I know, I know, fashion magazines/ websites the world over have been harping on about period drama, Downton Abbey's influence within fashion over recent months - making me probably the last person on the planet to discuss it. But with the hit ITV series returning to our screens this Sunday, I still think it needs discussing!
The Autumn/Winter shows were awash with Downton references - no matter how subtle. But perhaps the most un-subtle of the bunch was Louis Vuitton. To start, the models disembarking from a steam train were reminiscent of the scenes between lovebirds Matthew & Mary saying their emotional farewells on the platform. But, that was just the beginning of a collection wreaking in period references. The sumptuous fabrics, rich in brocade, embroidery, velvet and silk weaves were the constructs of beautiful long, A-line evening dresses, which wouldn't have looked out of place worn by one of the Crawley sisters at dinner. At Giles Deacon too were glimmers of 19th Century ladylike romance, with tailcoats and tuxedo dresses being at the fore of the Downton offerings. Meanwhile, Etro, Burberry, Missoni & Steven Alan had jumped on the bandwagon too.
So you get the gist.
Of course being in the midsts of the Spring/Summer shows, we expect to see a few more collections fit for Lady Mary, Sybil or even Edith (poor Edith). In fact, the actresses who play the three formidable Crawley sisters have seen their style credentials go through the roof. In the current issue of LOVE magazine - 'A Costume Drama' - each had their own amazing cover, accompanied by an equally stunning, sexy, stylish, dark romantic photo shoot inside, where they can be seen wearing Vivienne Westwood & Alexander McQueen. Editor in chief Kate Grand revealed in her editors letter that she had been 'engrossed' in Downton Abbey, making a connection between the drama, film, Paris Is Burning and the work of Malcolm McLaren - all of which culminated in the creation of what is my favourite issue of the bi-annual magazine.
Now, with the third series only 24 hours away, it sees the characters move forward into the roaring twenties, meaning not only more beautiful costumes for us to feast our eyes on, but more inspiration for many a designer next Autumn/Winter (yay!)
What do you think of the 'Downton look'? Will you be inspired by it this season?
(Images from left: Marc Jacobs A/W 2012, Giles Deacon A/W 2012, Etro A/W 2012, Burberry A/W 2012, Steven Alan A/W 2012 & Missoni A/W 2012 - style.com; LOVE covers - Grazia)