What’s in Store for Mr. Selfridge Wardrobe in Season 2?

2 Dec

PBS Mr. Selfridge is set to make its second season debut next year. The series is currently filming in the UK, and will pick up in 1914, which will mark the store’s fifth anniversary.  But just like Downton Abbey, the time frame means that the characters (and the business) are all about to be greatly affected by the impending world war.[1] Aside from the great characters and story, costume designer James Keast, is excellent at defining for audiences, characters social class and aspirations through wardrobe. One of the most fun and interesting character transformations to watch is character Agnes Towler portrayed by Aisling Loftus.  Keast demonstrates the characters cleverness and creativity with colorful accessories as she climbs the corporate ladder.

James Keast discusses with Fashion Magazine how he went about costuming  a large cast.
“I broke each script into characters and worked out how many costumes each needed, the script tells you if a character needs an evening dress, or stage outfit or whatever. I go through each character in order and work out how long I need the costume and how often it would be used, I then decide if I need to make it or look for it in a costume house to hire, I also look in vintage shops and on-line, if it is cheaper to buy an original garment rather than hire or make one, I will.” To read the entire interview click here.
What’s in store (no-pun intended) for Mr. Selfridge cast wardrobe for season 2?  The show will pick up in 1914, which will mark the store’s fifth anniversary. Plus we have the impending war. Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, fashion had taken on a whole new look based on Orientalism with its soft drapery, and bold prints. The lines of Russian peasant costume appeared in hip length tunics, a style that lasted throughout the war years. During the war, as men went off to fight, women took on jobs formerly filled by men. Many of the occupations demanded the wearing of uniforms, including trousers. A military look crept into fashion designs as well with military style tunic jackets, belts, and epaulets. I can’t wait to see what Keast does with all the characters wardrobe in season 2.
(Click here) to see the Behind the Scenes of Mr. Selfridge’s Costuming

11 Responses to “What’s in Store for Mr. Selfridge Wardrobe in Season 2?”

  1. comicrelief2 December 2, 2013 at 8:03 PM #

    Sooner or later, we’re going to see an entourage movie, which I can’t imagine without Jeremy Piven; (Mr. Selfridge himself). After his period TV show, what do you think the actor will be taking back to this familiar ensemble?

    • comicrelief2 December 3, 2013 at 1:18 PM #


      In later questions,for some reason I keep adding “ing” to Downton Abbey.
      Realing sorry.:)

    • Open Book December 3, 2013 at 3:13 PM #

      CR- I like Jeremy Piven and I don’t think I can compare the two performances because they are such different characters. But I will say I like his slimy yet sensitive portrayal of an an Agent in Entourage much better.

    • Open Book December 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM #

      I will say I’m really impressed at how Piven makes his costume seem so natural like he’s use to wearing Edwardian garb. This has to be a Costume Designer’s dream. I mean his reliance and use of his pocket watch really makes u forget Ari from Entourage.

  2. comicrelief2 December 2, 2013 at 8:03 PM #

    Is your appreciation of Mr. Selfridge primarily about the clothes? I noticed quite a few statements about the era that audiences might find provocative. Which ones if any were interesting to you?

    • comicrelief2 December 3, 2013 at 1:12 PM #

      Sorry OB,

      I change my mind, I was confused by the opportunity to address a wide range of topics. Instead would you answer another question instead?


      And more importantly why DO YOU find them to be persuasive?

      • Open Book December 4, 2013 at 5:22 PM #

        Hahaha! Sure anything for u 🙂


        I will say I’m very impressed at how Keast has introduced the influence of the feminist movement with one of the characters. Her skirt is shorter and she doesn’t wear a corset. Unfortunately, I can’t recall the characters name but she was introduced later in the season as the head of the Women’s Wear department.

        Also, THE MEN, THE MEN, THE MEN. As u all of u know I love the Edwardian period for men’s clothing. The three piece suit and pocket watch are so attractive. Keast stated he hopes men will start wearing them again. So my question to u. Would u wear a three piece suit and pocket watch today?

    • Open Book December 3, 2013 at 3:15 PM #

      Great Q. Hmm! I will have to come back to that one.

  3. comicrelief2 December 2, 2013 at 8:05 PM #

    Yeah they’re both English, but what relationship were you drawing between Downington Abbey and Mr. Selfridge?

    • comicrelief2 December 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM #

      Again, I want to (re)state my previous question.

      How do the design ideas of “Mr. Selfridge: differ from those of “Downington Abbey?” I know the costumes are of a similar time period so I assume (since you brought it up), that you think they differ.

      Just to recap for those who are not familiar:

      Located at an extremely old English manor house called “Downington Abbey”, the TV show focuses on the life and times of the Crawley’s. Addressing changes in the UK economy, WW1, and status changes for the former English aristocracy in response to those events, we witness many of the Crawley’s responses to European changes of the early 20th century.

      Immigrating to the England of the early twentieth century, business entrepreneur Gordon Selfridge moves to England to launch his self-named department store. Reflecting many of the business trends and innovations of American department stores of that time, Mr. Selfridge records the developments that occur in the department store and involve the community, store employee’s and the family members of the title character.

    • Open Book December 3, 2013 at 3:20 PM #

      The comparison was primarily how each show responds to WW1 and the feminist movement through wardrobe.

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