Downton's costume challenges

4th Nov 13 | Fashion

Caroline McCall

Downton Abbey's costume designer, Caroline McCall, has revealed who she finds the hardest to dress.

Caroline McCall says Lady Mary Crawley is the most "challenging" Downton Abbey character to dress.

Michelle Docherty plays the regal character, who lost her husband Matthew in the 2012 Christmas special episode.

Due to the death, her elaborate costumes had to be toned down by Caroline, who has worked on the show since 2010.

"Probably Mary in this series," she answered when asked about the most challenging person to dress.

"There are so many constraints on her wardrobe due to class and mourning. This whole series she's in burgundy tones, purples and mauves and black, monochrome and grey. The whole wardrobe had to be in those tones because we couldn't lift her out of mourning. As a result the vast majority of Michelle's wardrobe had to be custom made. Even her country clothing had to be heathery tones, tweed. So that was quite tricky."

Downton Abbey has become hugely popular the world over, in part due to the gorgeous gowns shown in each episode.

Caroline can't imagine the show without all the hard work that goes into the wardrobe.

"I think it's really important, sort of essential to the whole thing. It illustrates the changing times, characters," she explained.

"It illustrates the changes the characters are going through. But their clothes shouldn't distract from their performances, it should add to it and take you to their world."

Currently in series four, the show spans several eras.

The designer likes the freedom this gives her to experiment with clothes.

"Where we are in series four is so beautiful, we're not quite into the jazz age where everything goes short and shapeless and there has to be delicacy, which you begin to lose as you move further into the '20s," Caroline gushed.

© Cover Media Group 2013