A selection of “Downton Abbey” costumes hits the road — including a stop in Chicago next month and Anaheim, Calif., next year.
If you watch “Downton Abbey” as much for the lavish period costumes as for the drama (and trust me, the drama might occasionally let you down but the costumes never will), you’ve got a treat in store — if you’re willing to travel.
The British television series, a hit on these shores since its PBS premiere in 2011, will end this spring, but nearly 40 of the costumes have hit the road in an exhibit called “Dressing Downton.”
On tour since early 2015, where it took up residence at the historic Biltmore estate in Asheville, N.C., the exhibit includes garments worn throughout the show’s first five seasons, from the flowing Edwardian gowns of the pre-World War I era to the raucously beaded flapper dresses of the 1920s.
Faithful watchers of the show will recognize many: Cora’s elaborate cream-and-black dress and coat for the flower show; Edith’s Arts and Crafts-embroidered black coat; Anna’s white-aproned housemaid ensemble; Matthew’s military uniform; Cora’s powder-blue gown worn to Rose’s presentation at court and many more.
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Currently on display at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Va., “Dressing Downton” next touches down at Chicago’s Driehaus Museum, housed in an elegant, recently restored Gilded Age mansion where the costumes should feel right at home (Feb. 9-May 8). Other stops include the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio (July 2-Sept. 25), the History Museum in South Bend, Ind.(Oct. 15-Jan. 8, 2017), and the tour’s only West Coast stop, the Muzeo, Museum and Cultural Center in Anaheim, Calif. (Feb. 9-May 7, 2017).
For a detailed schedule and more information (not to mention some pretty pictures), see dressingdownton.com.