Downton Abbey, an iTV drama, has just finished its second series here in the UK.
I LOVE IT!!!
The series is set in the fictional Downton Abbey, Yorkshire, country house of the Earland Countess of Grantham, and follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants early in the reign of George V. The first series spans the two years prior to the Great War, commencing with news of the sinking of the Titanic, an event that sets the story in motion. The second series covers the years 1916 to 1919. (Wikipedia)
Its no secret that I love anything vintage; clothing to hair styles, trinkets to just good old fashioned politeness! So watching Downton is a dream come true. I’ve been fascinated by the clothing the ladies wear since the beginning and would love to have an excuse to wear fabulous dresses on a daily occasion and have my hair fixed every morning.
What better excuse than to look at al the lovely outfits!
The Sunday Mirror managed to chat to Suzannah Dixon, head of wardrobe and she spilled some costume secrets!
While some of the beautiful vintage gowns have a price tag of £1,500 to £2,000, others had more humble beginnings. Susannah says: “I am always, always on the look out for materials. Some of the dresses I made from cloth I bought by the yard from a stall at Shepherd Market in London.“On Downton, about a third of the costumes are made from scratch. We couldn’t have done all of them – it would have cost a fortune, way over our budget – and some of the fabrics just don’t exist any more.”
Some of the vintage creations have already had their moment in the limelight. Take the gown to be worn this series by Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary. It has previously been worn by Catherine Zeta-Jones
Susannah, who is on set during filming, polices the cast – particularly when it comes to on-set catering. She says: “Even though some of the actresses can’t eat in those corsets I also have to urge the men to be careful. I’ve been known to put bibs on them and make the girls take the dresses off. The men suffer too – those razor-sharp collars are very uncomfortable.
There are only two dry cleaners in the country that can clean the starched shirt fronts – one is used by the Queen.
“It takes a fortnight so I do not want the actors getting ketchup from the catering wagon down them. The costume bus is like a Chinese laundry. There are constantly people, sewing, mending, cleaning and ironing. It is an ongoing thing. The fabrics are fragile and with the filming schedules we really put them through their paces.”
Theres also a great little interview with Zoe Boyle (Lavina) I came accross here
The more I watch Downton….the more I get more and more convinced i’ve been born in the completely wrong era.