When the Desdemona arrived at Bourvis’s Portobello Arcade HQ—a magical intimate boutique stuffed to the rafters with textiles—Jane despatched all 12 ft of it to India, the place her trusted embroiderer set to work replicating the delicate piece over a number of months. The Downton costume designers got here calling in 2020, and fell simply as arduous as Jane.
“Anna Robbins [the Emmy-nominated Downton wardrobe lead] was steadfast about the colors and the type of lace they wanted for the veil,” recollects Bourvis of the mild, meticulous researcher, who by no means settles for something lower than completely genuine. “The amount of work that goes on behind the scenes is huge; nearly everything is made from scratch,” attests Jane, who all the time makes replicas of the originals she sources so as to protect the little slices of historical past. Anyway, the unique Desdemona would have been too frail to face up to the filming course of, and the slight stains—markers of a life as soon as lived—not polished sufficient for the silver display screen.
While Bourvis, who has additionally made costumes for tulle lover Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, trades off her eye for truffling out lovely lace for brides searching for one thing distinctive, it’s getting more and more tough to seek out antiques. Museums are snapping up authentic lace confections for his or her non-public collections, and lots of items merely languish due to their poor packing. It was, says Bourvis, merely extraordinary to seek out an uncommon veil worthy of ’20s bride, Lucy Smith, these days.
Another veil and bins of trimmings and beadwork had been despatched to Team Downton to intensify the style we’ll see play out on the silver display screen. But Lucy’s floral veil, enhanced by the kind of massive cascading bouquet that was in vogue on the time, is the pièce de résistance, due to the tales it symbolizes from the previous and people who work arduous to maintain them alive.
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