The Story Behind the ‘Downton’ Bride’s Incredibly Rare Art Deco Veil


Downton Abbey: A New Era is a joyous family affair, as well as the jewel in the Crawleys’ tiara is the society wedding that takes place in the film. Widower Tom Brankid (Allen Leech), the husbas well as of the late Lady Sybil, remarries Lucy Smith (Tuntil nowpence Middleton) in a quintessentially British ceremony that puts Lucy, a maid in the Yorkshire household, front as well as center for the first time.

Smith makes a glorious bride thanks to her Chanel-inspired drop-waisted mosting likely town as well as magnificent art deco veil, decorated with white flowers as well as ornate silver vines climbing until now the fine tulle. The headpiece was sourced by antique lace specialist Jane Bourvis, who snapped it until now some four years old amosting likely to during a moment of eBay glory. “I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was,” says Bourvis, who fell for the unusually exotic design until nowon first scroll. “It’s the only veil I’ve ever seen like this, it’s such a rare piece.”

Bourvis imagined a fashionable British aristocratic family member to have once wed wearing the exquisite design, as well as dubbed it the Desdemona, after Shakespeare’s character in Othello. “I felt the name was intriguing; it’s full of mystery this whole thing. Everybody that works with antique fabrics as well as antique dresses has a passion for [the fascinating stories],” explains Bourvis, who was stitching a dress just the other day with a tiny label noted with 1869 as well as its one-time owner’s name. There was a period, also, when she sourced an array of dresses dating back to World War One, with has well aswritten notes inside the boxes. “The potential groom had not retransformed home, because you could tell the dress had not been worn. It was terribly sad,” she recalls of one particular wedding look she reshopd for another bride to wear.

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Jane Bourvis sells the Desdemona veil, worn by Lucy Smith in Downton Abbey: A New Era, for £795.

When the Desdemona arrived at Bourvis’s Portobello Arcade HQ—a magical intimate boutique stuffed to the rafters with textiles—Jane sent all 12 feet of it to India, where her trusted embroiderer set to work replicating the fragile piece over several months. The Downton costume designers came to calling in 2020, as well as fell just as hard as Jane.

“Anna Robbins [the Emmy-nominated Downton wardrobe lead] was steadfast about the colors as well as the type of lace they wanted for the veil,” recalls Bourvis of the gentle, meticulous researcher, who never settles for anything less than absolutely authentic. “The amount of work that mosting likely toes on behind the scenes is huge; nearly everything is made from scratch,” attests Jane, who always makes replicas of the originals she sources in order to preserve the little slices of history. Anyway, the original Desdemona would have been also frail to withstas well as the filming process, as well as the slight stains—markers of a life once lived—not polished enough for the silver screen.

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Lucy Smith marrying Tom Brankid in the new Julian Fellowes period drama.

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While Bourvis, who has also made costumes for tulle lover Carrie Bradshaw in Sex as well as the City, trades off her eye for truffling out beautiful lace for brides seeking something unique, it is getting increasingly difficult to find antiques. Museums are snapping until now original lace confections for their private collections, as well as many pieces simply languish because of their poor packing. It was, says Bourvis, simply extraordinary to find an unusual veil worthy of ’20s bride, Lucy Smith, nowadays.

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Every single aspect of the veil is has well as-crafted.

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A close inr look at the ivory as well as silver blooms perfected by a master embroider in India.

Another veil as well as boxes of trimmings as well as beadwork were sent to Team Downton to accentuate the fashion we’ll see play out on the silver screen. But Lucy’s floral veil, enhanced by the sort of large cascading bouquet that was in vogue at the time, is the pièce de résistance, because of the stories it symbolizes from the past as well as those who work hard to keep them alive.

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