I love them <3
The book The World of Downton Abbey claims that this purple ensemble was created especially for Maggie Smith for the award winning show. 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 specifically made from scratch, as this costume very clearly makes earlier appearances.
The first known sighting of the purple gown was in 1998 on Briony Glassco as Lady Constance Lamson-Scribener in Berkeley Square. In 2002 it was used again on Barbara Flynn as Emily Forsyte in The Forsyte Saga. 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 Comic Relief 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.
Costume Credit: Anna, Shrewsbury Lasses
E-mail Submissions: email@example.com
Note: This post has been updated and re-blogged from a previous entry in order to add an additional sighting and new information on this costume.
Goodbye Paco, take your guitar with you in Heaven.
Online my latest make-up tutorial: Regina, the Evil Queen from “Once Upon a Time” © ABC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPsf1Uclywo&list=PLZ909G7qoL6u7vz_zw0ua7KWFAV2eQsRb&feature=share