“Is there anything more thrilling than a new frock?” -Lady Sybil … Downton Abbey Returns

January 8, 2012 at 10:19 am 2 comments

If you’re a sucker for period dramas, eyebrow-raising aristocratic behavior and jaw-dropping Edwardian-era costumes (Spanx ain’t got nothing on a good corset!), and haven’t been watching PBS’ Downton Abbey, it’s time to get on board with the British series that has won viewers around the world (its of the most successful shows in “Masterpiece” history). The plot revolves around the patrician Crawley family (which includes their three beautiful and deliciously drama-filled daughters) and their servants–both social sets have their own heaping of oh-no-he/she-didn’t! moments.

I was late to the party on watching Downton when the series first aired, but caught up online by watching it here (free). Now I’m all caught up and will be watching (perhaps with a Pimm’s Cup?) tonight when season two debuts in the throes of World War I.

It’s not hard to imagine that the fashions donned by Newport’s robber baron families who summered in their Bellevue Avenue mansions during the era dressed much differently. Rosecliff’s Tessie Oelrichs was known for her lavish parties at the mansion, which is why she had commissioned the largest ballroom in Newport when working with architect Stanford White (one party’s guest list included famed magician Harry Houdini). In fact, Downton begins with the announcement of the Titanic disaster, and the sorrowful lost of family friend John Jacob Astor IV who went down with the ship (and was the son of “The Mrs. Astor” of Newport’s Astors’ Beechwood mansion). Click here for a recent Q&A with the series costume designer, Susannah Buxton, from the Wall Street Journal.

Downton Abbey’s Season 2 returns tonight on PBS at 9pm. Here is a glimpse of the fashion seen in season one. What’s your favorite Downton look?

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Meryl Streep Graces the Cover of Vogue, Image Shot by the Legendary Annie Leibovitz in Rhode Island Inspired by Celeb Style: Fabulous & Flattering Winter Outerwear and Accessories

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Red Velvet Shoe  |  January 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I’m so hooked on this…it’s just wonderful to have something so grand to look forward to watching on television for a change! ~M.

    • 2. Andrea McHugh  |  January 12, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Me too–I had to play catch up by watching the first season online because I had heard so much about it and I was hooked by the first half hour!


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