Donny Galella’s tips on recreating Downtown Abbey’s vintage fashion looks
Donny Galella is a world renowned fashion stylist and makeover expert. Thanks to Universal Sony’s release of Downtown Abbey Season 3 on DVD and Blu-ray, we got the opportunity to sit down with him and explore 1920’s vintage fashion and how to recreate those classic looks.
LAEM: How did the opportunity for you to work on this project arise?
D: Well, I was contacted by Universal Sony and it just so happened that I’m a massive fan of Downtown Abbey (especially season three). It was like a match made in heaven, so I’m totally excited to be talking about the launch.
LAEM: For some of our readers that don’t know you, could you explain a little bit of who you are and what you do?
D: I’m an Australian fashion stylist who appears weekly on Chanel 7’s The Morning Show. I’m also a Westfield National Stylist so I travel around to a lot of shows and workshops about fashion and style; basically helping people to be the best they can be through fashion. I’ve also got a portfolio of people that I’m constantly dressing. Whether it’s celebrities or everyday women and men, I’m here to make people feel good about themselves.
LAEM: How did you get into fashion?
D: I was originally working in a millinery but then I started helping women who would come in with their head to toe look. Styling then kind of took over and I went from there!
LAEM: You’ve come on board to recreate the styles of the three sisters from Downtown Abbey. What are your top tips for recreating those vintage looks?
D: I guess out of all the key trends that we’re seeing the most important is lace. All three of the Crawley sisters wear it heavily throughout the show and in stores and on the catwalks now lace is back big time. I think if you want to recreate the Downtown Abbey look you can’t go past lace. I also think accessories are so important. Ladies paid such close attention to hats and gloves… nothing says class like a nice pair of gloves! The Crawley sisters wear satin gloves but a good modern take on this would be leather – it’s a bit more edgy. The other key trend we’re seeing is really decadent fabrics with rich and opulent embellishments. Go for a little bit of sparkle!
LAEM: I’ve noticed Lady Mary wears a lot of colour throughout the show while the other sisters are a little more refined. Whats your view on splashing looks with colour?
D: Lady Mary is the more classic and elegant one. She wears really rich blues and the likes. These days we’re seeing really rich greens and berry colours – they were also used quiet a bit throughout Downtown Abbey. For this season my picks would have to be deep berry, rich forest green and the timeless navy, white and black. Those are the colours I would stick to.
LAEM: Are there any particular brands that people should be looking at? I know you’ve used a lot of Alannah Hill and Forever New in your style sheets…
D: I guess when I went to re-create these looks I wanted to use a lot of high street retailers. Forever New quickly came to mind because they have such beautiful pieces that have a great Downtown Abbey look with a modern twist. Alannah Hill is a little higher in price, but I think if you’re going to invest in a quality dress, the $400 mark is a pretty good price.
Check out Donny’s style sheets for re-creating Downtown Abbey’s style below and don’t forget to pick up Downtown Abbey Season 3 on DVD or Blu-ray.