“Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times” was shown in Richmond at the Virginia Historical Society. I can’t believe I hadn’t visited this gem before! Admission to their regular exhibits is free, which is unbeatable, but tickets to special events, like the Downton exhibit, have admission. Tickets to the Downton exhibit cost $20, but were worth every penny. My mom said it was worth it just to ring the bells! She really loves the bells, ha!
I loved reading the information included with the costumes, including who had designed or created it, which I unfortunately didn’t take note of. I was surprised to hear that many of the pieces had been reconstructed from vintage pieces or fabrics from the early 1900’s. One dress on display had even been made from a vintage tablecloth. Some of the lace and beadwork was nearly 100 years old! I especially loved one quote from a designer who mentioned the sound of beads falling to the floor as they filmed when older beadwork fell from the dresses as the actresses moved. But not everything had a touch of old, as some costumes were made of completely new materials.
Unfortunately, this exhibition has already left the VHS for it’s next destination, the Driehaus Museum in Chicago, Illinois, but other venues will follow. Visit the collection’s website for more information on upcoming exhibition locations, including cities like Nashville and Anaheim. And while I’m sad I won’t have another chance to go see these costumes here in Richmond, I’m excited to see what else the VHS brings to town for me to fawn over!