What's on Tap

What's on Tap

'Downton Abbey' costume exhibit delights at Biltmore

Posted May 6, 2015
Updated May 7, 2015

— "Downton Abbey" fans need to make a trip to Biltmore this month to check out some original costumes from the popular PBS series.

The sprawling Asheville estate is hosting "Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times" through May 25.

The 47 costumes are placed throughout the Biltmore home, in rooms that are appropriate with the style of clothing. Formal attire can be seen in the dining room and library.

The costumes, some inspired by old photographs, were created by renowned London costume house Cosprop Ltd. Some outfits are original pieces from the time period.

Winnie Titchener, Biltmore archivist, said preparing for this exhibit was like prepping for 47 guests to stay at the house.

The exhibit is also allowing Biltmore to delve further into its own history. New stories are being shared about George Vanderbilt, his wife Edith, and their daughter Cornelia, who lived in the 250-room Biltmore House.

The Vanderbilts’ home bears striking visual resemblance to Highclere Castle, where the show is set, Biltmore’s Director of Museum Services Ellen Rickman said.

"The day-to-day running of the house was surprisingly similar to that of Downton Abbey,” Rickman said. “Just like Downton has Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, Biltmore had its own cast of fascinating characters. Displaying these fabulous costumes from the show gives us an unparalleled opportunity to delve into Biltmore’s stories.”

The exhibition is included in the regular ticket price for Biltmore Estate admission.

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