Saturday, April 14, 2012

Countess Grantham's White Suit

Countess Cora Grantham's white suit is perhaps one of my favourite costumes featured in the Downton Abbey series so far!  I was lucky enough to be able to get some close-up photos when I visited the Creative Stitches exhibit in Glasgow last month.

This white suit has the most beautiful trim around the neck and midway down the front.  The same trim is applied to each of the corners at the bottom of the jacket front.   We also see the same trim on the bottom of both sleeves.

I'm wondering if the coat is a faux coat in that it is worn more like a tunic?  I also wonder if the blouse underneath is just a dickey or collar piece and not a full blouse?

Here's a bit of a close-up of the trim.  You can see that the neck is an intersting shape that bends slightly out and features a high neck lace blouse piece.  Take a look at the trim.  Doesn't it look like separate pieces sewn up on the jacket to make it look like one continuous piece?  I think the diamond trim is separate and that the trim is individual pieces of four corner looped trim placed one after another.  What do you think?  There are also small white scrolled trim pieces applied to the front with the last pair of white trim pieces overlapping the black trim.  Lastly, there is some sort of textured cord that is sewn all around the front opening all the way down to the bottom (but not around the coat except at the neckline).  I can't tell if this is sandwiched between the facing and the front of the coat or applied only on the outside of the coat.  I also can't tell if the coat is sewn up part of the way and the rest is kept closed with a series of hook and eyes?

Here is a close-up of the bottom of the coat.  You can see the diamond trip is flipped and placed on in a square shape at the bottom to mimic the corner line.  I also see that the textured cord is simply wrapped under the bottom of the coat on the front and is applied at the sleeve cuffs as well:

Here's a close-up of the sleeve cuffs.  I really like the simple placement of trim on the sleeves.

 In this photo, you can see the height of the neckline and also the placement of trim at the back of the neck:

Here it is again....They've placed the diamond trim in the middle and it looks like they've cut the other trim and placed it around the diamond to connect it to the main trim.  I really like how this looks.  Unfortunately, white makes it really hard to see the seam lines on this coat.  Does it look like there is a center back seam??  The sleeves are definitely pleated at the sleeve caps (a look I LOVE):

They also had the fabulous matching hat on display. It's a wide brim hat with a silk like fabric covering the main part of the hat and a black net with small velvet dots.  There's also black and white ribbon trim, white ribbon trim, what appears to be silk flowers and black and white feathers!  Phew!

Here's a lovely portrait and a close-up of the hat front.  The feathers really stand out in this photo as does the trim on the jacket.  Is it me or does it look like the jacket could have used a narrow shoulder adjustment for Elizabeth McGovern?

What do you think? Do you love this suit?  How do you think it was constructed?


  1. I LOVE this coat! It looks to me like there could be a center back seam. The top of the jacket really looks like there is one but I can't tell on the skirt. I didn't spy a waist seam though either. There is a bust dart coming down from the shoulder on the front that is cleverly mostly concealed by the trim.

  2. This suit is just incredible. I'm so glad to see another in your series on this collection. I can't provide any suggestions on the construction, but I just love to see all the details. Your photography is excellent - I know how hard it is to get good pictures of display items. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Just guessing here, of course. The coat does appear to have a center back seam. If you look closely at the rear view around where the sway back adjustment (should have) been taken, you can see the seam line more clearly. I suspect the dress was a simple high neck dress with opera length sleeves, dart fitted at the waist. A high waist likely. I say this because I see no fabric bunching through the torso. On a white fabric it would be very obvious. I am assuming the lace collar that is exposed is part of a jabot that was applied after the dress was on. I have just be glancing through some books that show similar combinations. In any case, it is a beautiful suit. Thank you so much for showing it.  

  4. Oh gosh, I have no idea how it was constructed, but it is so gorgeous One of my favorites too (Mary's striped dress holds top honors!)

  5. It is gorgeous.  I swoon for anything with texture like this.  I'm guessing it's a tunic more than a coat, it looks fairly thin.  Are you gonna make one?

  6. Absolutely stunning!  The detail on the trim is just amazing...beautiful :) And yes, I do like this suit...all of it :)

  7. Dearest Debi,
    Oh, how my hubbie and I love watching Downton Abbey! We are such fans of BBC here in the USA! I guess it's because of our strong English roots...It's so delightful stepping back in time!
    thank you for this delightful post, my dear!
    Carolynn..."Chenille Cottage" (My new blog)


I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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