One, is Julian Fellowes trying to kill off the entire cast? Will this be an and then everybody died kind of show? First, the shocking and gruesome death of the youngest Crawley daughter, Lady Sybil (not to be watched if you’re pregnant or ever plan to be). And before we had really recovered our emotional equilibrium, Matthew Crawley! Maybe, now that Mary and Matthew Crawley are united, after a long will-they-won’t-they saga, Fellowes has run out of ideas on how to keep the dramatic tension going. So, he is going on a wipe-them-all-out mission. Or, ITV are trying to compete with the BBC and finishing on a is-he-or-is-he-not-dead kind of cliffhanger (re: The Hour and Sherlock).
Two, will the sudden penchant for World War I dramas endure? We are seasoned travellers when it comes to Victorian period dramas. World War II espionage and resistance stories – those never get old. (Or at least, film and television directors don’t think so, whatever the rest of us may think. They churn them out every year like clockwork.) But television recently has veered to somewhere in between, and flappers, swing clubs, and fading English aristocracy bemoaning the loss of their way of life have been gaining ground.
Three, now that Downton Abbey is over for the year, where do we get our weekly dose of flapper-fun? We can head over to Young British Designers and pick up a pair of gorgeous tights. It was in the ’20s that women stopped wearing tights, or ‘stockings’, only for warmth, and turned to wearing them for fashion. Rising hemlines meant that legs could now be adorned with silk or rayon hosiery. In the Jazz Age, stockings had seams and tended to sag a little at the ankles. They were held up by garter belts or girdles. But most importantly, patterned stockings were hot, hot, hot. Colours were pastels and skin colours and were called romantic names like Rose Morn and Teatime.
Fast-forward about a hundred years, and you have some very seasonal snowy tights, by hose, that you can buy at Young British Designers.
Young British Designers, or YBD, is the first ‘dedicated retail environment’ that focuses on young British design talent, and allows designers that are relatively new to the field to experiment with cutting edge style. And hose, who brings us these tights, is an independent brand that manufactures hand-screen-printed tights. Rebecca Cluett, a womenswear graduate from Ravensbourne, set up the label, and the current collection celebrates all things seam-ly! The seams are not just plain long lines travelling up the back of your legs, but are made up of roses, paper planes, and in this case, timely snowflakes.