This weekend the BBC’s new 5 part costume drama Parade’s End starts. Set in the Edwardian/First World War period it’s the BBC’s Sunday night rival to Downton Abbey. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebbeca Hall and an amazing cast list full of great British actors. The screenplay is by Tom Stoppard and the BBC made the miniseries with HBO so the production values are bound to be high and therefore a real treat for fans of period drama.
Here are some of the clothes that we hired to the series. Of course as we’ve not seen it yet we can’t be sure if any of them will actually appear in the final cut, but keep a look out for them on the principal actors. All of the clothes are, or nearly are 100 years old now and are authentic vintage.
This little jacket with its gold trim and gold braid fringing has the military influences so typical of the period and also seen on the cream jacket below.
This jacket would have been worn over a long skirt with a full back and the jacket is shaped to fit. Edwardian women wore corsets and traditional fashion was for an S shaped silhouette (looking from the side the bust and bottom stuck out with a small waist). Fashionable women were dropping tight corsetting during this time.
In the photo below you can see this jacket has 4 wonderfully long tails. The 2 at the back are weighted to hang perfectly and the 2 at the side are gathered into knot ending with gold tasseled trim.
This linen coat has a fabulous crotchet insert panel which wraps completely around the skirt. It is cut in large shape which doesn’t follow the natural silhouette of the body (and especially not the traditional corseted Edwardian body). These large shapes were popularised by Paul Poiret and were very fashionable.
These two photos below are of a net over dress with gold braid trim.
This last piece reflects Arts & Crafts design and the influence of the exotic and the far east which was so fashionable at the time. This garment would have probably been bought at Liberty & Co. It’s a fine silk gown styled on a traditional ethnic garment (3 large rectangles of fabric sewn together) with Chinese embroidery and decorative rosettes with tassels on the front and shoulders.
Despite being nearly 100 years old Edwardian fashion is a recurring source of inspiration to many contemporary designers (Yojhi Yamamoto, Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Galliano) and is currently having a resurgence, no doubt due to the popularity in the UK, America and Japan of such period dramas such as Downton Abbey and Parade’s End. Vogue says Edwardiana is one of this seasons most intriguing trends ……..see Marc Jacobs and Loius Vuitton collections.
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