Dressing Downton: 2014 Christmas Special

Downtonc-57Pack up your tweeds and teagowns, the gang’s off to a grouse shoot!

Despite the fact that it revolved around a sport, a shooting weekend, even in the post-war era, was not an informal event. There was an intricate set of rules to be followed, meals were hugely elaborate, and clothes had to be chosen carefully and worn at just the right time. Breakfast and tea called for different outfits, tweeds were worn on the drive (which women only joined after lunch), and gowns, jewels, and tiaras were de rigueur for dinner. So we can expect lots and lots of loveliness.

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Downton Dish: Russian Tea

What with Mary’s ‘sketching trips’ and Edith’s creepiness and Robert’s pouting, you may have missed the little tidbit that Rose has started volunteering. Her chosen cause: dispossessed Russian aristocrats. While perhaps not a demographic one thinks of immediately when the words ‘in need’ come to mind, she’s pretty dedicated to them, and it’s nice to see her getting out of the house and doing something … Continue reading Downton Dish: Russian Tea

Image: Clemens v. Vogelsang via Flickr Creative Commons

Downton Dish: Scouse

Because her sexual encounters always end so happily, Mary has decided to embark on a weekend-long bonkfest (sorry, ‘sketching trip’) with Gil. And apparently she let him make all the plans, because he chose the romantic city of…Liverpool. Oh, Gil. You sweet idiot. Well, while they’re there, they might as well enjoy a hearty bowl of scouse, Liverpool’s well-loved local dish. Scouse, originally called Labskause, was brought to the city by Northern European sailors. The dish was mostly eaten by Liverpudlian sailors and their families, so gradually the sailors themselves came to be known as ‘scousers’ and over time the term came to refer to anyone from Liverpool. Typically, scouse consists of meat (beef, lamb, or a combination of the two), vegetables, and potatoes, though a vegetarian version, known as blind scouse, is also fairly common. Whichever way you make it, it’s a hearty, filling dish, perfect for cold winter nights or multiple days of erotic gymnastics. Girl’s gotta keep her strength up, you know.

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Golden Armchair Awards 2014: The Results

full-of-win2014 has come and gone, and as we start our new year, let’s take a moment to look back on what made the previous one great and what made it teeth-grindingly frustrating. Here are the best and worst of 2014 as voted by you! Thanks to everyone who voted, hope to see you back here at the end of 2015 for more judgment!

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Downton Abbey: Grouse and Goodbyes

Downton-Abbey-Christmas-specialPreviously on Downton Abbey: Rose married a Jew, which gave her mother ample opportunity to be absolutely repulsive; Violet tracked down the wife of a former lover/flirtation (we’re not quite sure how far this thing went); Daisy started getting into some book learnin’; Tom convinced himself to move to ‘Besten’; Edith adopted her own daughter; Mary found herself suitorless; and Anna was ridiculously arrested for murder.

Ahh, Isis may be gone, but her bum lives on in the credits.

Mary goes to the prison to visit Anna, wearing a rather spiffing coat, if I may say so.

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Dressing Downton: Series 5 Episode 8


It’s a wedding! I love weddings! Pretty clothes for everybody!


Most of this episode was about Rose and Atticus and their relationship in the lead-up to their wedding, so the costuming was often focused around them. Rose, the bride, mostly wore love-pink, white, and florals.

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Downton Abbey: The Parent Trap

60876Previously on Downton Abbey: Edith brought Marigold back to Downton and pretended to adopt her; Rose’s parents’ marriage imploded just before she decided to get engaged to Atticus.

The house is all in a tizzy as the family and staff get ready to head to London for the nuptials. Daisy and Patmore are working on the cake, which is super elaborate and apparently requires lots of handmade flowers.

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Dressing Downton: Series 5 Episode 7

EMBARGOED_UNTIL_27TH_OCTOBER_DOWNTON_EP7_30.JPGOh, good, I can start liking these people again. We’re coming to the end of the series for this year, so things are coming to a head, which means someone finally steps up for Edith, there’s yet another Disastrous Downton Dinner, Mary manages to jettison Gill, and there are now two marriages in the future (maybe). On the fashion front, we had some interesting connections, some wardrobe upgrades, a whole lot of love-pink, and a flowery motif.

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Downton Abbey: I Have a Plan

Downton-AbbeyPreviously on Downton Abbey: Michael is officially dead, and the sad news, the separation from her daughter, and her family’s collective shrug made Edith just throw up her hands, grab the kid, and up stakes to London to run Michael’s publishing business. Mary was still toying with her boys, but it looks like Mabel’s making some inroads with Gill. Molesley tried to help Daisy with her studies.

Rosamond steps off the train at Downton, having been summoned by the family, which finally realised they should at least pretend to give a shit about their missing daughter. She’s surprised to be met by Violet, but Violet needs a word with her before they get to the house. Things have gotten to the point where she has reluctantly concluded they need to bring Cora in on this whole situation. Yes! Thank you, finally! Rosamond thinks that’d be a betrayal, since they promised Edith not to blab, but Violet argues that, as Edith’s mother, Cora deserves to know the whole story. But Robert can be left in the dark, because dads don’t need to know what’s happening in their daughters’ lives.

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Dressing Downton: Series 5 Episode 6


Oh, poor Edith. We all knew it was coming (and she knew too, not that it makes the tragedy less painful), but I think the Crawley family’s collective callousness caught everyone off guard. Damn, these people are awful. Why do they hate Edith so much? Was Cora really convinced while she was pregnant that Edith was going to be a boy, so she started off as a huge disappointment or something? I just…don’t get it. But I do get her reaction. There’s only so much one can take, and after a lifetime of neglect or her own family members actively working to undermine her happiness, she grabbed her kid and got out of there. Good for her. I really hope it sticks.

But on to the clothes.

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