We’re all about female solidarity and empowerment wherever we see it. Whether it’s through mothers empowering daughters, friends empowering one another, or amazing fictional women in books and in tv dramas, empowering themselves and the women in their audience. We’ve seen some fantastic examples on the big and small screen over the years from Elizabeth Bennet to Anne Shirley to Jo March, but today we shine a spotlight on the beautiful and elegant show Downton Abbey.
What is it about the show that has caused such a huge stir among women all over the world?
Since one of the show’s stars Joanne Froggatt has been kind enough to provide us with a signed pair of our gorgeous shoes (join our ShoesLetter right here to find out more) we thought we’d dive deep into some of the reasons why we think that women around the world have fallen head over heels (pun very much intended) for the very British Downton Abbey….
Let’s start with the obvious… It’s gorgeous!
We’re all drawn to beauty. Beautiful shoes, beautiful gowns, beautiful scenery, beautiful buildings, beautiful photography and of course beautiful people. Downton has all of the above in spades. Every episode is a treat for the eyes thanks to the ornate beauty of Highclere Castle, which serves as the eponymous abbey, and the lustrous artistry of the costume design, over-the-top set dressing, makeup and vivid photography.
It’s a glorious combination of the familiar and the strange
Most of us will never know the levels of luxury and opulence that the inhabitants of Downton enjoyed on a daily basis, but behind all the pomp and glamour there’s wonderful human drama we can all relate to.
Who among us can’t relate to Daisy’s hopeless romanticism? Which of us can’t remember slogging through one heartbreak after another like Lady Edith? Who has never conversed with a high minded yet clueless patriarch like Robert Grantham? They’re characters far removed from us yet achingly familiar. There’s something really appealing about the dichotomy of the familiar and the strange.
Our shoes at Shoes by Shaherazad also fit the Downton Abbey setting. In the era which the drama takes us back to there was very much a focus on stylish and wearable fashion. This fashion statement lives on in our heels: classic, stylish and relevant to today's leading ladies.
It’s a perfect antidote to modern dating
It’s okay to admit it. There’s a stilted romanticism to the show that’s really appealing. In a world of Tinder, speed dating and the almost adversarial nature of finding a match in the 21st century there’s something attractive about the old-fashioned romance that’s baked into the show’s crust.
Set at a time of great social and political change, the show roughly coincides with the dawn of women’s suffrage and even when the program isn’t exploring issues of women’s rights overtly, it’s doing so covertly with its plethora of strong female characters battling against the restrictions of a dying age of patriarchy. Sybil will always have a very special place in my heart; her gumption in standing up for women across all social classes is what really captured my imagination.
Maggie Smith, Maggie Smith, Maggie Smith
I mean, seriously. Who doesn’t love Dame Maggie Smith? She’s one of the best actresses on the planet and always brings an unmistakable presence to every role she inhabits. It’s there in Sister Act, it’s there in the Harry Potter films and it’s there in abundance in her role as the acerbic Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. A lesser actress would have dulled the character’s rapier wit.
Just like me, I'm sure that you're excitedly waiting for the release of the Downton Abbey film in the autumn this year.
These are just some of the things we love about Downton Abbey. What about you?
Shoe Empowerment Officer