Costume Case Study: Upstairs Downstairs

Claire Foy as Lady Persephone Towyn in Upstairs Downstairs

Claire Foy as Lady Persephone Towyn in Upstairs Downstairs

With the huge popularity of ITV’s Downton Abbey, it seemed that the BBC were desperate to regain their crown of period drama glory before the inset of 2011. This they did, in the form of their three episode run of an updated version of Upstairs Downstairs starring Keeley Hawes (Ashes to Ashes), Ed Stoppard (Brideshead Revisited), Claire Foy (Little Dorrit), Eileen Atkins (Cranford) and Jean Marsh (Upstairs Downstairs the original 1970s series) which ran for three consecutive nights on BBC1 from Boxing Day through to the 29th December. When you have a series revolving around a young, wealthy couple living in Belgravia, London in the 1930s, you can be sure of one thing…the costumes will be a vintage lover’s heaven. Exquisite, extravagant, showy, sophisticated and exuding class. The BBC didn’t disappoint.

Well-known-in-the-business costume designer Amy Roberts is no stranger to Period Dramas, having designed and overseen all of the costumes for previous period pieces such as Wuthering Heights and Oliver Twist. She surpassed herself, however, in her creations for the Upstairs Downstairs cast this Christmas in such believable outfits which were simply divine. This red silk dress with accompanying fur stole worn by Claire Foy is most definitely my favourite. Oh how lovely it would be to be able to swan off to the opera in this slinky number, and go for afternoon tea at Claridges before coming home to change into yet another perfect dress before attending a cocktail party! But hey, this was how the upper classes lived in the 20s and 30s!

Keeley Hawes and Ed Stoppard as Lady Agnes and Sir Hallam Holland

Keeley Hawes and Ed Stoppard as Lady Agnes and Sir Hallam Holland

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