Downton Abbey Week

Theme 15: Downton Abbey. The Exhibition in New York.

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition Review. New York, 2018

When I first heard that Downton Abbey: The Exhibition was coming to New York, I was beyond excited! It has been years since the last season aired. Nothing could quite replace witty, funny quotes of Dowager Countess, the fascinating-to-watch competition between Mary and “poor Edith”, blossoming romances, emotional heartbreaks and seemingly never-ending miseries of upstairs and downstairs habitants of Downton Abbey.

Asking myself the iconic “What is a weekend?”, I decided to take my friend Allison, a fellow fiction writer and another die-hard Downton Abbey fan, to the exhibition on Saturday morning to explore and review it for my readers. I already had a Downton Abbey theme running on my blog, and I knew that this experience will be a perfect addition to the collection of my articles about the show and looks inspired by the Downton Abbey’s characters. You can click here to see the rest of the posts inspired by the famous PBS show.

Mrs Patmore's kitchen. Downton Abbey exhibition in New York.

From the very beginning, the exhibition immerses you into the Crawleys’ household and really makes you feel that you are stepping into the Highclere Castle, where the PBS show was filmed. It all starts with the warm welcome from Carson and Mrs Hughes, and leads you through an impeccably and very true-to-detail executed kitchen of Mrs. Patmore, where she ruled over a handful of kitchen maids and footmen. Then you continue to explore the detailed sets and costumes of the servants’ quarters.

Servants Quarters in Downton Abbey. PBS show exhibition
Downton Abbey cast's costumes on display in New York.

The second and the third floor explores the lavish and beautiful world of Crawleys. It felt almost scandalous to peek at immaculately recreated Lady Mary’s bedroom, where I couldn’t help to avoid thinking of Kemal Pamuk. Then there is of course a grand dining room. Empty, but all set for an exquisite dinner party that could arrive any second. Every detail is intimately familiar and gives such a surreal feeling of invading Crawleys’ home that I half expected the Dowager Countess Violet to appear in front of me with a suppressed, but visible mark of a humorous disdain on her glorious face:  “Oh, roll up, roll up, visit an actual dining room! Complete with a real life table and chairs!”.

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition.
Lady Mary Bedroom
20s dresses in Downton Abbey. Period drama costumes. Fashion of Downton Abbey.

Slowly walking and taking in all the magnificence of the masterfully designed space by Imagine Exhibtions, Allison and I especially enjoyed all the interactive and smartly placed insights of the historic events and changes that occurred in daily lives of British subjects from Post-Edwardian Era to the World War 1 and the Roaring Twenties. I can confidently and sincerely declare that even those who haven’t yet seen the Downton Abbey would enjoy all the valuable and entertaining information if they have even a remote interest in history!

Wedding hair in Downton abbey
Downton Abbey. Edit's Wedding gown
Downton Abbey fashion.
PBS Downton Abbey fashion styles.
Sybil's harem pants in Downton Abbey.

And how can I forget to mention the costumes and accessories of the Downton Abbey’s ladies and gentlemen! The abundance of wedding laces, strict lines of riding costumes and enchanting glitz of all the glamorous 20s gowns absolutely stole my heart. Even though sometimes I like slipping into pajamas at a Netflix kind of night at home, I desperately long for the times when an afternoon tea in a garden required a pretty hat, and for a 6 pm dinner you had to change into an evening gown and wear long elegant gloves.

20s fashion in Downton Abbey show.
Downton Abbey Exhibition

Lord and Lady Granham, Mary, Edith and Sybil, Tom Branson, Mr, Barrow, Isobel, Daisy and all other beloved and sometimes despised characters of Downton Abbey already felt so real to every fan of the show, but the exhibition immersed us into their world like never before. Allison noted: “The section with the gramophone and the visual explanation of social hierarchy reminded me of the circumstances these characters faced and the changing landscape they had to navigate. The characters already felt real and three-dimensional. All of this information along with the costumes, sets, and  props made them even more alive!”

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition has exceeded my expectations and truly made me feel like I was a dear guest at the Crawley’s, or a curious phantom wondering through the halls and sumptuous rooms of the family that quite honestly feels in a way like my own!

Week 15: Downton Abbey. Pastiche of Lady Mary Crawley in the 1920s

Blog of Ulia Ali. Pastiche of 20s Downton Abbey looks.

Love her or hate her, Lady Mary is one of the strongest female characters in the Downton Abbey TV series and possibly in the entire history of British TV shows. While watching the show I tried to figure out with which character I associate myself with the most, and even though at the end I had to admit to myself (not without a little annoyance!) that I am more of a Lady Rose kind of girl– spontaneous, reckless, romantic and sometimes too emotional, I wish I was more like Lady Mary.


Lady Mary has a strong head on her shoulders and does not easily give into her emotions (especially after the scandal with the GORGEOUS Mr. Pamuk). But both, Lady Rose and Lady Mary have something in common– an amazing sense of fashion. I created a pastiche of Lady Mary Crawley with a hint of Rose Aldridge's flirty flapper girl style, but as always with a modern twist.

Cloisters museum. Lady Mary Crawley look.

For the shoot I opted for this embellished Walter Baker dress, a lace choker and my Art-Deco inspired Christian Louboutin heels. Please check out the outfit details and similar finds at the end of the post.

The photographs were taken by my husband Ben at Fort Tryon and The Cloisters Museum, which was built to resemble a real medieval castle with authentic medieval gardens. The museum and Fort Tryon park are located in Upper Manhattan and are definitely worth a visit!

Photo of Ulia Ali
Cloisters' medieval garden in NYC
Fort Tryon
Blogger Ulia Ali next to the Met Cloisters museum
Silver Walter Baker dress and Art Deco inspired Christian Louboutin heels.
Pastiche of Downton Abbey fashion style in 1920s
Medieval museum in New York Cloisters. 2016
Christian Louboutin Kristali silver heels

Week 15: Downton Abbey. Theme Shop

Downton Abbey themed shop. Fashion looks, gifts and items of decor inspired by the British Show.

Want to dress up like Lady Mary or bedazzle in an embellished flapper dress like Lily James' character Rose Aldridge? We got you covered! I handpicked the most beautiful Downton Abbey inspired gifts and outfits for this week's SHOP.

How cute is this Mrs. Patmore teddy bear?! 

Week 15: Downton Abbey. How to steal Crawley sisters' style?

My pastiche of Downton Abbey 20s look. Wearing cloche hat in NYC.

I was thinking of having a Downton Abbey themed week ever since I first launched, and today it is finally here with an early Friday start. This brilliant British period drama about the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era has captured my heart. The storyline in all 6 seasons of Downton Abbey is great, the acting is phenomenal and, of course, the fashion... Oh, the fashion! The Crawley sisters' outfits are utterly gorgeous, interesting to look at and are quite historically accurate (although my favourite blogging ladies from Frock Flicks write about it in more detail).

Cloche hats in Downton Abbey. Fashion in 20s.

Today I am sharing my pastiche of 20s' era daytime attire inspired by the ladies in Downton Abbey and adapted for 2016. I am particularly excited about the cloche hat that my husband bought for me at the Michael Arenella's 11th Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party in June. I wore the hat with this beautiful light print dress by Walter Baker (his designs are always so amazing!), my all-time favourite Louis Vuitton bag and the most comfortable heels of the summer, Slithur shoes by Steve Madden.

Gorgeous Louis Vuitton Louise PM grey bag

The outfit turned out to be very modern and classy, but with a very distinguishable 20s twist. I never thought I would say this, but I think every woman should have at least one cloche hat. I am looking forward to getting a warm wool one for winter as well :)  

The pictures were taken by my friend Julia at the MET museum. I specifically wanted photos for my 20s look to be taken with these insanely beautiful ART DECO stained glass windows exhibited in the museum. We also took photographs on 5th Avenue.

Tiffany stained glass window in MET museum. Ulia Ali in 20s outfit inspired by Downton Abbey British series.
Art Deco fashion look. Louis Vuitton and Walter Baker
NYC blogger in Met museum wearing cloche hat.
Ulia Ali wearing Walter Baker dress.
Cloche hat in NYC by blogger Ulia Ali. 2016
Blue and white Cloche hat
Walter Baker dress
Blogger Ulia Ali wearing 20s style cloche hat
Cloche hat 
Louis Vuitton grey bag 2016
Louis Vuitton bag and Walter Baker dress

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