Downton Abbey Fashion – Lady Sybil – Paul Poiret and those Harem Pants
Whether or not it was the intention of the producers of Downton Abbey – exactly 100 years after Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes burst on to the London stage in 1910 and Nijinsky danced into the hearts and minds of thousands wearing Léon Bakst famous harem style costumes – the bright and beautiful Lady Sybil – made a memorable entrance wearing those famous blue harem pants.
The harem style was made world famous in 1911 by Paul Poiret – but there can be no denying that he took inspiration from the costume designer of the Ballet Russes Scheherazade. Poiret’s genius was recognizing a good thing when he saw it and he innovatively adapted it for women’s fancy dress wear. In doing so he accidentally created the first ‘girls party dresses’ of the 20th century – heralding the age of the flapper which was only around the corner.
In honor of both Léon Bakst and Paul Poiret and in tribute to Downton Abbeys Lady Sybil [ Jessica Brown Findlay ] we present a short series of images to remember that ‘fashion rage’ of 1911 -1912, the harem trousers for ladies.