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    • BBC

    Berkeley Square

    1998

    Costume seen on Briony Glassco as Lady Constance Lamson-Scribener

    • ITV

    The Forsyte Saga

    2002

    Costume seen on Barbara Flynn as Emily Forsyte

    • ITV

    Downton Abbey

    2010

    Costume seen on Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham

    • BBC

    Comic Relief: Uptown Downstairs Abbey

    2011

    Costume seen on Jennifer Saunders as the Dowager Countess of Grantham

Additional Images

About the Costume

The book The World of Downton Abbey claims that this purple ensemble was created especially for Maggie Smith for the series. Susannah Buxton, the show’s Emmy-winning costume designer, seems to re-affirm this fact in an article by the Hollywood Reporter, where she stated, “all of her costumes are made just for her.” However, it seems more likely that the costume – the dress, blouse, and hat were specially assembled for her, not made from scratch, as this costume very clearly makes earlier appearances. 

The first known sighting of this costume was in 1998 on Briony Glassco as Lady Constance Lamson-Scribener in Berkeley Square. In 2002 it was used again in The Forsyte Saga, where Barbara Flynn wore it as Emily Forsyte. In 2010 it was finally seen on Dame Maggie Smith as Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the first season of Downton Abbey. It was used a fourth time on Jennifer Saunders impersonating the Dowager Countess of Grantham in a 2011 Red Nose Day Sketch entitled Uptown Downstairs Abbey. You can view the skit here.

The costume belongs to Cosprop, and you can see a highly detailed view of the costume on their website here.

 

About the Costume

Have you seen this gown somewhere else? Do you need to be given credit for this sighting? Do you have corrections, additions or changes you would like to make?

Have you ever watched a film and noticed a character walk by in a gown that you just know you’ve seen before? Recycled Movie Costumes is dedicated to documenting the life of a costume through its various appearances on film and television.

Additional Images

About the Costume

The book The World of Downton Abbey claims that this purple ensemble was created especially for Maggie Smith for the series. Susannah Buxton, the show’s Emmy-winning costume designer, seems to re-affirm this fact in an article by the Hollywood Reporter, where she stated, “all of her costumes are made just for her.” However, it seems more likely that the costume – the dress, blouse, and hat were specially assembled for her, not made from scratch, as this costume very clearly makes earlier appearances. 

The first known sighting of this costume was in 1998 on Briony Glassco as Lady Constance Lamson-Scribener in Berkeley Square. In 2002 it was used again in The Forsyte Saga, where Barbara Flynn wore it as Emily Forsyte. In 2010 it was finally seen on Dame Maggie Smith as Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the first season of Downton Abbey. It was used a fourth time on Jennifer Saunders impersonating the Dowager Countess of Grantham in a 2011 Red Nose Day Sketch entitled Uptown Downstairs Abbey. You can view the skit here.

The costume belongs to Cosprop, and you can see a highly detailed view of the costume on their website here.

 

The book The World of Downton Abbey claims that this purple ensemble was created especially for Maggie Smith for the series. Susannah Buxton, the show’s Emmy-winning costume designer, seems to re-affirm this fact in an article by the Hollywood Reporter, where she stated, “all of her costumes are made just for her.” However, it seems more likely that the costume – the dress, blouse, and hat were specially assembled for her, not made from scratch, as this costume very clearly makes earlier appearances. 

The first known sighting of this costume was in 1998 on Briony Glassco as Lady Constance Lamson-Scribener in Berkeley Square. In 2002 it was used again in The Forsyte Saga, where Barbara Flynn wore it as Emily Forsyte. In 2010 it was finally seen on Dame Maggie Smith as Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the first season of Downton Abbey. It was used a fourth time on Jennifer Saunders impersonating the Dowager Countess of Grantham in a 2011 Red Nose Day Sketch entitled Uptown Downstairs Abbey. You can view the skit here.

The costume belongs to Cosprop, and you can see a highly detailed view of the costume on their website here.

 

Credits

Sighting Credit:
  • carsNcors
  • Shrewsbury Lasses
Photos provided by:
Costume Designer:
  • Jeremy Turner

Disclaimer

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