Downton mania hits Grazia Towers!

21 October 2011

Because Grazia Daily is both unable to resist an opportunity to dress up and also because we are completely obsessed by Downton Abbey (OBSESSED, we tell you, though the increasingly sped-up timeframe is driving us slightly mad – by the end of next week we’re half expecting Carson to oversee the arrival of a Commodore 64) we thought we’d take a moment to sample some of the best Downston-esque fashions that are hitting the shops for Autumn Winter 2012 on this chilly Friday afternoon.

Web fashion writer Naomi Attwood is not, naturally, a Downton kinda-gal. With her blue hair and white patent DM’s, Naomi is a totally, like, urban London chic through and through. However, we challenged her to channel three moods of Downton for some Friday afternoon light relief.  

Huntin’, Shootin’ Fishin’:

There is an awful lot of quite slow walking whilst wearing tweed on Downton Abbey. Normally punctuated with long sit-downs on improbably placed furniture, walking in the grounds of the house or riding side-saddle on a giant horse is one of the main activities for the ladies of Downton. Here Naomi channels Lady Mary on horseback.

Cape from Laura Ashley, Hat from John Lewis Womenswear, Skirt by Roland Mouret, Pie crust blouse by Cabbages and Roses, Boots by River Island

Verdict – I couldn’t have felt more ridiculous in this if I was dressed as a pantomime horse. Love the boots though, and cape very comfortable!

Go-get-em Moxie:

What we love about Downton is that each of the characters is able to adopt a new talent with the minimum of fuss. Or time. Whether it’s Sybil’s nursing (trained during an ad break), Edith’s driving (five minutes, one stall) or Cora’s hitherto untapped ability to run a convalescent home (‘Mrs. Hughes, I need to talk to you about the linen store’), each of the Downton ladies ends each episode with at LEAST one more talent than they previously possessed. This is Naomi’s take on Edith’s turn as a flirty nursemaid.

Shetland tweed coat - Cath Kidston, Tan loafers - Office, Blouse- Jaeger Boutique, Pearls - John Lewis Womenswear, Skirt - LK Bennett

Verdict – I quite like this because it made me feel like a real character in a book.  A demented nurse most likely, who steals all her patients’ money by altering their wills. How simply DIABOLICAL!

Full-blown glamour:

Beaded lace, a diamante brooch, a fluffy feather shrug and  ferocious look in her eyes - it can only be the Dowager Countess. For full-blown glamour and an absolute refusal to move with the times (best line ever: ‘What is a weekEND?’) Naomi channels Maggie Smith as Violet, the Dowager Countess. M’lady, we bow. 

Skirt - Cabbages and Roses, Purple pumps - Office, Brooch and earrings Cath Kidston, Maribou shrug – Laura Ashley, Crochet clutch with diamante clasp – Laura Ashley

Verdict – I know most girls would love a top like this for a night out. In fact to be honest, so would I, but it’d have to be in black, because I am a Goth and don’t suit pastels at all.


Overall verdict – many of the elements of this are wardrobe staples for many fashionable people, after all, they are easily available on the British High St not just from a specialist fancy dress shop,  although when you  put them altogether they can induce fits of hysterical giggling, particularly the cape. Flat slip-on shoes, for example, although the uniform for many Dalston hipsters are not and never will be for me, as they fall off my feet and I can’t walk in them. Oh dear.

Stockists - 

- Alex Butt and Naomi Attwood


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