WCW: Michelle Dockery


Her eyebrows — as the infamous Lady Mary, at least — became a Twitter phenomenon. But Michelle Dockery isn’t resting on snarky, or pretty. She started her career in classic British costume dramas and has branched out into period and modern dramas where she slings guns to fight and commit crimes. Of course, she returns as Lady Mary, er, Mrs. Talbot, on the big screen. What will that arched brow get up to next?


Betty in Fingersmith (2005)

Michelle Dockery, Fingersmith (2005)

Can’t remember, but I’m guessing she’s one of the girls in the asylum.


Sue Padgett in Heartbeat, “Take Three Girls” (2008)

Michelle Dockery, Heartbeat (2008)

One episode of a TV series supposedly set in the 1960s.


Ewa Rozenfeld in The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (2009)

Michelle Dockery, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (2009)

The story of a Polish social worker who smuggled Jewish children to safety during WWII. Dockery plays one of the Jews, not Sendler.


Erminia Whyte in Return to Cranford (2009)

Michelle Dockery, Cranford (2009)

The second part!


Ann in The Turn of the Screw (2009)

Michelle Dockery, Turn of the Screw (2009)

The governess in this 1910s ghost story.


Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey (2010-2015)

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey (2010)

She rules the roost from start to end.


Downton Abbey (2010)

Obligatory fairy-tale romance — with soap-opera tragedy soon afterwards.

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey (2010)

Riding horses, cropping her hair, using birth control — she does it all!


Kate Percy in The Hollow Crown, “Henry IV” (2012)

Michelle Dockery, Hollow Crown (2012)

Medieval glam.


Princess Myagkaya in Anna Karenina (2012)

Michelle Dockery, Anna Karenina (2012)

Well *some* people liked it.


Alice Fletcher in Godless (2017)

Michelle Dockery, Godless (2017)



Lady Mary Talbot in Downton Abbey (2019)

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey (2019)

Here she comes in the movie version.

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey (2019)

Costume designer Anna Robbins posted this on her Instagram, saying it’s “one of my favourite costumes in the Downton Film” and “the silk is from an original 20s dress from @antiquewardrobe_ that I incorporated into a new design with replica printed silk by @hatley_print.”

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey (2019)

She’ll never be Countess of Grantham, but she knows how to serve up some posh!

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey (2019)

Costume designer Anna Robbins described this gown’s creation on her Instagram: “I first worked with the legendary textile house Fortuny @fortunyvenezia on the final series of Downton Abbey and this led to a collaboration with them to create a bespoke pleated gown for Lady Mary. This unique dress is neither vintage nor a replica – it is a “new” original, having unlocked the famous and secret pleating technique developed by Mariano Fortuny and his wife and muse, Henriette, and is entirely hand sewn.”


What’s your favorite historical costume movie or TV role of Michelle Dockery’s?

9 Responses

  1. Maggie Koenig

    You should have added her in HogFather. Fantasy show but very hisorically inspired costumes!

  2. Nzie

    WOAH Fortuny the company figured out how to do the pleats again and did it for the DA movie? I didn’t care for the show, to be honest, too soapy for me to do more than drop in on occasion while others were watching, but I always did like seeing the costumes (I haven’t seen any others of these flicks/shows, tbh). The Dreamstress has seen it already and I found her review helpful—if you liked the show, you’ll like the movie, but it sounds like she had a similar impression to mine and didn’t stick with it, and consequently could take or leave the movie. She also said the Fortuny gown is mostly shown seated at table, so it’s nice to see this full length pic. :-)

  3. Frannie Germeshausen

    What, what? Fortuny pleats reborn? The mind reels!!!!! Seeing it tomorrow with a group.

  4. Charity

    Lady Mary is my favorite, though I’ve seen her in all of these (and in Hogfather).

    Looking forward to seeing Downton Abbey on Friday with some friends. Will drool over the costumes, I am sure.

  5. Brandy Loutherback

    I loved Michelle in Turn of The Screw, she was so vulnerable and compelling, like even more compelling than Mary who just comes off as a frigid bitch!

  6. CatnipTARDIS

    I still refuse to believe pleated silk works. I know I can see it with my own eyes, but I still can’t believe it doesn’t turn the wearer into a clueless frump.