Photo from here
Glad to read that so many of you are just as excited about Downton Abbey costumes as I am! This is the first in what I hope will be a series of costume close-up posts.
Probably one of the most iconic costumes in the first season is Violet's purple suit. I definitely think the Dowager Countess is my favourite character. I always look forward to her witty banter and fabulous expressions. Dame Maggie Smith really is a star!
Here's a close-up of the blouse and jacket of the suit:
I immediately noticed several things about the blouse by looking at the close-up. It appears the bodice is gathered to the neck band in a sheer dotted swiss (or voile?) fabric. The lace bow appears to be separate and simply fastened onto the blouse at the centre front.
Here is Violet wearing the outfit. You'll notice that they put an amethyst brooch on the centre of the bow on the blouse and that the character accessorized the blouse with a long waist length necklace:
Photo from here
This is a close-up of the jacket. It appears as if the pattern in the fabric is slightly raised (it's hard to tell from the photos and unfortunately, I couldn't touch it!) The fabric is definitely textured:
The jacket features black coiled trim along the outside and beautiful pleated sleeve caps. One interesting thing that I didn't notice until I looked at the pictures is that there appears to be a collar in black with cream flower shaped embroidery (?) and scalloped edges around the neck. Do you see it?
Here's a front shot and side view of the suit:
The colour on the left is a much better representation of the actual costume than the one on the right.
Here is a close-up of the cummberbund/belt:
This is a good close-up of the blouse sleeve peeking out under the jacket:
I really love the cut of the sleeves on this jacket with the slight flare just before the wrist. This picture shows the blouse sleeve fabric much better than any of the screen or still shots of Dame Maggie wearing the outfit. We can see that it is a very delicate fabric with an intricate design. I'm dying to know if the whole sleeve is made out of that material (which is different to the blouse bodice) or if it is just the cuffs of the sleeves. hmmmm....
They did have photos of the hat at the exhibit but all my photos came out slightly blurry. Here's a close-up photo of Dame Maggie wearing the hat:
Photo from here (also check out this link for a funny handmade version of this hat)
Are those shells on her hat?? The best shot I could get of the hat is this one:
What do you think? Do you love this dress? What about some of the design questions (blouse construction, cummberbund closure, suit material, hat material, etc.)? Do share!