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Downton costume exhibition launches in the U.S.

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If you needed proof of Downton Abbey's enduring global appeal, look no further. A museum in Delaware on the east coast of the United States is launching an exhibition dedicated to pieces from Julian Fellowes' award-winning period drama.

Officials at Winterthur Museum expect Costumes of Downton Abbey to be their most popular display yet, drawing in the largest attendance in the history of the place.

The exhibition will show over 40 wardrobe and accessory pieces worn by cast members of the hit ITV show, including the Dowager Countess' austere Victorian-era costumes, Lady Sybil's revolutionary harem pants, the ill-fated wedding gown belonging to Lady Edith and the exquisite pink dress worn by Lady Rose at her society debut ball, seen at the end of season four.

"It's fantastic," curator Maggie Lidz told the LA Times of Rose's dress. "It's a beautiful pink transparent vintage dress with intricate beading all over."

The costumes are being provided by period tailors Cosprop, the wardrobe suppliers for Downton Abbey.

Curators from Winterthur Museum travelled to Britain last year to hand-pick pieces for the exhibition. Other highlights include "downstairs" costumes such as Mrs. Patmore's lavender cooking dress and an apron worn by Daisy when she was a scullery maid.

Lady Mary's beaded maroon engagement dress and a silk embroidered coat worn by Cora, the Countess of Grantham, will also go on display.

Winterthur museum was the home of American horticulturalist Henry Francis du Pont and his family in the early 20th Century. There are several parallels between the fictional Downton Abbey and the way Winterthur once existed as a high-end society home, making it an especially relevant place to house exhibits from the show.

The exhibition will run from 1 March (season four of Downton has just wrapped on PBS in the States) to January 2015. Alongside costumes, there will be workshops, photography and lectures based around the programme. See winterthur.org for more information.

Photos: Winterthur Museum and ITV

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