Downton Abbey has had a great deal of influence on how fans view television and movies, but also fashion. Whether you relate to Lady Mary, Lady Cora, or Rose, the hats, the gowns, and the incredible jewelry is inspiring to many, including Princess Kate. Downton Abbey’s style will set the bar for more period pieces to come.
According to the Inquisitr, it is not just the fans who are sad to see Downton Abbey ending, the cast was pretty teary too on the last days of shooting. From Lord Grantham to Mr. Carson, the usually stoic, stiff-upper-lipped characters were blubbering through the final shot.
Vanity Fair reported that the fashions and styles of the 1920s were highlighted on Downton Abbey, via creator Julian Fellowes. Costume designer Anna Mary Scott Robbins was able to translate the look of the times to the small screen.
“With regards to Lady Mary, I wanted to really show that she is this woman working in a man’s world, so I looked at men’s suits of the period and took that as an angle, and had some fun with her tailoring. We aimed for that kind of androgyny that is still feminine—there’s clean-lined, dropped-waist suits with waist coats, and then shirts and ties. She has this signature look that’s developing, and she’s progressive in that role.”
Robbins then used the more conservative style of Lady Edith to demonstrate the “sister in the shadows.”
“I contrasted Mary’s style with Edith, who is similarly embarking on her career, but has a more bohemian and London-centric vibe when it comes to fashion reflecting her career in the city. I looked at more cutting-edge fashion—but still keeping it professional. We developed a signature when it came to neck ties and bows around her neck, and some beautiful cape suits and things that had a little twist so that it was taking fashion in a more creative direction than Mary.”
Even more important than the hats were the hemlines. By the final season of Downton Abbey, most of the ladies, at least the younger ladies, are starting to show a bit of leg.
“We’ve hit the point where we’re able to have the shortest hemlines, and the really exaggerated dropped waists. There are little micro fashion trends within each year, where you might have scalloped hemlines, or asymmetrical hems, so I would explore them in original pieces that would slot in at the right story moment for those. We covered 12 months in the final season, so it’s more about harnessing the seasonal changes across that 12 month period.”
One of the more fashion forward characters was Lady Rose, who ran around with a jazz bandleader and married a Jewish gentleman, according to the Belfast Telegraph. Actress Lily James said that playing Lady Rose on Downton Abbey changed her personal style.
“My style really changed because I understood accessorizing,” she told WWD.com. “Every morning I’d go into my trailer and there’d be different necklaces and earrings and gloves and handbags, and depending on my outfit, I’d pick what I would wear with it.”
But off of the red carpet, James is less Downton Abbey, and more a girl in her 20s.
“I keep quite a low profile and I wear jeans and jumpers and Converse (shoes),” she laughed. “I’m the girl that wears her boyfriend’s jumpers most of the time.”
Vanity Fair talks about one of the best parts of Downton Abbey - the fashion! Watch episode 4 tonight! http://t.co/xb0i0bWXLA— Vermont PBS (@VermontPBS) January 25, 2015
From the sinking of the Titanic through World War I, the look was still quite restrained, but with the Jazz Age buzzing in, Lady Mary bobs her hair, shortens her dresses, and lets loose.
Who do you think is the style icon of Downton Abbey?
[Photo courtesy of Jason Kempin/Getty Images]