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 (designed by Anna Robbins) — 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!
This week, the Abbey gets surprise visitor. But first, as always, breakfast!
Oh dear. Mary, we need to talk about the frumpiness level here. You’re far too young and pretty to be wearing that blouse, we don’t care how historically accurate it is.
Take a cue from Edith, who’s wearing an elegant dark print with a lower round neckline.
Fine, cover it up with a double-breasted tweed, but we can still see the matronly high collar & pearls borrowed from the Dowager Countess.
Branson’s back! Missed ya, man!
Cora wore this black & pinky-khaki floral coat in the first episode. It’s classically her style.
Lady Rosamund has a scheme to get Edith to participate in Rosamond’s favorite charity for down-and-out women. So we’re not going to London this episode, and Lady R. is coming to the country.
Here’s the coat Rosamund has been wearing all season.
Cora only wears this blouse briefly. It’s a dead ringer for one of those 1920s embroidered piano shawls, which makes us think it’s vintage or made from a vintage piano shawl!
In full view, Cora’s ensemble is easier to appreciate, especially with the kicky pleat in the skirt.
See, Mary? Your gran is wearing that same blouse under her gown. Don’t go there!
This is Lady Shackleton, the dowager’s friend (played by Harriet Walter, aka Fanny Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility). Her hat looks kind of bird’s-nest-y. Not a fan.
For dinner, let’s turn this shit up to 11.
MARY. GOLD. YES.
GEEZUZ. IS IT SPARKLE-MOTION NIGHT AT DOWNTON?!?!?
Isabel’s black and gold beaded tabard gown with age-appropriate sheer long sleeves! Edith’s sexy double-strapped halter gown in green and gold! Rosamund in deep emerald with velvet and sparkle! Cora with a back cutout in cranberry and silver! HOLY MOLY!
The menfolk are bummed that they have no sparkle.
Even the Dowager is in shiny silver charmeuse and Lady Shackleton’s black gown has glitzy beaded black sleeves.
When your gown is 10000% glitter, wear a thin bandeau.
Or coordinate a wide beaded bandeau with your beaded dress straps.
Interesting how Rosamund went all matchy-matchy with her jewelry and gloves, unlike Cora and most of the other ladies.
The next day, it’s charity teatime / old-home week.
Rosamund’s charity is run by a familiar face… and Rosamund is the best dressed out of all of these people. LOVE the geometric beading on the lower portion of her dress.
Again, Edith wearing her business-y daywear. Rosamund is so often covered up by a coat in London, and it’s nice to see one of her dresses with floral on top and geometric on the bottom.
Gag. Mary. High collars are not your friend.
Hey, I thought you were killed at the Battle of the Wall after popping Jon Snow’s cherry! (But really, that’s Gwen, former housemaid who Sybil helped get a job and GTFO of Downton. We LOVED her warm khaki [there’s that color again!] sheer day dress with navy blue ruffle, piping, and underskirt. SO cute!)
What? Why should we recognize her? We don’t get HBO. Cora is usually subtle, but she’s VERY subtle in this cross-over smokey grey number.
That’s right, them wildling girls clean up real nice now. And Ygritte’s a real firecracker in bed too, you betcha.
Meanwhile, Anna is pregnant again and feeling crampy, so Mary rushes to take her up to London to see the doctor.
Lady Mary’s beautiful kimono picks up the embroidery color with a coordinating pink lining.
Love the jade necklace with black, and also the slit-sleeves. Very bohemian.
Cora’s wearing that deco necklace again, and it ties in nicely with the wide beaded accent (belt/obi?) on her gown.
In London, the doctor stitches up Anna’s cervix and she’s hopefully good to go.
Uh-oh … we sense fug coming up … We HATE it when blouse hemlines are too small and catch like that!
Mary! Stop it with the matronly white blouses! This isn’t as bad as the last one, but really, it’s not working for you. Just no.
That night, Edith is all dressed up for dinner at Downton, while Mary goes on a date with Hot Hot Henry Talbot:
This blue silk is so stunningly pretty on her. It kind of hurts.
Velvet opera coat, yes please.
Mary has, unusually, waved her hair for her date!
She’s wearing a brown and caramel beaded dress pilfered from Rosamund’s closet. Is there any color she can’t pull off?
Henry’s all dapper in his tux. This is his Han Solo “I know” face.
Back at the abbey, there’s time for some intra-family hospital squabbling:
The dowager is all Edwardian, all the time. Rosamund looks great in that very vertically beaded dress — LOVE how they’ve pinned up her hair to echo a bob. And Isobel’s dress is nice, but kind of looks like she bought it at Ross.
Cora’s in a gorgeous seaglass blue-y/green-y dress with, yet again, Middle Eastern styled embroidery.
The embroidery goes all down the center front.
Rosamund: perfect. Isobel: kind of mother-of-the-bride.
Mary pops in to say that Carson and Mrs. Hughes are back from their honeymoon.
Mary’s rocking it in a sheer black, long-sleeved dress with lovely, subtly colored embroidery.
Edith in a dark printed velvet dress that is in very similar colors to her breakfast dress at the beginning of the episode. Note Cora’s dress has the same embroidery on the back.
And in the servants’ hall, the honeymooners:
Looking pretty drab, except hey, Mrs. Hughes is out of uniform! Her cream blouse and high-waisted skirt are very matronly, but they work on her — she looks classy.
We’re at the halfway mark of Downton Abbey‘s final season — what do you think so far?
Downton Abbey Season Six, Episode Four, Podcast Recap
Listen to our podcast recap of the episode here or on iTunes!
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Excellent review!when Matthew Goode popped up I was like,”Yay!More of that,please!”
Cora really rocks it in the seafoam. But I disagree with you about Mary’s white silk business-like blouse. Edith green dinner gown is amazing. Loved the jewelled headband. Edith is coming into her own.
Mary’s bling white dinner gown was a work of art.
Was glad seeing Gwen a successful woman. I really was pleased in how she gave Sybil the acknowledgement Sybil deserved in helping her better Gwen.
Nice to see the late Christopher Lee’s niece in episode. Lady Peter Wimsey, er Harriet Walters as Lady Shackleton.
Matthew Goode. In a tux.
….. oh, sorry. I was drooling.
It feels like the clothing is the only thing that changes in this show and I think it’s pretty clear that it’s a good thing this is the last season since Fellowes is out of ideas.
The Bates’ keep painful secrets from each other and there are misunderstandings and occasionally the law gets involved! Yet they never learn to confide in one another. They have incredibly bad luck.
Carson makes decisions without consulting Mrs. Hughes-now-Carson.
Attractive dudes are into Mary, and Mary wonders if it’s worth it to marry them. Mary is a bitch to Edith.
Cora is oblivious to everything. Lord Grantham is also oblivious, but to different things.
The Biddies alternate between bickering and plotting.
Thomas is sad and evil and gay and lonely.
Daisy has Dreams of Something More and Mrs. Padmore is covered in flour and disapproves.
Poor servant has a problem and aristocrats do something anachronistically benevolent.
Someone mentions how the times are a-changing.
And occasionally things are shaken up when someone has a fling with someone unsuitable or someone dies.
I will continue to watch till the bitter end, but it’s getting ridiculous. Honestly the addition of the Denker/Spratt relationship is the most interesting thing to happen recently.
I’m 99% with you, except that I hate Denker sooooooo much! But yeah, it is good to have a new villain, and Spratt is genius.