Downton Abbey, presented on PBS Masterpiece classic this month, is one of the most expensively produced mini-series for television next to Brideshead Revisited. The sets and costumes are lavish, and the viewer can readily see that everything possible has been done to recreate the Edwardian world.
But even huge budgets have their limits, for creating new costumes for every character in the production would have been prohibitive. The website, Recycled Movie Costumes, and an article in the Daily Mail point to a few outfits that were worn in other productions. This custom is common, and has been pointed out on this blog before in Recycled Fashions in Emma 2009. Around 2/3 of the costumes used in Downton Abbey were used before, but only a few have been expressly identified so far.
You can look for Regency costumes that have been recycled in this link. The Daily Mail mentioned that one certain brown dress has been used in seven productions in the past 15 years, including Pride and Prejudice and Little Dorrit. I wonder which one it is?
As you watch Downton Abbey tonight, perhaps you can spot a few recycled outfits on your own and inform Recycled Films of your find. Learn more about the series on PBS Masterpiece Classic.
More posts about Downton Abbey on this site:
- Read about Europe’s largest costumier for films such as Downton Abbey
- Costumes, A Footnote to Culture and the King’s Speech
- The Jane Austen Connection to Downton Abbey and Egypt
- Entertaining visitors in an English country house, such as Downton Abbey
- Downstairs in Downton Abbey: The Servants
- Upstairs in Downton Abbey: The Three Crawley Sisters