I have to admit I’ve never watched the television show, Downtown Abby. Yet, I keep seeing references to it so I decided to do a little research. For those of you who don’t know, the show is about the Crawley Family and their servants. It takes place in the years leading up to World War I. The family lives in a beautiful castle in England.
The Victorian Era lasted between 1837 and 1901 followed by the Edwardian Era which follows the reign of King Edward VII from 1901 to 1910, but often is extended to include the years directly before the start of World War I in 1914. While Queen Victoria had shunned society, Edward was the leader of a fashionable elite that set a style influenced by the art and fashions of Continental Europe.
In the Victorian error women wore a very tight corset or bodice and dressed in long skirts. In the Edwardian era, corsets were gone and dress lengths lost inches. It was a time when the upper classes embraced leisure sports which influenced fashions to be more mobile and flexible.
The shirtwaist (a costume with a bodice/waist tailored like a man’s shirt with a high collar) became the uniform of working women. Wool or tweed tailored suits featured ankle length skirts with matching jackets. Women with money wore them with fox furs and huge hats.
There were two new styles of hats introduced at this time, the automobile bonnet and the sailor’s hat worn for tennis matches, bicycling and croquet.
I don’t want to ignore the men’s fashions from the Edwardian Era, so here are a couple of photos depicting what the men wore at that time.
So the wedding fashions that have emerged with the Downtown Abby influence are reminiscent of this period of time in England. I’ve searched the internet to come up with some photos that would highlight this fashion era for today’s brides and grooms.
Notice that cascade style bouquets are reminiscent of this time period. The bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses are soft and somewhat fitted as opposed to full princess style skirts. You’ll see lot’s of satin and lace with intricate beading and the headband type of hat with feathers and flowers.
If this style is appealing to you then you may want to consider a Downtown Abby themed wedding.
For the flowers, which is where I focus my attention, the use of mercury glass and milk glass would be appealing. Incorporating garden roses, peony, lily of the valley and orchids with delicate foliages like maidenhair fern and ivy are all appropriate for this design style.
The women in the wedding party may want to wear a flower head wreath or a floral and feather accent for the hair. Fascinator type hats could also be worn featuring flowers, lace/netting and feathers.
The men in the bridal party can wear vintage inspired suits or tuxes with tails.
Some of these fashions remind me of the Victorian era and some of them remind me of the Roaring 20’s. Interestingly enough, the Victoria era preceded the Edwardian Era and the Roaring 20’s came afterwards. So it would make sense to see some of those era’s influence.
So what’s your pleasure…mulled wine anyone?
Angie Zimmerman has been creating floral designs practically her entire life. It started as a hobby and became a career. Angie LOVES to share her knowledge and experience with other floral designers and lovers of flowers. Angie teaches floral design through Lovegevity/Wedding Planning Institute and her own traveling Extreme Floral Design Workshops. For the novice or flower hobby people she offers super easy floral design instruction at her other website, http://flowerarranging101.tv.