'Downton Abbey' costumes on display at Winterthur

By Amy Cherry 3:38pm, February 26, 2014 - Updated 5:57pm, February 26, 2014
VIDEO: Get an inside look at your favorite Downton characters' costumes with WDEL's Amy Cherry.
Fans of PBS' "Downton Abbey" can get their fix now that season four has ended with an exhibit that's opening this weekend at Winterthur.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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Lavender and mauve, lace and plush velvet, and ornate jewels all inspired by Parisian fashion design give you a glimpse into some of your favorite Downton characters.

Jeff Groff is the co-curator of the "Downton Abbey" exhibit, which features Lady Edith's exquisite satin wedding dress, a far cry from some of her more drab costumes in the earlier seasons.

"The train is the vintage piece. It's an original piece, and they essentially built the dress around the train," said Groff.

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A close-up look reveals dedication to the time period in history with detailed embroidery and lamé.
"She wanted Edith's dress to be the most beautiful dress because when there's the scene of the rejection at the altar," he said.

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Groff says the 40 costumes on display in the 7,000 square foot space really define the characters on the show be it traditional, modern, conservative or more daring.

"Sybil, that's why I think the Harem pants that she's a little radical and daring; she's going to try a really risqué fashion.

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Lady Violet, on the other hand, is much more conservative, and you'll see her looks throughout the exhibit as well.

"Our understanding is her clothing and her look were based on Queen Mary, who was Queen of England," said Groff.

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"The Costumes of Downton Abbey" exhibit will also contrast the American country estate, using DuPont family heirlooms, with the British country estate.

Winterthur is expecting 100,000 visitors in the nearly year-long exhibit that closes in January 2015. Many of them will be fans of the show as it fuels America's ongoing fascination with British culture.

"We love the royal family, you know, we couldn't get enough of the royal wedding, the birth of the baby, it's just this ongoing kind of love affair," Groff said.

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