What to Wear to the Downton Abbey Premiere January 3
Are you ready? What will you wear to the Downton Abbey Premiere Celebration?
It takes two costume designers, a hair and makeup designer, and two separate locations packed with furiously sewing workers to create the look and style of Downton Abbey's characters.
For example, Downton Abbey costume designer Susanna Buxton describes the summer dresses on the Crawley sisters (right) "These three dresses demonstrate the different ways in which we brought the costumes together for the show. Mary's dress was made for her. Edith's was hired — it was previously used in the Merchant-Ivory production of Room With A View — and Sybil's is an original Edwardian summer dress."
That's a lot of work to reproduce that look. You are officially off the hook - dressing the part is encouraged but not required! However, if you want to play along, have some fun dressing the part. Below we share some ideas to get you started.
The women's costumes evolve over time, reflecting the major historical and social changes the characters in Downton Abbey experience over the course of the show, especially with respect to the role of women. As women engage in more activities traditionally reserved for men (and as aristocratic young women begin to experiment with new roles), clothes become looser and less confining. Corsets are left behind, waistlines drop, and ankles begin to show. As the family enters the 1920s in Season 3, flapper style dresses start to appear. For any ladies thinking of dressing up - good news! Corsets are NOT required for authenticity. Unless you want to dress like Lady Violet.
Most of the men’s clothes on the show, apart from those worn by the principles Hugh Bonneville (the Earl of Grantham) and Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley) were rented and altered, due to the expense. For example a dinner suit made for Hugh on Saville Row cost £2,700 ($4,200) to make. At the same time, they provide much less eye candy to the viewer than the ladies' clothes. Thank goodness for the war - regimental uniforms like the ones shown here add some variety to the men's costumes.
An easy way to capture the spirit of Downton Abbey is to wear a hat. The hat does not have to be huge or heavily ornamented to capture the mood or even the personality of a character (See poor Edith's hat, below). Some examples on the ladies:
Sorry gentlemen, you don't have as many options as the ladies do. But maybe that's good news. Keep it simple, with classic toppers that, for the most part, won't look out of place after the premiere party.
Hope you enjoyed our style ideas. However you decide to dress, please remember to join us January 3 at the Byrd Theatre for our Downton Abbey premiere party. You'll have a great time, whatever you're wearing.
The event is free and open to the public, but you can reserve your seat ahead of time by becoming an event sponsor. Hope we see you there!
Downton Abbey Season 3 Premiere Event - watch the first hour of Downton Abbey Season 3 on the big screen!
Date: Thursday January 3rd at 7:15 p.m. - doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Other info: hats, gloves and period attire encouraged
FREE and open to the public