We all know that TV programmes can help to set trends. Mad Men, Sex and The City and Desperate Housewives have all helped to set trends and have made fashion stars out of Sarah Jessica Parker, Christina Hendricks and Marcia Cross. But the latest TV trendsetter may just raise a few highbrows, as well as lowering a few hemlines. For the latest show setting the fashion world alike is Downton Abbey.
Yes, you heard correctly, the period drama Downton Abbey, currently stuck somewhere in World War One. Debenhams are just one of the stores who are feeling the Downton effect, with fashion fans eager to copy the style of Michelle Dockery et al. Sales of faux fur stoles, jackets and tippets have apparently increased by a staggering 225%, whilst sales of elbow length gloves have also shown increased popularity, raising by 54%. The Downton effect is showing the world that elegance hasn’t gone out of fashion just yet.
But it’s not just the faux fur that is flying off the shelves. There has been a rise in demand for other 1910s trends. Pearl Earrings, corsets and cloche style hats are also finding a new audience amongst fashionistas, according to the Sunday Mirror. And men are getting in on the act by snapping up cravats rather than their usual ties, with Debenhams reporting sales of cravats up 28%.
There is no doubt that Downton Abbey has been one of the superhits of recent seasons, and it seems that the beauty and romance of that post Edwardian period is deeply appealing to women who are just fed up of the overt sexuality of some fashion trends. With maxi dresses still featuring heavily each season, and with a new series of Downton promised, which will see the show move into the 1920s, it seems that we will still be looking backwards as we look forward to embracing new trends. Carie Barkhuizen, spokesperson for Debenhams says “…Downton Abbey has had a marked effect on what women are looking to buy this Autumn – aristocratic chic is back.”