Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times has been a huge hit at Cheekwood. It’s been so big that they’ve extended the exhibit!
The exhibition features 36 costumes — and jewelry — from the show and it’s now open at the newly renovated Cheek Mansion. It’s a fitting first exhibit for the venue now that its own evolution is complete.
“With the Cheek Mansion undergoing a major restoration to revive its 1930s style, the timing couldn’t be more perfect to host Dressing Downton this year,” the vice president of museum affairs and curator of decorative arts, Leslie Jones, says. “Visitors will travel back in time as they experience the designs and characteristics of the era, from the costumes to the candlesticks.”
Costumes from seasons one through four of Downtown Abbey are seen chronologically in the exhibit. When you reach the second floor of the Cheek Mansion, you’re greeted by intricate Edwardian and Victorian-style fashion. As you walk through the various rooms, you see the impact of WWI and the Jazz Age on the clothing. As the times change, the hemlines rise and the beading gets more intricate. There are riding outfits, servant uniforms, gentleman’s wear and day and evening dresses.
The Dressing Downton exhibition’s final room is perhaps the most interesting of them all. It brings the exhibition full circle by showing parallels between the Crawley family and the Cheeks. From their love of cars to their love of travel, it’s all there in stunning photographs.
The Dressing Downtown: Changing Fashion for Changing Times exhibition is at the renovated mansion from now until Sept. 17 (it was originally scheduled to end on Sept. 10). Tickets to the exhibit are included in the price of a general admission ticket or membership but it is a timed ticket event. Reserve your time slot online or in person at Cheekwood.