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12-10-2011
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Is Downton Abbey Sparking a Trend for Early 20th Century Fashion?
The Downton effect: TV show sparks a craze for corsets, capes, cloche hats and cravats


By Lauren Paxman (dailymail.co.uk)

They say every trend comes back into fashion eventually - even crazes that were pretty dodgy the first time around like Eighties-style shoulder pads.
Some trends just take a little longer than others to make it back into the mainstream... as is the case with glamorous early 20th Century-style fashion which is having a revival thanks to hugely popular TV show Downton Abbey.
The series - which is regularly watched by around 10 million viewers - follows the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants at the start of the First World War.

En vogue: Sales of Downton Abbey inspired elbow-length gloves, as seen on Laura Carmichael, Michelle Dockery and Jessica Brown Findlay have soared by 584 per cent

The show is the most successful British period drama since Brideshead Revisited.


It's not the elaborate dresses that Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael and Jessica Brown wear in the show that we're after though, it is the easier to replicate accessories.
Sales of fur capes which were first en vogue nearly a century ago have risen by 220 per cent at High Street store chain Debenhams.

Elaborate fashion: The sisters wear beautifully textured dresses with loveley accessories

The number of elbow-length gloves sold has soared by 584 per cent.

Meanwhile, the sales of sequin capelets - a short cape worn over the shoulder have more than doubled.
Marks & Spencer has also noticed the craze.
Demand for corsets, pearl earrings and cloche hats has rocketed. Victorian-style boots are back in too, with the chain selling a pair of the shoes every 10 minutes.

Hats are in: Cloche hats are having a revival thanks to the series. Sales are up at M&S



In on the act: Men are feeling inspired too. Sales of Hugh Bonneville-style cravats are up 28 per cent

TOP FIVE 'ARISTOCRATIC CHIC' ITEMS AND THE CHARACTERS BEHIND THEIR POPULARITY
  1. Elbow length gloves, inspired by Edith Crawley
  2. Pearls, inspired by Mary Crawley
  3. Fur capes, inspired by Cora, Countess of Grantham
  4. Cravats, inspired by Robert, Earl of Grantham
  5. Hair jewels, inspired by Lavinia Swire

It's not just women who have fallen for old-school glamour, though, men are also feeling inspired.

Sales of cravats are up 28 per cent at Debenhams and waistcoats, the must-have for all Downton men have also seen a sales spike of 21 per cent.
M&S has seen sales of men’s British fabric tweed blazers rise by more than 750 per cent on some styles.

Tony O’Connor, Head of Menswear Design at M&S said of the trend: ‘British Heritage is firmly back in fashion, and with popular British film, such as the King’s Speech and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and current dramas such as Downton Abbey growing in popularity, men are confidently wearing classic British Heritage styles’

Debenhams spokesman Carie Barkhuizen said: 'The feminine glamour captured by the Crawley women in Downton Abbey has had a marked effect on what women are looking to buy this autumn.

'Aristocratic chic is back!

'And since this is a look that can be achieved by a few choice accessories, it doesn't require aristocratic wealth of Downton proportions to achieve.'

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12-10-2011
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Some of the dresses Mary and Sybil wear on the show remind me a bit of Antonio Marras, who's had that influence for years.










[stylebistro]

Excuse the bombarding!

It'd be interesting to see where this goes, at first I was thinking, please, don't make up another TV show to be so influential!, but then the 50s silhouettes seen on shows have clearly derived out of the enthusiasm of shows like Mad Men, so perhaps.. I certainly would not complain at all, I ADORE early 20th Century fashion, and we actually just saw a lot of designers go for the flapper cuts so I would not be surprised.

In the first season of Downton Abbey (1911-12?), you can see Sybil exploring with the first flapper shapes that would take force after the war so I think, fashion-wise, the show will get a lot more exciting in the upcoming episodes (when the war comes to an end) and next season.

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12-10-2011
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Downton's in 1918 now so really heading into the 20's. That combined with Upstairs Downstairs, Boardwalk Empire and then with Gatsby on the way too is only going to perpetuate the trend one would think.

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12-10-2011
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Is Downton Abbey streamed in America, also?

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12-10-2011
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^yes, you can watch it on Netflix

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12-10-2011
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I'm not surprised at all that Downton's fashion is sparking a trend for early 20th century garments. Besides watching the show for the story-lines my main reason is for the costumes! They are truly glorious. And I welcome a change in fashion like this, it would be nice to see designers/high street to be influenced in something else for a change. It kinda reminds me of when Marie Antoinette came out because so many designers put out collections based off of the sugary confection that is Sofia Coppola's film.

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12-10-2011
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Maybe it's all connected to the economic downturn, the idea that we all want to get some of that glamour to cheer us up.It all seems to be little things, gloves, shoes, capes. Don't they say that during a recession that sales of red lipstick go through the roof because it's cheap and glam?

Mad Men's obvious effect aside, I seem to remember when Alexander and Troy came out there was a lean towards all things Grecian for a little while. I think it's great, I tend to get influenced by watching too many movies and tv shows anyway and because I get the opportunity to get into wardrobe depts I get loads of ideas.


Last edited by littlepaperstars; 12-10-2011 at 05:31 PM.
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12-10-2011
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Hum .. is it me or does it seem that the ladies on that show wear clothes from quite a broad range of decades (hand-me-downs from their mothers, perhaps?).

I mean it is the Belle epoque and I can see the Poiret silhouette and everything ... but it seems a bit forced to me, dont you think? Seems "off".

And about this as a trend .. love it. Never heard of the show, but love it!

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12-10-2011
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i'm hoping more that The Great Gatsby will become a RAGING success...

a little bit of 1920s never hurt

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12-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultramarine View Post
Hum .. is it me or does it seem that the ladies on that show wear clothes from quite a broad range of decades (hand-me-downs from their mothers, perhaps?).
Marras certainly travels from the late 19th century to the 1940s, even 60s sometimes and blends it all together with an emphasis on certain decades (often early 20th century), so the traces are a result of that, and it is meant to look like they're clothes perhaps found in your grandma's closet.. he often refers to that in his mood boards, rescuing and regaining appreciation for old gems. Unlike those behind Downton Abbey's wardrobes, he's not creating costumes, and unlike Elie Saab, he's not an advocate of luxurious dressing, but the influences are intact.

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12-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MulletProof View Post
Marras certainly travels from the late 19th century to the 1940s, even 60s sometimes and blends it all together with an emphasis on certain decades (often early 20th century), so the traces are a result of that, and it is meant to look like they're clothes perhaps found in your grandma's closet.. he often refers to that in his mood boards, rescuing and regaining appreciation for old gems. Unlike those behind Downton Abbey's wardrobes, he's not creating costumes, and unlike Elie Saab, he's not an advocate of luxurious dressing, but the influences are intact.
I was talking about "the ladies on that show" .. not Marras.


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12-10-2011
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Oops, they're all ladies in a show!, and Marras certainly likes his hand-me-downs so I immediately thought you were referring to that. Pardon moi!. And yeah, I have discovered though, that the clothes on the show often photograph quite cheaply, I'm almost disappointed, because they look gorgeous in motion.

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12-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultramarine View Post
Hum .. is it me or does it seem that the ladies on that show wear clothes from quite a broad range of decades (hand-me-downs from their mothers, perhaps?).
Actually from what I understand the clothing on the show is pretty spot on in terms of the eras. The Crawley sisters (the girls in the pictures above) dress in styles that would have been popular during the 1912-1918 (which is the years that show spans so far). And as for some of the other female characters on the show, I think Cousin Violet dresses like a matriarch would've, she is much more covered up and probably behind the trends by a few years. The costume designer, Susannah Buxton, has based some of the costumes off of actual dresses from the era and from what I understand a few dresses that have been worn were actual pieces from the 1900's.

Also, LittlePaperStars, good point about the economic downturn. I suppose we could all use a little bit of glamour in our lives and accessories are one way to do so. And I love being influenced by film/tv they often bring the fashions of the past to life for me.

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Last edited by YoninahAliza; 12-10-2011 at 06:30 PM.
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12-10-2011
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^ There you go.

I thought twas the same actresses on differente pictures. lol

But still, I dont quite like it. :/ But I love the trend

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13-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultramarine View Post
Hum .. is it me or does it seem that the ladies on that show wear clothes from quite a broad range of decades (hand-me-downs from their mothers, perhaps?).
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..

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