adidas boost Lord Grantham’s girls bring Edwardian elegance back
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?
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.
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
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.
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!
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.