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!
We begin this episode with a walk around the estate…
Check out how alike Tom and Mary are dressed — both in menswear tweeds. In harmony with nature and each other.
The dowager comes to visit:
Embroidered appliques on her collar and her… rump?
Edith looks businesslike in her white blouse, blue skirt, and blue print necktie.
Blue. High round neckline. Hmm. It’s just OK.
Pewter lace. Boat neckline. More flattering. Take notes from your mother, Lady Mary. Note how harmoniously Robert and Cora are dressed.
Isobel gets some interesting Orientalist trim that runs up the front & down the back of her coat.
Front view of Isabel’s coat.
We usually like the menswear look on Edith, but this tie, not so much.
The newlyweds have a dinner alone. But not all is well.
Mrs. Carson makes dinner for Mr. Picky-Pants.
She needs to fling this plate straight at Carson’s face. Note how there’s a little bit of trim on Mrs. Hughes’s collar.
Over at the Dowager’s house…
Denker is a bitch again. Yet another example of what could be basic black servant wear, but it’s enlivened with the inset and vertical banding.
Another day at the Abbey, another breakfast.
Lady Mary’s skinny tie is so new wave. Now, notice how her shirt and tie are almost identical to Tom’s below.
See what we mean?
We’re of two minds about this green & white pattern — from a distance, it works, but up close, it looks kind of 1960s wallpaper-y.
Tom and Mary, two peas in a pod.
Baxter’s past has caught up with her, but she’s going to fight the good fight.
At the trial-not-trial, Mrs. Baxter shows off her smart daywear, featuring a dress/blouse with side pintucks and a coordinating print scarf.
Her colors harmonize nicely with Mr. Moseley. When will these two get a room?
While Mr. Mason finally gets his farm.
Mary and Tom are momentarily down with the people. Again, everyone is in harmonizing colors. Isn’t anyone going to fight ever again?
Is Mr. Mason’s coat velvet or corduroy? Either way, he is the epitome of earthiness.
Daisy’s daywear is SO on point! Take a look at that awesome use of multi-directional plaid! Perfectly period, perfectly proportional on her, suits her coloring, totally appropriate.
Same hat she’s been wearing all season; clearly, her off-duty wardrobe is in the same hues.
Edith returns to London to meet up with her new-beau.
The matching blue coat and hat are a good contrast for that slightly-weird green print blouse.
And Brandon convinces Lady Mary to check out Henry Talbot’s race cars.
We love this — vintage purses almost always have a mirror built-in, so it’s great to see someone use one!
Henry Talbot, dressed for driving… and revving Mary’s engine!
Big-time publisher Edith is going to make an important hire.
Edith’s assistant in peach stripes!
Edith’s new editor in stripes! Or is it a houndstooth or check? Either way, it’s a got a great neckline.
All the cousins are reunited with Donk and Gramma. We are worried that these children are drugged or something, because they are the mellowest kids we’ve ever seen. They’d have to be to not throw a tantrum over the Downton idea of fun times: looking at books!
Cora’s blouse has vertical and horizontal bands of embroidery. Very subtle and classy, just like her!
Check out Sybbie’s charming applique dress!
Mary deigns to visit a pub because she has the hots for Mr. Talbot.
Beers for the guys, and a genteel sherry (?) for Mary. SUCH harmonious colors!
Kendra’s boyfriend has drunk the Mary Kool-Aid.
Cocktails at Edith’s flat, nudge nudge, wink wink!
Edith is getting fond of these wide, lacy, beaded bandeaus. This one has reddish beads that pick up the red tunic under this FABULOUS hammered gold gown.
While Bertie cleans up awfully nicely in his tux.
Edith gets some!
She’s wearing a beautiful multi-colored coat that’s hard to see clearly, but accents that red and gold dress perfectly.
We’re almost ready for another fancy dinner at Downton Abbey.
Have we seen this dress on Mrs. Hughes before? Yet another interesting-servant-wear look, with the brocade-y or applique inset. And a double collar?
Neville Chamberlain — pre-appeasing Hitler — visits. He’s the Minister of Health, and of course, the dinky little Yorkshire hospital hubbub is a big enough deal for him to poke his nose in. Cora’s dress is gorgeous, with a dark gold top and the bottom some kind of mottled green and gold.
Meanwhile, the Dowager is wearing the most modern thing she’s ever worn! This ensemble is actually 1920s, with the whole vertical lines and the overdress/inset blouse/skirt/underdress look. Granny is pulling out all the stops!
Isobel’s looking pleasantly glinty, and there’s more of Cora’s awesome gold number.
Here’s a long shot of Isobel’s dress.
Lovely appliques on the back of the Dowager’s gown.
Edith’s in her classic green and gold.
Mary always looks stunning in black.
Bicker, bicker, bicker…
OMFG!!! DID THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN??!!?? (PS: NOT ON THE DRESS!)
Yes. That really just happened.
The hell are we going to do now? Here’s a full shot of Edith’s fab green/gold dress, btw, and the same coat she wore in London.
Just take consolation in our velvets and furs, I guess.
The camisole/brassiere that Mary was wearing under her evening dress.
Mary rocks a kimono while she Thinks About Things (aka Edith and Marigold): either what an ass she’s been, or what a hoor her sister is. Want to take bets which one?
Well there you go. Are you as shocked as we were? Hear us freak the fuck out on the podcast and comment below!
Downton Abbey Season Six, Episode Five, Podcast Recap
Listen to our podcast recap of the episode here or on iTunes!
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Edith really rocks it in the evening wear for her date with Bertie, the future marquess. Gosh, if she marries him, her rank will be higher than Mary’s.*snicker*
Typo on Mary & Tom. His name’s Branson, not Brandon.
I’m glad you guys are doing costume recaps, because I always thought Downton was a well costumed show, but I couldn’t stand the characters.
I definitely freaked out at the dinner scene! I was so shocked. I yelled “oh my God!” Then “what the fuck!” I think this scene has to be at the top of surprises/shocks in movies and TV.
As for the outfits, the evening wear is stunning. Edith has some great evening wear looks, that coat! I love her aqua and gold combos. The black beaded outfit Mary has on is gorgeous and I love her hair accessory. Edith has been wearing some great hair accessories as well.
And isn’t it nice to see Edith finally looking glowy and chic? (Apart from the straps on that one outfit; I didn’t know ’20s businesswomen wore backpacks…)
Mary is the real shocker, though: applying lipstick in public, drinking–albeit Sherry or something–in a pub. I do enjoy the idea that as she and Tom become closer, they start dressing similarly.
Wish you included better picture of Mary in beaded gown.
Well, they established Edith was born in 1892; was Mary in 1890?
This article in vanityfair.com has a good article/interview about the dinner scene. What a shocker watching this episode! http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/01/downton-abbey-lord-grantham-ulcer-gif?mbid=social_facebook
I agree it was shocking, but this quote from the article you linked is much more appalling: One antique which did not manage to escape Lord Grantham’s ulcer, however: Cora’s dress. “It was very, very tough for costume department, because Elizabeth’s dress was vintage lamé, and they had no duplicates because we didn’t expect it to hit her. They had to clean it up between takes and, as they cleaned it, it started to disintegrate.”
I hear you, but — even wearing a vintage dress and just standing still creates wear (just from body oils), let alone moving and sweating in it. So, I think then we need to debate whether it’s okay to use vintage clothing for movies/film/theater. My thought is, if it’s museum-worthy, it should be in a museum. Otherwise, it’s fair game.
I agree with you. And if worn in movies and TV, vintage dress needs ‘stunt double’ to prevent what happened to Cora’s gorgy vintage lame dress. Hope they paid for it.
Yep, you always run that risk with vintage — so either don’t use it & just put it on a shelf, in a museum, somewhere out of touch, or accept that if it’s going to be used (in a film/tv/theater production or for everyday or special occasions), it WILL get ruined somehow.
Use means damage, either from simple human contact or from unexpected accidents, from stage blood to sudden rainstorms on the way to the set / event, you name it.
You guys are awesome!And so amusing.
My ONE WISH for the end of the series was that somebody was going to neaten up the back of Mary’s hair, but no such luck.
Now that you mention it, I have been staring at her grown-out hair at the nape of her neck and wishing I had some scissors…