Posts Tagged ‘Downton Abbey’

still-cream-clothes-galleryDownton Abbey is done and I imagine many fans are feeling the void. Well, there is a little something to ease life post DA.

Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times is a costume exhibit now running at the Driehaus Museum in Chicago. Featuring 30 original costumes from the popular PBS series, this exhibit explores how fashions evolved from 1912 to the 1920s. Covering men and women, upstairs and downstairs, Dressing Downton makes connections and explains how world events impacted fashion.

It seems The Driehaus Museum, a mansion built in 1879 for Chicago banker Samuel Mayo Nickerson, is the perfect setting for a DA exhibit. Restored in 2003 by businessman and philanthropist Richard Driehaus, the interior is decorated with period furniture, artworks, stained glass and other select pieces from the Driehaus extensive collection.

Driehaus Museum.

Driehaus Museum.

If you’re in Chicago or are planning a visit this exhibit runs through May 29th and is worth a peek. If Chicago is not on your itinerary, click on the link above for a virtual tour.

Read Full Post »


Downton Abbey fan Lynnie Morgan donning one of her favorite hats. Photo courtesy of Lynnie Morgan.

One day in January I was waiting  in line at the post office when a nice looking woman walked in and stood behind me. After just a few seconds I felt a tap on my shoulder,

“Excuse me, are you a fan of Downton Abbey?”
“Yes, I watch Downton Abbey,” I replied.
“Oh I thought so, with your coat and hat.”
I was wearing a narrow fitting grey tweed coat and my old standby cloche-style cap, also in grey.
Of course we got talking and it turns out that my new friend Lynnie is not just a fan of DA but also of hats. In fact, it was the popular PBS show that inspired her to start sporting hats herself. She’s now an avid collector of vintage style chapeaux of all kinds. Lynnie is busy running her own licensed  daycare, Bunny Run but she was nice enough to take time for a Q&A with me about Downton Abbey and hats.
Have you been watching Downton Abbey from the beginning?
 I’ve been watching Downton Abbey from Season 3.  I streamed and binge-watched seasons 1 and 2. 
How did you hear about it?
I saw an ad for Downton on PBS. 
Are you a regular PBS viewer? 
HUGE PBS fan! I currently am watching not only Downton but Mercy Street as well as Antique Road Show.
What is it about DA that has grabbed you?
I love that era, setting, relationships, clothing and of course, the hats!
And now you collect hats – why hats in particular?
The hats on Downton Abby were just so beautiful. I looked for similar styles whenever we traveled. 
Did you ever sport hats before?
I have a lot of hair – my mother was Greek – so the hats I had worn before always made me overheat so I wasn’t particularly drawn to them in the past. Now I know better what looks good on me and what types of materials to choose.
How many hats in your collection and were do you find them? 
I have seventeen hats in my collection.  I Google “Hats” in the towns that we visit.  Monterey has a wonderful millinery shop as does Santa Rosa.  There is a ladies shop in Healdsburg that has FABULOUS hats – I believe it is called Bella’s and a giftshop in Solvang that has a wonderful selection.  Copperopolis by Angles Camp has a gift shop that has a small selection of nice hats, too!
Where do you don your hats? 
I wear my hats to church, out with girlfriends, and for weddings and other special occasions.
Do people comment?

Oh my goodness, people say the nicest things to me!  But they also say, “Oh I can’t wear hats.  They don’t look good on me.  But you look just darling in yours!!!”  I always thank them then tell them that they CAN wear hats, but that they have to figure out which style best suits their face shape and the style they like best!

What’s your favorite hat style? 
I like wide brimmed Garden Party hats like my fuchsia hat, but my very favorite is my straw cloche with a turned brim and flowers or embellishments on the side.
Since, Lynnie, you jumped ahead and now know all about the last episode of Downton Abbey, without any spoilers, please tell us a little bit about what we can expect.
You can expect the most brilliant writing from Julian Fellows!  You will feel complete peace and everlasting joy for the Crawleys, Barrows, Mosley and Baxter, Anna and Bates, cousin Isobel & Lord Merton (with help form Violet), Daisy and her new fellow, Andy (who in real life is dating Laura Carmichael, aka Edith)  not to mention Mrs. Patmore and Mr.  Mason.  There is no way I can not make this a spoiler!  Wasn’t it Shakespeare who said, “All’s well that ends well”?  Let’s just leave it at that!

Thank you, Lynnie. And keep sportin’ those hats!

Read Full Post »

During Downton, I like to use authentic pieces wherever I can, restoring original garments, or incorporating antique trims into a new bespoke way – as modern equivalents just can’t compete. I have even found myself making sure I use vintage threads and buttons if fabrics are modern, so that the garment is still anchored to the past.

– Anna Mary Scott Robbins, costume designer, Downton Abbey

Laura Carmichael

This photo released by PBS and Carnival Film and Television Limited shows Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith in a scene from season four of the Masterpiece TV series, “Downton Abbey.”

I found this quote in the Summer 2015 edition of The Costume Designer, the official magazine of the Costume Designers Guild Local 892.

(Vintage threads? I was told by a seamstress never to use old thread, as it won’t hold up.)

Check back with OverDressed on Wednesday for a fun Q&A with Lynnie Morgan, devoted DA fan who has been inspired by the series to start sporting hats.

Read Full Post »


No one wants to kiss a girl in black.

– Dowager Violet, Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey.)

What the countess is saying is that a woman in mourning is less than appealing to a potential admirer. There once was a time when widows, widowers, and family members sported black after the loss of a loved one to show respect. Such a tradition goes back to Roman times and the rules got quite complicated in Victorian England, thanks in part to Queen Victoria’s endless mourning period for her husband Prince Albert.

There were different phases of mourning during which one could wear different shades of black and slowly move into other dark colors. Even jewelry had to be black, which led to the booming jet industry in Whitby, England. Strict mourning wrapped up after one year.

Over time these traditions loosened, even by the Downton Abbey’s era of the early 1920s when the dowager made this comment to Mary, who had recently lost her husband. Today one doesn’t even wear black to a funeral.

Speaking of Downton Abbey, it’s the final season. Are you watching?

Read Full Post »

lord-gillingham-wont-take-noAnd Don’t talk to me about hats. So many hats for so many different occasions. Why does anybody need so many hats? (more…)

Read Full Post »

Lesley1 (800x533)

Lesley Nicol, who play Mrs. Patmore in Downton Abbey, sports Stella McCartney’s t-shirt for Animals Asia.

For fashionable gift giving and a chance to do the world a good turn,  Stella McCartney has designed an exclusive t-shirt for Animals Asia.

Animals Asia is an organization dedicated to rescuing bears from bile bear farms in Asia.

Ms. McCartney is a long-time supporter of animal rights and one of the few high-end fashion designers who produces only vegan clothing. Of the bear farms in Asia she says the following:

It is unbearable. It is insanity. Such magnificent creatures held in deeply barbaric conditions for something that is not ours but theirs. These creatures are to be cherished and held in our hearts as champions not degraded in this way. To rescue and care for bears in their hour of need is so critical for us all, to have pride as humans and do good where others have failed these magnificent creatures. We hope to raise awareness and money to save lives and dignity.

jq99_SMCTshirtfrontfinal_1Animals Asia was founded in 1998 by Jill Robinson to stop the inhumane practice of keeping bears on farms to extract their bile for human medicinal purposes. In China 10,000 – mainly moon bears but also sun bears and brown bears – are kept on bile farms and in Vietnam around 2,400. Animals Asia not only rescues these bears but they also care for them at their sanctuary located in China. In addition they work to raise awareness of and stop the general inhumane treatment of cats and dogs and zoo animals in Asian countries.

As an animals rights supporter myself, I appreciate the hard work Animals Asia does in challenging countries.

What could be more fashionable than sporting a Stella McCartney exclusive while also showing support for Animals Asia? This is a must-have for every fashionable on your holiday list as well as any one who cares about animal welfare.

Check out the Animals Asia website to find out more about their good works for animals.

Thank you, Animals Asia and you, Ms. McCartney. Love to the bears!

Read Full Post »

butler1If you’re tired of style, you’re tired of life.

– Mr. Carson, Butler at Downton Abbey

Read Full Post »