Dowager Designs

pills serif;”>With Downton Abbey’s influence taking hold on our wardrobes this winter, Erin Dunleavy takes a look back on 1920’s fashion

Yes, winter is finally before us. I know many of us had to go into a tutorial with wet hair after a rain shower last week, but the glorious flip side is your winter wardrobe needs filling, and with the arrival of Downton abbey back on our screens, us ladies (and gents) are certainly not deprived of inspiration.

The fashion of Downton Abbey is as much as part of the show as the actual story lines -obviously Ralph Lauren thinks so too as they’ve made the decision to sponsor the ITV series. The Downton effect has penetrated both the high street and the catwalk, with fashion bible Vogue saying the look is a key trend for Autumn/Winter 2012: “The Downton influence is still holding sway”. At the Burberry show tweeds and flat caps were the main attraction and Alice Temperly had Downton influenced evening dresses as the order of the day. Ralph Lauren even played the shows theme tune at his show and his pieces were undoubtedly heavily inspired by Downton too. The show’s costume designer, Susannah Buxton, like Patricia Field before her, is a hugely important addition to the show, and having recently won an Emmy for her work, life at the Abbey is exquisite.

Its not just Downton that’s having an impact on our wardrobes, with the release of ‘The Great Gatsby’ later this year it’s inevitable that the 1920’s set film will have a roaring influence on our wardrobes (pun intended). With season 3 of Downton leading into the 1920’s as well, this look is well worth investing in a piece or two.

‘How does a poor student integrate the look into their 21st century wardrobe?’, you ask. With only a third of Downtown’s costumes made from scratch, vintage shopping is the way to go for this fabulous trend. ASOS and Topshop are also alternatives to vintage, with some luxurious pieces that perfectly emulate the period. So be brave and channel Lady Sybil with drop waists, beading, long necklaces and of course one mustn’t forget one’s evening gloves.

With our screens bombarded with Geordie shore and the like, class and style were taking a serious hit, but Downton has brought with it a look that celebrates keeping your clothes and dignity intact, and that certainly isn’t a bad thing. Cheers Abbey. This raises the question as to whether the popularity of Downton abbey is a reflection of our need for class and style in the midst of a Geordie shore generation? Is dressing like a lady back in fashion? Judging by this season, indeed it is. For there is a lady in all of us, even if Downton had to politely coax her out.

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