Monday, July 21, 2014

A Day at Downton Abbey - Part 2

Lady Mary's mourning dress
The exhibit card said it was called The Mauve Decade because shades of lavender and mauve were so popular.  These shades were also used for partial mourning, and in a post-war era, I'm sure there was still a lot of that going on.

These two dresses were worn by Mary and Cora at Sybbie's christening, when they were obviously in mourning for Sybil.

I didn't find these two all that exciting at first, but when you look at the details, they get a lot more interesting.

As with a lot of these costumes, they look far better on a real body than on a mannequin.  I remember liking Mary's dress a lot on her, but at first this lavender dress here didn't do a lot.  I liked the detail at the neckline, and then I looked at the repeat of it on the sleeve bands and the motif at the hem, and I liked it more.

Lady Cora's mourning dress a/k/a
the world's most glamorous robe
Then I noticed that the gray color of the sash is repeated in tiny bands of gray around the sleeve hems and around the neck, and at the tiny button placket at the back neck (though the covered buttons are lavender to match the dress).

And of course, the hats.  Do we even need to talk about the hats?

I didn't think so.

Cora's dress was plain, with a lovely brocade jacket that swept the floor.  The draped collar was in a perfectly matched satin, but what intrigued me on closer inspection was that the floral motif on the jacket's cuffs had been lightly quilted.  These are the kind of touches that get totally lost on TV, but that I love knowing are there.

Back details for both
Also, the fullness at the back of the jacket is gathered into buttons, which narrows the silhouette and really saves it from looking like Cora wandered out of the house in her robe, albeit a really nice robe.

Next up, a visit to the servants' hall.  Don't worry, there are things to see there as well.

Like I said, the HATS!!!

Detail, Lady Mary's neckline

Quilted cuff on Cora's jacket


Lyndle said...

Fab! It's so exciting to see these. Thank you for posting and for pointing our attention to all the cool details.

Vicki said...

Thanks Karen for sharing these and noting the details. Very interesting.

RhondaBuss said...

What a wonderful exhibit! The pictures are lovely. I can only imagine how much more incredible it all is in real life.