For 3 seasons, the BBC TV show Downton Abbey has amassed huge popularity in both Britain and North America. The show, which has been following the elite Crawley family and their servants from before World War I to (most currently) the Roaring 20’s, has not only gained a slew of devoted fans (with over 8 million viewers on Season 3’s debut in North America), but has sparked a resurgence of interest in vintage fashion and jewelry. And with Downton Abbey jewelry and fashion ideas inspiring huge followings on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, it looks like this is a trend that will not be leaving any time soon.
In the first season, which premiered at the height of England’s Edwardian period, the ladies of Downton Abbey were adorned in cameos and intaglios. With a fashion trend that still took many of its impulses from the Victorian era, the Ladies Mary, Edith, and Sybil could most often be seen wearing earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces made of precious stones and coral. Everything from ornate chokers to lace collars and elaborate brooches could be found within every ensemble. Vintage jewelry lovers followed suit with their own Downton Abbey-inspired fashions, including large strands of pearls, drop earrings, and many multifaceted stones. For those with a more romantic side, fashions also included lockets that could be hidden under layers of jewelry or clothing and ribbons that could be sweetly tied around wrists or necks.
As Downton Abbey has progressed through season two and three – through the Great War and into its aftermath – the fashions of the show's stars have continued to evolve. The most recent season saw the Crawley family staying up to date with the most current fashions of the 20's. The Roaring 20’s opened up the jewelry to more intricate beading, feathers, headbands, and pops of color. With the fashion evolving into the Art Deco style, bangles and beads (lots and lots of beads!) were the main staple on most ensembles. While the Crawley family may be dealing with some of their worst troubles to date, their fashion has not escaped from the more light-hearted, freewheeling spirit of the post-war era.
While viewers may have to wait for the unveiling of season 4 on their television, the re-awakened interest in Downton Abbey inspired vintage jewelry and fashion means that showing your love for the era will keep you on trend this spring and summer.