|Lady Sybil's garden party dress|
Considering I took the camera off the charger that morning, and it died as I took my last photo that day, I think that says something. It says something like 210 photos is what it says.
But there's something to be said for a costume exhibit without ropes, without wires, without invisible alarms that go off and scare you half to death when all you're trying to do is lean in a little closer to see how something was constructed. I nearly got tossed out of the Met in NYC years ago when I set off one too many alarm at the Paul Poiret exhibit.
|I always loved this Lady Mary dress.|
Nice touch, but even after spending 15 minutes in that section, I think I know every syllable of the scene by heart. How the poor woman who works in the Downton exhibit gift shop manages, I'll never know.
And Lady Mary's engagement dress? Not all that much. Probably my least favorite dress in the entire exhibit. The explanation said they wanted a fairly simple dress, so as not to take away from the intensity of the scene, but really? Matthew and Mary finally getting themselves together, outside, at night, in the snow? She could have worn something a bit more dramatic and I don't think we'd have noticed one bit.
|Very nice use of stripes, and I love the lace|
at the neckline.
|Interesting closure - down the bodice front, along |
the belt and then snaps down the skirt.
Somehow I didn't managed to take photos of each grouping (though I thought I did), but in this first section you have Mary and Sybil's garden party dresses, with a wall-size photo of the scene and some of the script on the wall beside it.
I loved how much vintage is integrated into the costumes. A few (I believe Sybil's dress here is an example) are mostly vintage, but obviously the lace on Mary's neckline is as well, and certainly they were watching their p's and q's with that appropriate method of closure on Mary's dress. I would have been so upset to see a sneaky hidden zipper in a side seam.
The frightening thing, though was a card explaining that the costumers only have 7 weeks to construct all the costumes for a season. I'm picturing a total sweatshop here -- I'm sure they're thrilled that costumes get re-used from season to season; it saves them some work.
Next up, the Mauve Decade, or Mary and Cora's partial mourning dresses from Little Sybbie's christening.