Dressing Downton in Chicago at the Driehaus Museum

Not to be missed this spring… Dressing Downton in Chicago is the exhibit of Downton Abbey costumes on display at Driehaus Museum through May 8, 2016.

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Dressing Downton: changing fashion for changing times highlights fashion from one of the most widely watched television dramas in the world: Downton Abbey. You can follow your favorite characters, both upstairs and down; walk through a costume chronicle of the period in this now traveling exhibition that showcases nearly 40 period costumes and jewelry from the hit series!

What is particularly intriguing about the exhibit in Chicago is its setting in the Driehaus Museum, a palatial Gold Coast mansion, that could easily be envisioned as the Crawley family’s in town residence.  Because of the exquisite décor of the Driehaus, the Crawley women, Ladies Mary, Edith, Sybil, and Cora, look right at home as do their male counterparts and the array of impeccably dressed butlers and maids.

For fans of the show and those fascinated by fashion detail, you can get up close to these carefully researched and authentically produced costumes to see all of the intricate detail not noticeable on TV.  For example, the butlers and footmen’s uniforms all have the family crest on their waistcoat buttons, and the vintage silk materials worn by the aristocratic women are adorned with embroidery and glass or bugle beading.

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This exhibit also coincides with the sixth and final series of Downton Abbey.  The costumes featured are those worn by the lords and ladies, the staff and common folk, of the first four seasons of the show along with an array of still photos from the series and a self-guided audio tour.

For fans of the beloved British period drama, affectionately called Downton, this exhibit will delight and perhaps satisfy in some small way dreams of experiencing those 1900s turn of the century times.  Even those who have yet to discover the joys and sorrows of the Crawley family will certainly recognize the societal order and moirés of this era as reflected by the incredible costumes on display.

Will you be checking out Dressing Downtown in Chicago? Which character’s costume pieces are you looking forward to seeing?

(images from DriehausMuseum)

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