‘Downton Abbey’ Costumes: Styling a Memorable Demise

Monet's colors inspired deathbed look

Caroline McCall, costume designer, and Magi Vaughan, who did hair and makeup for Episode 4 in which Lady Sybil dies after childbirth, of PBS Masterpiece’s “Downton Abbey” looked to pictures of the time.

Vaughan’s research included a Monet painting of his wife on her deathbed. “The colors that he used, which I found interesting — yellow, red, orange, purple, blue. Warm colors and then cold. You think she’s going to make it but she dies.”

McCall decided against a white nightdress for the actress, Jessica Brown Findlay. “She wore mauve, it suited her, so a nightdress in that color and embroidered. Michelle Dockery wore a blue nightdress.”

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