I’ll let you into a secret … I don’t watch Downton Abbey, I’m more of an ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ person, but I appreciate it, I understand why people LOVE it, but that didn’t stop me legging it to The Lady Lever Gallery to see their recently opened exhibition, ‘Style From the Small Screen’.
The exhibition had costumes made by ‘Cosplay’ for the show. Exquisite work, with a detailed description at the side of each mannequin telling who each outfit was for and some historical details and references. There is one particular dress, all pastel sequins and mermaid colours that was made for one of the characters to wear in a Christmas special, that is amazing.
The exhibition also contains outfits that were originally made in the era of Downton. They belonged to a Mrs Tinne, a mother of five, married to a doctor, and owner of an extensive and beautiful wardrobe. These original dresses in the exhibition, I felt, very slightly outdid the modern copies, although this could be due to the way they were sewn and the glass beads used as decoration rather than imitation.
Mrs Tinne’s wardrobe has been photographed and collected for a book. It shows her outfits, evening and daytime as well as some lovely photographs of the shops from that era and her children. If you love fashion history you will enjoy it, ‘Mrs Tinne’s Wardrobe. A Liverpool Lady’s Clothes 1900-1940’
It’s a great exhibition, and for a costume junkie like myself a return visit will be needed.