Dressing Downton Exhibit Opens at Driehaus Museum February 9

One of the favorite reasons to watch the popular British series Downton Abbey is the elaborate costumes. The show is a glimpse into the aristocratic lifestyle of early 20th-century Britain and illustrates the importance of fashion to that class of society. Multiple clothing changes throughout the day were de rigeuer and a sign of wealth and prosperity.

From February 9 through May 8, 2016, Chicago’s Driehaus Museum will showcase the traveling exhibit, Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times. The exhibit features over 35 costumes from the series, many of which use original fabrics from the time. In addition to displaying the costumes, the tour also shares the changing times during the period, including World War I, the Roaring 20s, and the Jazz Age.

The costumes are presented in an immersive context, surrounded by the lavish interiors of the Driehaus Museum—once the drawing rooms, living rooms, libraries, and bedrooms of the affluent Nickerson and Fisher families of Chicago. The stories of the Fishers in particular, an urban family of new industry wealth who lived in the house from 1901 to 1914, create a fascinating contrast to the British aristocratic lifestyle of the Crawley family in the countryside.

For an enchanting experience you can participate in a tradtional English tea before or after you view the exhibition. The tea is set in The Murphy Auditoriom and includes seasonal scones and cake breads, tea sandwiches and a variety of sweets as well as teas from Chicago’s Rare Tea Cellars. There will be three tea times a day Tuesday through Sunday from February 11 through May 6.

Tickets to the exhibition are $25 and the tea is $55. Tickets must be purchased separately. This is anticipated to be a highly popular event so all ticket sales must be purchased in advance for specific times.

Driehaus Museum is located at 40 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL

Photo: ©Carnival Films / Masterpiece. Costume courtesy of Cosprop.






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