Downton comes to DeKalb

Pictured is Lady Mary Crawley, a character from the award-winning series “Downton Abbey” played by actress Michelle Dockery. Above is an example of popular dress from the early 20th century time period.

DeKalb County will step back into the Edwardian Age next Saturday with its “Ladies Tea: In the Spirit of Downton Abbey” event at the DeKalb County Library.

The community is invited to attend an afternoon tea to celebrate the release of the new movie, “Downton Abbey,” which comes to theaters Sept. 20, and support their local library programs in the process.

Library Director Cynthia Hancock said The Duchess Tea Store owners, Pam Maddox and Veronica Black, approached her about holding the event in conjunction with the library.

“The Duchess Tea Store will be catering the event,” Hancock said. “We are thrilled to also have Terrie Stanford, Literature teacher from Ider High School along with her Beta Club students who will present a Living Literature program of this time period.”

The Duchess Tea store is a local business that offers more than 30 varieties of loose leaf teas that can be ordered on their website, theduchessteastore.com. For the event, they will offer sandwiches, scones and other desserts, along with three different types of teas to sample, Hancock said.

According to pbs.org, Downton Abbey is an award-winning series created by Julian Fellows and spans across 12 years of “gripping drama” centered around a great English estate on the cusp of a vanishing way of life. The television series, which first aired on the Public Broadcast Service in 2010, focuses on a family during the Edwardian Era and the Great War.

Hancock said this event is also hosted in conjunction with Alabama’s 200th anniversary celebration.

“This event being endorsed by the Alabama 200 Bicentennial Committee pays tribute to the first graceful ladies of Alabama,” she said. “It is truly an honor to host this event. Southern women are known for their grace and charm.

“This grace has been passed down from generation to generation. From a young age, most Southern girls have been carried to garden parties, teas, and other such events by their mothers and grandmothers. This Ladies’ Tea signifies the passing of social graces throughout the generations where our charm becomes identified.”

Participants are encouraged to dress in theme with the event.

“Edwardian-style dress and hats are encouraged but not required,” Hancock said. “Sunday dress is also fine.”

In an article published on bellatory.com, writer Dolores Monet in the article titled, “Fashion History–Edwardian Style of Late 1890s-1914, the era was also called La Belle Époque or “The Beautiful Era” due to women’s fashion taking on a new “opulence and extravagance.” The style focused on the “S shaped” female silhouette and used vibrant colors and decorative ornamentation to enhance the extravagance of the pieces.

Tickets for the event will cost $20 each and will help support several programs at the library, Hancock said.

“We hope to enhance our library by boosting our technology, our genealogy department as well as our children’s programs,” she said. “We would like to add a program for our young teens.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit @dekalbcountylibrary on Facebook or call 256-845-2671.

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