Wednesday 16 October 2019

Downton Abbey accused of costume errors

The Downton shooting party
The Downton shooting party

DOWNTON Abbey has been accused of costume errors in its Christmas TV special.

The popular ITV1 drama has already been plagued by claims of historical inaccuracies and mistakes, including a TV aerial fixed to a home, a modern-style conservatory appearing in shot, and double yellow lines on a road.

There has also been debate over whether some words and phrases in scripts, such as "boyfriend" and "get shafted", would have been in use at the time.

Now the programme has been criticised over the clothes worn during a game shoot featured in the Christmas special.

Tony Jackson, a gun enthusiast and former editor of the Shooting Times, saidl: "The scene is supposed to depict a shooting party in 1919-20, but they are dressed as though they are in the 1890s.

"Why on earth didn't they do their research properly and get it right?

"The guns are wearing leather gaiters - an item of clothing that would not have been worn during the Twenties.

"All would have worn stockings, plus fours and possibly light-coloured spats. The only people who would have worn gaiters would have been the hired help."

Mr Jackson, 74, described the clothes worn by the character Matthew Crawley - played by Dan Stevens - as "completely wrong", as together with his leather gaiters, his breeches make him "look more like a groom".

Alastair Balmain, the current Shooting Times editor, criticised the use of dogs in the scene, including a Labrador he said would have been "highly unlikely" to feature prominently on the shooting field until a few years later.

The programme's makers denied they had made any mistakes. A spokesman said: "Our costume designers put in hours and hours of research and there are images from the time of Edwardian men wearing leather gaiters on a game shoot."

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