On The Set / Upstairs, Downstairs

By now you’re well aware that I adore period dramas and series. I wish American television had more period pieces, we ain’t got nothing on BBC!

This is the 2nd series of Upstairs, Downstairs. The original was filmed in the 1970s and I haven’t watched any of it (but it’s on my list!) I like the pace of this show and also 1930s fashions are some of my favorites to watch on film. The series reminds me a little bit of Downton Abbey. I believe Downton Abbey was inspired from the original series as the premise of this show is about the lives of a wealthy family (upstairs) and the people that serve them (downstairs).

Upstairs, Downstairs can be watched on Hulu or on Amazon Video! Here are some of my favorite scenes/settings/outfits from episode 1.

I adore a good makeover montage in any movie/tv show and in the first episode, the Holland family moves into a mansion (where the Bellamy family from the original series lived) and it’s all dusty and old and they’re going to have it all done up! Here Lady Agnes Holland wears another fabulous 1930s fur coat!

Visually, this is a very beautiful series to watch! Just look at this little scene below. I’m really quite obsessed with that dark green color of the drapes in the background.

Lady Agnes is wearing a fur stole with her coat in the above photo. Below she is wearing a full fur coat. All right, so we only see the “in-progress” photos of the mansion for the first 20 mins or so, then…TA-DAH…it becomes this.

Way too colorful for my taste, but I still appreciate the grandeur and beauty of it! In this scene Lady Agnes meets part of her staff. Not pictured is the chauffer. The concept of servants and live-in-help is so foreign to me and I think to most people in the modern world. I have one friend who is ridiculously wealthy. So wealthy he has a Picasso in his foyer. And even he doesn’t have a live-in maid. He does have a cleaning service that comes once a week and he did have a personal assistant.

Anyhow, I don’t want to share too many more images as I really do want you to watch this show. Also, Rose Buck (the one with the short bobbed hair) played by Jean Marsh was in the original series and played the same character. I really like her character in this series, so now I’ll have to watch the previous series to see what she was like when she was 40 years younger and served a different family in the same home.

Here are the last images I wanted to share from this beautiful series. I love little scenes like this! They inspire my own life so much.

Credits for Costumes/Art Direction/Set Decorators: 

Costume designers for the TV show were Amy Roberts (who costumed a movie I enjoyed called Cold Comfort Farm) and Ralph Wheeler-Holes who also costumed Call The Midwife.

Art directors were David Hindle and Dafydd Shurmer. Set decorators were Julia Castle and Hannah Nicholson.

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On The Set | A Good Woman, 1930s Italian Fashion

I recently came across the blog Frock Flicks (what a great name!) and it inspired me to do more posts from TV shows and movies that feature period costumes. Frock Flicks mostly focuses on 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th century period costumes. As I haven’t yet found a vintage fashion blog that focuses on 20th century costumes (if you know of one, leave me a comment!), I thought perhaps my blog should be a good source for inspiration and research. All right, let’s get on with this week’s movie! 

A beautiful pale eggplant colored accordion pleat detail on an asymmetrical hat worn on Helen Hunt’s character.

This week I watched “A Good Woman” featuring Scarlet Johansson and Helen Hunt. It is set in Amalfi, Italy in the year 1930. I won’t be capturing every costume from the movie, just some key ones. Also, some of the images will be out of order so the plot will not be ruined in case you want to watch this movie (and I recommend you do, it’s currently on Amazon Prime Video!)

Here we see "Meg" in a pretty citrus chiffon day dress with short sleeves and soft ruffles.
Here we see “Meg” in a pretty citrus chiffon day dress with short sleeves and soft ruffles.

At first I thought the movie seemed hokey pokey, but towards the end I really started to fall in love with it. I really don’t like HOW Helen Hunt’s character speaks though and where she puts emphasis on certain words. It’s a little jarring to listen to. Anyhow, some of the scenes and sets are really quite beautiful. So I will include these as well, as the thing I love nearly as much as vintage clothing are vintage homes!

Lots of glove action in this movie... also love the asymmetrical collar on this dress "Mrs. Erlynne" is wearing. Not so crazy about this hat.
Lots of glove action in this movie… also love the asymmetrical collar on this dress “Mrs. Erlynne” is wearing. Not so crazy about this hat.
What a sumptuous dress shop!
This scene in a dress shop is one of my favorites. Isn’t it exquisite?


This outfit is only briefly seen and I wish it had more screen time. I really love the necklace. I have to admit, the hats in this movie look really cheap though.
Here we see the front of Meg’s citrus hued floral dress. She also wears this locket pretty much the entire movie.



Lots of wonderful floral chiffon prints in the movie. Everyone wears really subdued tones except for Meg and Mrs. Erlynne. Meg is always in something light colored, soft, and very sweet (to further portray her innocence) and Mrs. Erlynne wears a lot of frosted soft colors and jewel tones (perhaps alluding to something…hmmm…you’ll have to watch the movie and see!)

agoodwoman-1930sfashion-11 agoodwoman-1930sfashion-12

Every dress Meg wears in this movie is basically this same exact silhouette. V-neckline, fitted at the waist, light a-line/tulip flare, short sleeves. This is a wonderful silhouette for a woman that has curves and has a larger bust.


Here we get a closer look at the pattern on this dress. I also think Meg’s hair looks the best here. In most of the scenes her curls are so tight, they look very Shirley Temple-y. But perhaps…there is a reason for her hair slowly becoming more “undone” and less “perfect” (just watch the movie!)

Another wonderful asymmetrical neckline worn by Mrs. Erlynne
Oh haaiiii, someone’s got some new “revenge” shopping shoes!


This peignoir that Meg wears throughout the movie is so stunning! I believe it has cream silk velvet on it and it is the palest hue of peach. It features long waterfall angel sleeves (again, alluding to the purity of her character perhaps?)



Mrs. Erlynne wearing a navy and cream color blocked dress. I really dislike the lavender gloves as the accent. It seems like a very odd color combination.

So that’s all for this week’s On The Set post! I really enjoyed this movie and hope you’ll give it a watch!

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On the Set: Mid 1920s Fashion on Downton Abbey

I am (finally) watching the final season of Downton Abbey! I always have a hard time accepting that certain things I love are coming to an end. The final season of Downton Abbey has some drool worthy 1920s era clothing. (Every season has had such gorgeous costumes though!) I thought I would start documenting them on the blog since the show has ended and it will be a lovely way for me (and maybe for you) to revisit the Crawleys and all the wonderful characters at Downton. These particular screen caps are from Season 6, Episode 1.

Downton Abbey | Season 6 | Mid 1920s Fashion

The costume designer, Anna May Scott Robbins, has really done such an impeccable job on the wardrobe. In every episode my eyes always light up seeing certain fabrics, embroidery details, a little necklace, a small brooch… the attention to detail! Praises and praises to Anna and the wardrobe team!

Downton Abbey | Season 6 | Mid 1920s Fashion

In this shot we see the full outfit Edith wears and a back view of the stunning embroidered silk jacket Cora, the Countess of Grantham, is wearing. I love the matching pale green drop earrings and long bead necklace Edith is wearing! The shot below we get so see the beautiful embroidery detail on the sheer sleeves of the dress Edith wears and the charming pockets and the gold belt buckle! I would wear this outfit in a heartbeat!

Downton Abbey | Season 6 | Mid 1920s Fashion
Downton Abbey | Season 6 | Mid 1920s Fashion
Downton Abbey | Season 6 | Mid 1920s Fashion
Downton Abbey | Season 6 | Mid 1920s Fashion

The two outfits above are only seen for a few seconds and I couldn’t really get a good capture of it. There’s also a beautiful wine colored coat Mary wears briefly with the silk 1920s dress below that I couldn’t get a good picture of either.

Downton Abbey | Season 6 | Mid 1920s Fashion

Downton Abbey | Season 6 | Mid 1920s Fashion

Downton Abbey | Season 6 | Mid 1920s Fashion

Downton Abbey | Season 6 | Mid 1920s Fashion

Oh goodness! There are so many outfits and these mostly just of the Crawley women! Can you imagine what a treat it must be to work in the wardrobe department? I didn’t even screen cap every outfit! It’s really hard to screen cap the clothing when the actors are moving. No matter what, the images are always a bit blurry.

Anyhow, I hope you guys are enjoying my On The Set series! Eventually, once I have enough on the roster I’ll do a themed post like “Lady Mary’s Silk Kimonos”

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*disclaimer* / I am sharing these screen caps because I am a big fan of Downton Abbey and appreciate the enormous effort that the wardrobe department goes through not only for aesthetics but for date accuracy. My hope is to learn more about Edwardian/1920s fashion. So, these posts are in some parts me being a fan girl, but in other ways for research.

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On The Set: Poirot 1930s Style Inspiration

I am a big fan of both Agatha Christie’s detective series, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot featuring David Suchet (who played the Belgian detective for 25 years!) I’m a bit sad that Miss Marple is no longer available on Netflix and I never got a chance to screen cap all the delightful 1940s outfits from the series. (p.s. Here I am dressed as Miss Marple for Halloween one year) So, before Poirot is taken off my Netflix library, I thought I better get on to documenting some of my favorite vintage 1930s ensembles from the show!

On The Set | 1930s Style Inspiration from Poirot

Of course, Poirot ran for many seasons (13) so I’ll share favorite outfits from episodes I have seen a few times. These images are screencaped from Season 9, Episode 3: Death on the Nile (2004) which stars a young(er) Emily Blunt. Isn’t she absolutely gorgeous as a platinum blonde? Also, do you notice the MEND on the sleeve of the oxblood colored silk dress the gal is wearing? I was so tickled to notice this!

This episode just has so MANY, MANY outfits I want! I only captured my absolute favorites, so these are it. God, I love the 1930s so much! Also, I put these images out of order, just incase of spoiling the storyline or something. You ought to watch this show! I’m such a big fan. Ok, all right let’s talk about the clothes now!

On The Set | 1930s Style Inspiration from Poirot

On The Set | 1930s Style Inspiration from Poirot

What a fabulous hat! And I love that she’s reading Vogue! Also, have you noticed the nail polish colors so far? The costume designer for this episode was Sheena Napier. And good golly, I bow down! It is ALL just exquisite. A real feast for my vintage loving eyes! Every scene I pause just to take it all in.

On The Set | 1930s Style Inspiration from Poirot

On The Set | 1930s Style Inspiration from Poirot

This colorful plaid chiffon 1930s dress Emily Blunt’s character plays had me practically foaming at the mouth. If I ever come across anything remotely close to this, I will gladly slice off half a finger! The little handbag and the umbrella paired with it. It’s just too much! I want the entire look, head to toe!

The top and pants ensemble with straw hat shown below (through Poirot’s lens) is just terrific! I have pants similar to these and at one point considered selling them in the shop. Of course now I will never part with them because I must go and find a similar blouse so I can recreate this look entirely.

On The Set | 1930s Style Inspiration from Poirot On The Set | 1930s Style Inspiration from Poirot

This episode features a very large ensemble cast. Actually most of the episodes do. And this one in particular the characters have many, many wardrobe changes! This group shot has a wonderful view of another favorite look from the episode. The white sleeveless top and khaki colored skirt with godet panel in the back and that straw hat. She’s wearing a silk scarf as a belt. Isn’t it marvelous?

This episode is actually one of my favorites. The story is really quite good. Although, I will be honest… I guessed the outcome of it fairly quickly! Perhaps it is because I have been binge watching episode after episode and now when I watch it I start to think… “Who had the motive? Who had something to gain from these deaths?

On The Set | 1930s Style Inspiration from Poirot

On The Set | 1930s Style Inspiration from Poirot

On The Set | 1930s Style Inspiration from Poirot

I hope you are enjoying my On The Set weekly features! I will be featuring many more of my favorite vintage 1930s clothing and costume inspirations from Poirot in the upcoming weeks!

If you want more 1930s inspirations from Poirot, you should check out these articles/blog posts elsewhere on the web!

Napier: Costume Design Talk at the V&A

Miss Lemon, Secretary Chic (Miss Lemon does not appear in this episode I just posted about)

1930s Fashions in Agatha Christie’s Poirot

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On the Set: Home Fires 1940s Fashion Inspiration

While I am working (especially when editing vintage product photos) I like to watch a lot of movies and tv shows. I have a particular fondness for British period shows because I like the story lines and the vintage clothes and period costumes. I was quite delighted when I came across Home Fires, a pre World War 2 period drama set in the English countryside.  This period of clothing is one of my favorites and this show has so many ensembles that cause me to salivate.


There are so many beautiful late 30s jersey rayon floral prints, knits and cardigans in muted tones, smart little tweedy jackets and suits… oh I adore it all so much!

I also really love the theme song composed by Samuel Sim! Have a listen here: Home Fires Theme Song









Not only do I love the clothing (and the hairstyles), there are so many scenes I wish I could jump into! Also, this show has me craving to visit the English countryside something awful… maybe in a couple of years… or next Spring? Hmmm…

These screencaptures are from Season 1, Episode 1 which is the year 1939.

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