A Downton Abbey Costume Compendium

If I had more than one life, then in one of those lives I would DEFINITELY come back as a costume designer. It's even on my life list (#37). 

I love it for the same reason that I love decorative arts - the making beautiful of something that we use everyday. I love it for its nod to the sculptural - three dimensional, wearable art. And I love it because it feeds my geeky love of history - not the list of wars and battles - that's old school history. But the history that's about relationships and people. THAT history is about what they thought about, what they created, what they read and listened to, and what they wore.

Downton Abbey. Need I say more? And thank the gods for HDTV because the detail has to be ever more fantastic. When I'm watching part of me is glued to the button detail and the stitching. The placement of this piece of rickrack or the draping of a sheer organza overlay. Swoon!

Let's see what I found for you.


Grazia / Photographer: Kate Davis-Macleod

Behind the scenes of a Christmas 2012 

UK fashion shoot with Downton Abbey stars. (Melanie, there are antlers!).

An interview with Caroline McCall,Downton Abbey's costume designer.

And what aboutLady Mary's tiara?

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And Lady Mary fast forwards 50 years to the 1960's.

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Photo credit: Interview Magazine

The interview from these photos? Well worlds collide my friends as Elizabeth Moss from Mad Men interviews Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey. Yes,

Peggy meets Lady Mary.

It's not just the story that matters in a drama. It's not just window-dressing, it's key to the story-telling. All those little details reference who these various characters are, their relationships and their social and economic class of that time period. 

We call them costumes because they are unfamiliar to us just as someone 100 years from now will also look at our clothes and call them costumes too.   

Which Downton character has your favourite costumes?