Dressed in Downton

Way back in March I had the opportunity to visit “Dressed in Downton” an exhibit of costumes from the hit British television show, Downton Abbey. The exhibit was held at the Spadina Museum (pro. spa-DEEN-ah), a 55-room mansion nestled in among a neighbourhood of rich midtown Toronto. Spadina is perhaps no substitute to Downton, i.e. Highclere Castle, but it is beautifully maintained historic building built in the 1860s and styled for the 1920s/1930s era.

Spadina House.

And now the exhibit!

On this outing we were also testing out our new Sony smartphone attachable lens. This is a DSLR lens that communicates with any phone/tablet via an app and its own dedicated wireless connection. Very cool. And also fabulous for this kind of exhibit: because the lens and viewfinder are not connected, you can stick the lens in inconvenient locations and still have a visual of the photo you are going to take without, you know, contorting your body.

The show was by appointment, with the exhibit followed by an accompanying tour of the mansion. We were led first up to the third floor servant quarters to get a chance to get a first taste of mansion life and ogle some gorgeous costume eye candy.

Wealthy American, Martha Levinson

Lady Cora’s Red Embroidered Gown

Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham

Matthew Crawley’s Suits

Lady Edith’s Pink Day Dress

Lady Sybil’s Suit

Purple Suit of the Dowager Countess of Grantham

Close-up detail

Bodices and Skirts are held together with skirt hooks

Lady Sybil Blue Evening Dress

Lady Edith Pink Evening Dress

Lady Cora’s White Traveling Suit

Matching hat

Maid’s Costume

Mrs. Hughes

Mrs. Hughes’ Keys

Lady Sybil’s Nurse Uniform

Lady Cora’s White and Floral Embroidered Gown

Lady Mary’s Red Evening Gown

Mrs. Crawley’s Day Suit

Close-up of a Black Gown worn by the Dowager Countess

And they also had a couple original pieces from the period on display. They were in beautiful condition and it was kind of fun to compare the pieces.

Maid Uniforms. I believe these are original pieces from the Spadina Museum Collection.

1920s Wedding Dress



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