Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Side Saddle Sighting on Downton Abbey

ITV has been running a new drama series about a wealthy Edwardian family set in 1912 over the past several weeks. I keep missing it on TV but do manage to catch up by watching it on the ITV website.

Last weeks episode featuring a hunting scene with one of the main characters, Mary, riding side saddle and several extras in the background riding side saddle as well. There were mainly upper body shots of the heroine riding so you didn't get to see the saddle or much of her riding but I managed to do a few screen saves of the side saddle scenes for those who unable to watch the programme.

Mary spotting the handsome Kemal Pamuk riding towards her...


Mary liking what she sees!


Some head shots of Mary getting flustered while speaking to the exotic Mr. Pamuk who is from Turkey..



I'm not liking the baggy veil though, the judge at my last equitation show would have had something to say about that especially since the extra's veils in other scenes weren't baggy!



Cantering towards Mr. Pamuk..her apron is very full for 1912 standards...



A nice shot of Mary cantering...

16 comments:

  1. ya gotta love it when the extras are better turned out than the stars. I bet nobody outside the side-saddle show circuit noticed, though. If this were an American production, she'd have been in bright red silk with a scarf trailing behind her. Or just put her astride to show how "liberated" she is or whatever bull the scriptwriters come up with to cover the fact the actress can't ride and the show can't be bothered to teach her. I think it's nice!

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  2. Unfortunately in one of the other episodes, Mary is seen settling herself on her sidesaddle after delivering a dinner invitation. Given the time it took to get onto her saddle, she must have used a trampoline to get on board!! Also, her skirt was pretty much on around the wrong way and most of her left leg was visible while the skirt of her apron was elegantly arayed across her horses hind quarters!!

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  3. Ooo, which episode was this? I'll see if I can get some screen shots of it!

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  4. From Tiffany's comment, apparently the film makers have no clue and the equestrian adviser was absent that day or ignored.

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  5. The two extras in the background (on the greys) look like they are wearing modern cut-away aprons :)

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  6. By 1912, the modern aprons that we are used to and that the extras are wearing, would have been the norm but it seems that Mary is caught in a time warp! LOL, I'll excuse that as maybe she is wearing an "inherited" habit from her mother or something. There is no excuse for a baggy veil however! ;-)

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  7. In her defense,having never worn a veil, I'm wondering if it would be possible to deliver lines all day with a properly adjusted veil? At least she didn't look like she was wearing makeup.

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  8. Her skirt/apron may have been a touch too long but I thought her jacket was GORGEOUS. One day I'm going to save my pennies and have a proper, wool habit made to fit me perfectly like that!

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  9. LOL, the veil does get stuck to your mouth which is a bit annoying so the actress who played Mary will be excused this time but I'm sure the judge I had would have still had something to say about it! :-D

    Michelle, I love those long fitted Edwardian jackets on habits too. My old Busvine habit used to have a similar cut jacket and I was gutted when I "outgrew" it :(

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  10. Do you still have that habit? The old ones like that are so hard to come across. Especially over here.

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  11. No, I sold it last summer as I needed to pay for my black one :( I will post photos of it later on today.

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  12. Crikey, just realised Mary is wearing BLACK gloves! How on earth did that slip through the net. Black gloves were only worn during mourning and you would never have done something as frivolous as riding if you were in mourning!

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  13. I noticed the wrong-way round habit and posted it to my side saddle newsgroup with screenshots.
    I also mentioned it to a friend who happens to work for a national newspaper. She was so amused by the story that she included it in an article.
    Julian Fellowes (the writer) was invited to comment and responded that people who complained about inaccuracies in the side saddle kit just did so to show how posh they were! I thought that was a preposterous and meaninglessly spiteful thing say and I have now rather gone off Julian Fellowes.
    Btw, apart from the silly skirt and the black gloves, the lady was also holding her hunting whip upside down.
    It is astonishing just how wrong that wardrobe department got it.

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  14. Hmmm, the saying "pot calling kettle black" comes to mind with regards to Julian Fellowes, the man who judges if some is "nouveau riche" or not by the way they hold their knife or eat their soup. We just want side saddle portrayed properly!

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  15. Bit late to the party here, but according to an old Side Saddle Association newsletter I have, the extras are ladies from the SSA.

    It doesn't say in the piece, but I strongly suspect that one of them also doubled for Lady Mary - my instructor tells me that some of the very good side saddle riders in the South have a nice second income doubling for actresses aside :)

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