We here at Frock Flicks (okay, Kendra and Trystan) are so excited for the final season of Downton Abbey that we’re doing weekly costume recaps AND podcasts! Tune in each week for an episode-by-episode recap of our thoughts on both the plot and (especially) the costumes — because really, while we all are invested in the lives of the fictional Crawley family, don’t we actually keep coming back to see what they’re wearing? You can find the podcast at the bottom of this post, or on iTunes!
At the start of episode one, it’s time for an oh-so-typical hunting scene. Mary’s looking chic in her navy and khaki riding habit:
We find it interesting that both Cora and Edith are dressed in the same navy and khaki, despite not joining the hunt. Both are in STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS ensembles. Edith’s in a sheer navy dress with Middle Eastern-influenced embroidery on the collar and down the center front of the dress, plus embroidered pockets and a belt buckle in the same khaki. Cora is in a sheer pinkish khaki blouse, navy skirt, and then a kimono overblouse with pinkish khaki embroidery on a navy background.
Although the emphasis is generally on the face in terms of framing shots, check out Edith’s coordinating navy shoes:
We always admire Cora’s hair. Her marcel waved and finger curled updo is accentuated by a coordinating khaki and brown comb.
One thing we’ve always appreciated over all the seasons has been the attention to detail in the servants’ wardrobes. Okay, so Mrs. Patmore probably hasn’t worn anything to get excited about, but the female servants who aren’t in uniforms always have subtle details that bring a little bit of flair to their look.
A great example of this is Mrs. Hughes. For the past few seasons, she’s been in different black dresses with insets in the bodice, a very typical late ‘teens/early 20s design element. This season, she’s in a tunic top with inset; she also has a darker black trim — two rows — plus a belt with large buttons, and a larger square bit under the belt at the center front. There’s a nice attention to detail here. The costume designer could easily have just put the servants into Black Dresses(TM) and called it good.
Meanwhile, Anna has one outfit with what looks like a collared overbodice or overblouse in silk charmeuse:
And then this black dress that we REALLY admired, with the nice detail of criss-cross seaming or pintucks across the upper bodice.
Finally, we want to steal Baxter’s dress. It’s in a narrow stripe that’s placed vertically on the bodice and sleeves, but horizontally across the center front — suggesting an inset. PLUS the collar has buttons. TOO CUTE!
There’s a family dinner, with only the grandmothers attending. So what, everyone still has to dress up to the ELEVENS (nines doesn’t cut it)!
We just needed to include a shot of the Dowager Countess’s perfect Marcel wave:
The next day, that khaki color has warmed up slightly with a bit of pink, as everyone is in relaxed daywear:
Then, it’s off to London for Edith. We’re not sure why Edith doesn’t just embrace a London life, especially when she has the always-fabulous Rosamund as an example.
However, we question Edith’s (normally impeccable) taste level (hat tip to Nina of Project Runway) here with that sweater:
Back at the Abbey, Mary is being blackmailed, but she’s standing her ground in this GORGEOUS cranberry silk charmeuse dress with matching silk crepe border at the neck, and then an inset and tiny edging in pumpkin-colored silk crepe.
Meanwhile, Cora is sticking with the khaki color, although warming it up even further — it practically matches her skin tone. The pattern across the front appears to be a woven design?
It’s off to the neighboring castle to see Lord High-Muckety-Muck empty out his goods. Earl Grantham says they’re going for “support,” but it seems a bit ghoulish really. Mary and Edith have nothing to do there, and I’m pretty sure we’ve seen these hats and coats last season (not that this is a bad thing; it’s more realistic!).
The Dowager Countess’s Best Zingers
“Sometimes it’s good to rule by fear.”
“Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?”
What do you think of Downton Abbey‘s final season opener?
Downton Abbey Season Six, Episode One, Podcast Recap
Listen to our podcast recap of the episode and its costumes here or on iTunes!
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And the Costume Designers name is…
Anna Robbins! We always put the designer’s name in the tags, even if we forget to mention it in the post.
I was drooling over many of the costumes. Trying to suck up the details. I miss the embroidered white aprons from Season 1.
Gorgeous clothes, but missed episode due to moving. Cable isn’t installed yet.
If you have internet, you can watch the episode online on PBS! http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch-online/