Guide Scullery Maid: An Irish servant girl grows up fast

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The Crawleys return from London downcast. As a gesture of love, she has arranged a present for him, which Mr. Sprat has delivered. He calls her Tiaa, in the grand tradition of naming all his dogs after famous Egyptians — Pharaoh, Isis, and now Tiaa pronounced Teo. What a sweet ending to a rather sad episode.

What say you, gentle readers? Can you believe we have only 2 episodes to go? The third year of Downton Abbey Mania is about to commence. I am fully prepared to devote the next 7 Sundays sitting in front of PBS to join the Crawleys, their friends, and relatives and watch this high-end dramatic soap plot unfold January 6th — February 17th. The action has moved from the Edwardian Era and the carnage of World War I and entered the s — the jazz age, the flapper age, and the first generation in which youth held sway in music, the arts, and fashion, influencing their elders in the process.

The lawn in front of Downton Abbey is getting crowded! Scores of young men are now dead and mourned in burial grounds across Europe. Women voted, drove cars, drank, had affairs, attended jazz clubs, and skirted convention. The youth culture was in full sway, and for the first time adults began to ape their youngers. The Edwardian fashion silhouette included restrictive corsets, long skirts, and trussed up bosoms. Thin was in, and the idea was to appear small bosomed, small hipped, and boyish. The prepubescent girl look became popular, including flattened breasts and hips, and bobbed hair. Shirt dresses have huge Peter Pan collars or floppy bow ties and are worn with ankle-strap shoes with Cuban heels and an occasional buckle.

Under wear is fashionable in both light colors and black, and is decorated with flowers and butterflies. France, c. Image canalblog. Hems rose, bras were condemned, and fabrics swayed and shimmered. Unchaperoned dates became de rigueur. And hair was worn short or bobbed. Gone were the restrictive corsets of their mothers and grandmothers.


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Hemlines began to rise so that by , skirts stopped at the knee displaying the entire lower leg and waistlines dropped below the hips. Slits, pleats, and skirt gathers allowed for freedom of movement.

Chronicle Insights - Serving Girls & Housemaids

Fabrics for evening wear shimmered with metallic thread, beads, and sequins. Dance clothes were made of gold lame or flowy fabrics cut on the bias.

Gendered occupations

Fringes showed movement, and the craze for new dances like the Charleston and Tango, was in full swing. Fashion silhouette for First, Lady Edith, who we last saw straddling a tractor in pants and learning to drive an automobile, is still trying to find a relevant place in the world. Stuck in the middle of two beautiful sisters, she has yet to find her unique position. Lady Edith wears a relaxed, straightlined look popularized by Chanel.

Her cloche hat closely fits her head, and she wears her crimped hair short. As skirts shortened, shoes and hose began to play a more important role in fashion. Will she do better with time? The rich fabric and color is typical of the s.

Dishwashing

Madeleine Vionnet was especially adept with the art of bias-cutting and diagonal seaming. This sleeveless dinner dress is typical of the era. Close up one can see the beautiful shimmering metallic thread details.

Note the delicate long necklace. Her dresses for working women and women on the go sported functional features and lacked superficial decorations. Her fashions were clean, sleek, and monotone.

Lark Rise to Candleford, by Flora Thompson

In the image below, Edith, who has found a job as a columnist, visits her editor in a practical yet fashionable gown. Unlike Lady Edith, Lady Mary has everything, including access to funds. In order to become rich, she has to look the part. Her future assured, she spends no time worrying about the cost of her wardrobe and indulges herself royally before the wedding. The cloche hat, dropped waist, restrained colors, and well placed details of her day gown bespeak a quality that ready-made or homemade garments did not have.

Rich, lush fabric, dramatic sleeves and neckline, and black embroidered detailing. An extraordinarily attractive day suit. The hat is dramatic not cloche and sports a feather. Note that clothes tend to be color coordinated. An utterly romantic and refined outfit.

The Slender Thread: Chapter 4

Mary is elegant, and certainly not a flapper of the speak-easy kind. This romantic wedding gown echoes the romanticism of the era. The tiara is an especially beautiful and authentic detail. Simplicity and elegance are the hallmarks of early s fashion. Long flowing lines and drop waist. Breathtakingly gorgeous gown. Mr and Mrs Matthew Crawley. Wide collared coat and cloche hat. Long beaded necklaces. How very elegant and modern. Aunt Rosamund wears a dress with asymmetrical details and loose sleeves that allow for freedom of movement.

Her dress echoes that of the younger set and she has most definitely discarded her Edwardian clothes. Lady Rose is the youthful ideal. Her clothes are shorter and flowier than those of her elders. Young and impetuous Lady Rose MacClare wearing a flapper dress. Dress, , crystal beads on silk chiffon. Collection of Phoenix Art Museum, gifts of Mrs.


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Wesson Seyburn. Photographs by Ken Howie. While the older set, like Isobel Crawley, wore fashion influenced by the young, their outfits were decidedly conservative in comparison. M artha Levinson. Her clothes are expensive and extremely fashionable when compared to Isobel and Violet.

Martha tends to overdress according to British standards. The contrast between Martha and Violet cannot be more stated than in this image. Violet wears old-fashioned clothes and a tiara that has probably been handed down for generations. Martha is a walking advertisement for nouveau clothes.


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  • Her headband is extremely fashionable and she wears an outfit dictated by the preferences of the young.