Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Downton Dialogue

Silk Coat Dress (Valentino Roma, Butterfly Consignment); Scarf (purchased at a market in Mumbai, India while traveling); Bag (Burberry Prorsum); Shoes (Bandolino); Sunglasses (Cole Haan); Bracelet (Nadri, Nordstrom); Smoky Quartz and Diamond Ring (David Yurman, G. Thrapp Jewelers); Mandarin Garnet and Diamond Ring (Aronstam Fine Jewelers)
Unlike most American households, we have but a single television in our home.  Don't get me wrong - it is one HUGE television, and we watch every bit as much TV as the next family.  But, because we have only one, when we're both at home, my husband and I generally try to invest in shows that we both enjoy.

As a result, I have never seen a single episode of Downton Abbey.  Despite regular exaltations and lamentations about the exploits of its characters in my Facebook news feed, the series sounded (to me) like little more than a soap opera with a historical setting and a British accent.  Not that I'm knocking soap operas -I still like to catch the occasional Days of Our Lives if I happen to be home alone on a weekday, and I once recorded an episode and saved it for weeks because Kate DiMera was wearing a suit I own.  But,I assumed my husband would never be interested in a British period drama so, while I added it to our Netflix queue, it never bubbled to the top of the "must watch" list.

Then, last month I was invited by a friend to participate in an afternoon tea and fundraiser featuring Jessica Fellowes. Jessica is the niece of Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, and is the author of the best-selling Chronicles of Downton Abbey books (she also has a fun blog).  Jessica is a dynamic speaker with a dry British wit, and we bonded instantly over footwear and handbags when introduced after her speech (She was wearing fantastic black crystal studded booties from Zara).  During our chat, I did not confess my ignorance of the award winning series that has brought acclaim to both her and her uncle, but I did enjoy hearing more about the real-life family members that inspired the Downton cast of characters.  I also heard from several women in attendance that the show was worth watching for the wardrobe alone....

I came away from afternoon tea with three new convictions.  One, I needed to learn more about the Women Like Us Foundation, which the event benefited.  Two, I needed to move Downton Abbey up in the Netflix queue.  And three, hot tea should not feature catnip as an ingredient.  Yep - I drank catnip.

Season One of Downton Abbey is now at the top of the Netflix queue, though I haven't had an opportunity to actually start watching it yet.  As it turns out, a surprising number of male friends whose taste I consider to be similar to my husband's have told us they really enjoy the series.  I hope he likes it, too, so that we can watch together!

Are you a Downton Abbey fan? 
Afternoon Tea was held in the historic Union Station in downtown Indianapolis, and the place settings featured vintage teacups in varied and elegant patterns.  Jessica was gracious enough to pose for a photograph.  I should have taken a picture of her fab boots, too!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

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