Monday, March 5, 2012

Lady Mary's Closet: Powers of Fascination Dress

Mary's Red Dress

This stunning red dress comes from S1.Ep3 when Evelyn and Mr. Pamuk come to stay. I choose the name from a quote that Matthew says to Evelyn when Mary passes these two suitors over for the exotic foreigner. "We should brush up on our powers of fascination."

Mary's Red Dress 2

This dress features a rather simply shaped sleeveless red underdress with a floral embroidered sheer over layer. It looks kind of sparkley in this photo so maybe there are metalic threads or beads on the top layer. It also has the characteristic between empire and natural waist waistline of the period with a wide red sash. The fun red sleeves are made from a darker sheer red fabric.

Mary's Red dress

This full length shot shows that the sheer overlay goes only part way down the dress and has the same pretty scalloped edge on the bottom as on the neckline. It also looks like there may be a small train. And I do believe the sheer layer is a smidge longer in the back than in the front.

Mary's Red Dress close up

Here's a close up of the front and a bit of the back reflected in the mirror. Looks like the sash may have a bow in the back.

Mary's Red dress in action

Mary styles it with a midsized necklace with dark (red?) stones and elbow length evening gloves.

I really love this dress! If I do ever get around to making an evening gown for Costume College, this one is a possibility.


  1. It's beautiful, I think women are waking up to how bad our fashions are today. There are so many people sewing garments from the past. Who could blame them with such lovely gowns like these. I wish I had more places to wear such beautiful things. I hope you do make this dress and wear it often, the color would be great on you.

    1. Edith also has a great red dress in season 2 that is right up there with this one on my list. :)

    2. There really needs to be a downton abbey dinner party or something!

  2. Wow, so beautiful and elegant!

  3. This is one of my favorites too.

  4. One of my favorites. How I wish I had places to "dress up"!

  5. This would be beautiful! I'm so jealous of you going to costume college.

  6. You know this sort of reminds me of Rose's "Jump" Dress in Titanic. Not exact, but there are a lot of similarities. Anyway, I love this look for Mary!

  7. I love this dress so much! I'm actually making it for my senior prom (in a very unperiod blue but it's what I had on hand). I love the picture with a bit of a back shot--those are so hard to find but so helpful!

  8. I also had this dress made for my prom dress! I can't sew, so I had a graduate student from the local university make it. She works in the costume department and was amazing!

  9. I just wanted to let you know how much of a help this post was in making my prom dress! I finally wrote a blog post about it here.