, £12.50, Pearl bracelet, £4, Faux fur shrug, £68,

Embellished dress, £325, Lace gloves, £35,

We’re drawing a line, too, through Violet’s gigantic lambskin hats, the approximate size and shape of a dishwasher. If you wore one of those walking down the street, children would just assume you were SpongeBob Squarepants’s mum. Simply not on.
Instead, the real fashion attraction for fans is the outfits worn by the blushing young ladies of Downton Abbey.

Swathed in jet beading and privilege, Lady Mary, Lady Sybil and Lady Edith — not to mention their unfeasibly youthful mother, Cora, Countess of Grantham — breakfast each day in silks and dine in satins.
They have to change about six times a day — lunch, hunting, tea, town, vicar-visiting, trembling like a mouse with unrequited Matthew-lust, furiously brushing hair in mirror before going to bed.

Whatever the occasion, theirs is a timeless elegance, one that speaks of an age when overtly sexy was unacceptable and anything emotive was unspoken and unseen.

Pleated skirt, £115, Betty Jackson 2 lace blouse, £110, Clutch, £49, Shoes, £65,

Let’s put it this way. The word JUICY on the back of your tracky-bums would definitely be frowned upon. At Downton Abbey, it is the whisper of a lace ruffle or the tiniest glimpse of ankle that provides the erotic charge.
As you can see, the charms of this decorous style have been reinterpreted today by designers using the same graceful long lines and rich yet muted colours. Here, there is lots of deep burgundy, such as in the dress by Coast and the coat by Wallis, offset by the gleam of pearls or a neat little cloche hat.
There are also ankle-skimming pleats, the repression of deep cuffs, prim button-backed blouses and a hint of skin behind layers of pale chiffon. Hairbands are modest, handbags are tiny. Remember, the ladies of Downton Abbey had no independence and nothing important to carry around. Excluding the soft toy that Lady Mary gave to Matthew to keep him safe in the Somme, of course!

Burgundy velvet dress with embellished belt, £325, austique. Earrings, £3.99, Shrug, £89.90, massimo

Coat, £90, Faux fur stole, £45, lkbennett. com. Cloche hat, £50, Tights, £6, Boots, £69.99,

The Great War changed everything at Downton Abbey, although this has yet to dawn on the inhabitants. Violet, for example, is an arch snob, desperate to ensure that the Crawley family keep their grappling hooks sunk deep into the summit of the social order and remain kingpins of the ruling classes.
She cannot see the change that is coming. That one day, women of all classes will indeed wear palazzo pants. Or the fact that John Lewis and Betty Jackson — no, milady, they are not the Abbey’s newly appointed footman and mistress of the bedchamber — will one day be producing the kind of sumptuous clothes that were once the sole prerogative of the aristocracy.
Jessica Fellowes, the niece of Julian, has written an excellent book to accompany the series. In The World Of Downton Abbey, she reveals that a few of the ladies’ costumes are vintage, some are hired, but most are made to order by the show’s wardrobe department. The modern fabrics used have to be ‘dipped down’ — dyed — to capture the muted tones of the day.

Velvet dress, £245, Pearl necklaces, £8 each, and embellished clutch, £32, T-Bar shoes, £80,

She also reveals that under their costumes, all the actresses wear plain, nude-coloured cling-resistant slips from M&S. Indeed, they love them so much they have become addicted to wearing them off-screen, too.
It is this mix of the old and the new that is perhaps so potent. I particularly love the long pleated skirt and wafty blouse combo. Just the thing to wear when bossing around the curiously scrumptious Bates.
Fetch me some tea! Iron that newspaper. Starch the master’s collar after you’ve steamed the hearth. And then come here and sit on my lap.
You see? You don’t need much of a Downton costume to get into Downton character.

The Downton ladies have to change about six times a day - lunch, hunting, tea, town, vicar-visiting, trembling like a mouse with unrequited Matthew-lust, furiously brushing hair in mirror before going to bed

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I've never watched this show but I've sensed a general push towards twenties fashion lately, with the drop waist dresses and the mix of more delicate and fancy materials.

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i dont know the show, too, but i think i love this trend! more pics please!

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I was looking at some of the Topshop coats this season and I think they have a bit of an early 20th century feel to them, probably inspired by the show? anyway they're quite pretty .


[screencaps via]

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those coates are fantastic!! Specially de second to last!

Raquel Zimmermann - Irina Lazareanu - Mariacarla Boscono - Natasha Poly - Milana Keller-Bogolepova
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Those jackets are gorgeous. And they certainly have a 20th century feel to them. It makes me wonder how much more of an influence Downton will have over the fashion industry. Hopefully lots, especially since the 20's will be happening in the next season! And the fashion industry sure loves the roaring 20's. I think if there is anything to be taken away from watching the show fashion wise it's the richness of the clothes. All the all look so elegant and put together (no matter if they are Crawley's or in service) which I don't think happens the same way now days.

__________________ "It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable." Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
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rising star
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I really need to start watching this! Have been meaning to for ages. Personally I'm all for a 20's-inspired trend, as it's an era I've always loved for fashion. Have definitely noticed lots of intricate beading and quite a few drop waists on the high street already. Love some of those Topshop coats too - I was looking at the Topshop Unique one with the fur cuffs today wondering if there was any way I could pull it off!

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This is funny as I've just been getting into 1920's fashion again.
I got some great inspiration from Midnight in Paris:


I especially loved how the Belle Epoque period was portrayed in this movie.

Personally I wanna see some Mariano Fortuny inspired dresses! So hard to come by these days..

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Oh my goodness I love this thread! I do hope it doesn't become too much of a trend, I'd hate to see a bunch of girls all walking around in turn of the century inspired garb just for the sake of being trendy. I don't mean to step on anyone's toes of course... just I truly love the style and clothes from this era and I wouldn't want it to become something passe.

Although, to be honest, I would heartily welcome more femininity in women's fashions.

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Here's a article on how to achieve the style from Downton Abbey but in a more modern fashion. I think it's pretty good, especially in making it easy for people who aren't crazy invested in fashion to try out the looks.

__________________ "It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable." Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
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