A Taste of Downton Abbey in Riverhead

Costumes from the exhibition "Dressing the Abbey" at Tanger Outlets Riverhead. Courtesy Tanger Outlets Riverhead.

Just in time for the holiday season, Tanger Outlets Riverhead is currently hosting “Dressing the Abbey,” a costume exhibition. Experience fashion and history from the early 20th century through original costumes worn by stars of the popular television series “Downton Abbey,” one of the most widely watched television dramas in the world. The exhibition, which was developed by Exhibits Development Group in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London, England, features over 30 period costumes created for the award-winning series, which explores the lives of English aristocrats.

“We decided to display the costume groupings as window displays so customers feel comfortable viewing the exhibit in our open air shopping center.,” explained Lesley Lesley Anthony, general manager of Tanger Outlets Riverhead. “As holiday shoppers visit, they are delighted to see the beautiful display.”

A selection of costumes worn by the servants of “Downton Abbey.” Courtesy Tanger Outlets Riverhead.

“Downton Abbey” ran six seasons, from 2011 to 2016, and began with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and ended with the dawn of the Jazz Age in the early 1920s.

Set in post-Edwardian England on a fictional English country estate, “Downton Abbey” was shot at Highclere Castle in Newberry, England. In the series, the estate is inhabited by the fictional Crawley family, headed by Robert Crawley the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and his American wife Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) who live at the manor with their three daughters Mary (Michelle Dockery), Edith (Laura Carmichael) and Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) and Robert’s widowed mother Violet (Maggie Smith). Also living at the manor-house are the Crawley’s many servants.

The 35 costumes in the exhibition show the progression of style from 1912 to 1925, both for the aristocracy as well as their servants. The clothing in “Dressing The Abbey” is designed from old photographs and patterns, sometimes utilizing pieces of old fabric with stunning handwork. Some costumes are all original and produced by the renowned London costume house, Cosprop Ltd.

The window displays are open for visitors daily, and admission is free. The exhibition remains on view through Thursday, December 31, at Tanger Outlets Riverhead, 1770 West Main Street, in suites 306, 401, 906, 1013 and 1220.