Changing Fashion for Changing Times
One of the most widely watched television shows in the world, Downton Abbey®, is in its fourth season on Public Broadcasting, where
it is on track to become the most successful British drama series ever.
Not only has the series won Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA
awards, but it has also been recognized for its outstanding costumes,
many of them provided by the incomparable London costume house,
Post-Edwardian England, Highclere Castle and the drama that
surrounds an aristocratic family set the scene for Downton Abbey.
Amid the trappings of a great English country house and its expansive
land, we find the Crawley family dressed in the latest fashion trends;
their servants, houseguests, and townspeople all fittingly dressed for
Fashions in Britain between 1912 and the mid-1920s reflected an era of
great change. This period produced women who took a more active role
in their lives, which prompted them to discard their figure-changing
corsets and to shorten their skirts, freeing their busts and unshackling
their legs. The resulting trends and transformations formed the basis
for fashions that were to follow throughout the 20th century.
The First World War had a lasting effect on people’s lives and on the
way they dressed. Women discovered that they could contribute to
society in many new ways; they became nurses, worked in factories
and were finally allowed to vote. Downton Abbey has faithfully
chronicled many of these changes as well as the changing fashions
featured throughout the series. These advancements reflect the
different layers of society and the way style differs between the older
and younger generations of the time.
Follow your favorite characters, both upstairs and down; walk through
a costume chronicle of the period in this exhibition based on the wildly
popular series, Downton Abbey.