This Edwardian style walking suit was seen in the first season of Downton Abbey in 2010 on Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley. It was used a second time in Julian Fellowes’ mini-series Titanic, in 2012 on Perdita Weeks as Lady Georgiana Grex. It was seen a third time in the 2014 second season of Mr.Selfridge on an uncredited actress as the character Mrs.Crabb.
It is still unknown just where this costume originated. The costume designer for Downton Abbey, Susannah Buxton, pulled costumes from many different places. She has been stated as saying that approximately one-third of the costumes on the show are original, so this suit may not have appeared anywhere else previously. However, many costumes from the show were rented from Cosprop or other costume houses. In other instances, Buxton has pulled together extant garments or scraps to create something that is technically new, but has true vintage details and accents. Buxton’s beautiful work on the series has earned her an Emmy award for best costume design for the first season of the show.
To read more detail about the process of costuming for Downton Abbey, read Susannah Buxton’s interview with Time Magazine here. There is also a special exhibition of costumes from the show at the Winturther Museum in Delaware, which runs through January 2015. Visit the Museum’s website to learn more.