Masterpiece Theater’s Downton Abbey begins again on Sunday, and I am beyond excited. Ever since it’s first season and subsequent explosion of popularity, all things Edwardian have become oh-so-popular once again. While googling (is that a word?) who knows what, I stumbled across the lovely Edwardian actress Lily Elsie. She was a popular stage actress of that era, known for her beautiful blue eyes and uncharacteristic shyness for an actress pursuing the public eye. While reading a bit about her, she instantly reminded me of Marion Cotillard. I’ve always thought Cotillard, the Parisian actress who rocketed to American fame for her role in La Vie en Rose, always has such a chic, classic style. She keeps her makeup minimal, her hair often swept up in vintage styles, and she never seems to make a pass for ridiculous celebrity-fame, but instead lets her work speak for itself. While I was interviewing for my recent Vintage Store post, the vintage experts who work the counters of In Your Wildest Dreams, immediately agreed with me that one of the best current celebs who can pull off a vintage style while still looking modern is Cotillard. After I saw Lily Elsie, Cotillard seemed like the perfect modern version of an Edwardian style done right for 2013:
A messy bun, loads of curls, or this slick pouf held in place by some sparkle or even a feather is a modern view on the Edwardian coiffure. Lily Elsie, despite being from an era famous for it’s pompadours and overdone hairstyles, always looked so chic, and Marion does her quite proud I think.
Dark, rich fabrics like velvet and furs were very popular in Lily Elsie’s time. In the August 2012 issue of Vogue, Marion graced the cover in this dark blue, velvet coat-dress. Velvet is a pretty archaic fabric to pull off today and not get some eyebrow raises, but done in a beautiful coat-dress like this looks super chic.
Sportswear was not really something women wore in Edwardian times, this cardigan and collared bow-top was about as casual as things got for the ladies. If they could only see casual now, I think Lily Elsie would be absolutely and completely horrified. Marion’s unique little twist on casual is pretty adorable though. Bows are a super feminine addition to any outfit, and combining it with a grandpa-style sweater tones things down a bit for day-wear so you don’t look like you’re off to a party when you just want to head to the store. Hopefully this gets you in an Edwardian mood just in time for Downton Abbey, oh, and happy Friday!
– ❤ A.
Sources: Lily Elsie images via and Marion Cotillard images via designyoutrust and vogue. collages designed by vmmv.
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