Sunday 6 March 2011

BBC South Riding - A 1930's Fashion Fest

Have any of you managed to catch the BBC newest adaptation 'South Riding' which has been airing on Sunday nights over the last two weeks?

Based on a book of the same name written by Winifred Holtby, The story is set in the fictional county of South Riding in 1934, it shows us an England still dealing with the after-effects of the Great War and coping with the immense poverty and social change caused by the depression.
The story (in so much as I have seen)  I feel has echoes of Jane Eyre about it, the tortured husband (Robert Carne), with the unstable wife, the tempestuous troubled daughter (Midge Carne), the school teacher (Sarah Burton) with high ideals and forthright determination, two characters who disagree on everything, but whom you can feel are destined to be together one way or another by the end.

South Riding though has a much more contemporary edge, it is as if the story has been brought forward into the twentieth century and is facing all the difficulties and benefits that the era has to offer. Carne has money problems and risks losing his estate, Sarah is a progressive socialist, who believes that marriage should not be a woman's only path in life, and I don't recall Miss Eyre ever asking for a Whisky Mac!

I have just watched the first episode for the second time, once for the plot and once for the outfits! And I am in love with all of Miss Burton's clothes.  Sarah has been given the most stunning wardrobe, which the use of bold solid colours make her really stand out from, the dark and decaying sets of the South Riding. I love the colour pallet it has certainly given me much-needed inspiration for my next sewing projects!

So here are a few slightly obsessive screen shots of some of
Miss Burton's outfits from episode 01.
Images source BBC South Riding 2011 Episode 01
First, up is her Beautiful red suit and hat this has to be my favorite from this episode. I love the waistcoat detail to the top and also look at those fab shoes!
Images source BBC South Riding 2011 Episode 01
 Then we have a cute little blouse again styled like a waistcoat with pointy ends worn with a long line high waisted dark blue skirt. Also, the collar appears to have rows of machine quilting on it to give it some detail.

Images source BBC South Riding 2011 Episode 01
Next, as Miss Burton address's her new charges she is wearing a beautiful blue two piece outfit with delicate ruffled blouse just look at the detailing on the pockets of the skirt, I love those triangles.

Images source BBC South Riding 2011 Episode 01
Another, which is just wonderful  is this soft teal blue/green blouse teamed the same high waisted skirt and a fabulous belt. This outfit would not look out of place today!

Images source BBC South Riding 2011 Episode 01
Lastly, when Miss Burton's car runs out of petrol she is forced to see help, ends up helping Robert Carne to deliver a calf and then gets caught in the rain, she has to borrow clothes from his daughter Midge.  She is sporting a delicate knitted cardigan (couldn't leave out the knitted's now could I) and double front pleated skirt which I really want! 

I'm off now to watch the next episode before tonight's finale,
I am sure there will lots more to share!
Wendy x


  1. Great pictures! I've been enjoying this series a lot! I love the teal blouse and have been pondering how to copy it. It looks to be cut on the bias to me, what do you think?

  2. Hi Helen,

    I think your right, it certainly looks like its bias cut, with pintucks up the front to give it a bit of shape, the sleeves seem to be cut also on the bias and then attached just at the top so they are all floaty!

    If do you copy it, I would love to see it! Good Luck!

  3. I'm a follower of this series too, definitely has a Jane Eyre feel to it but like you said, with a contemporary edge.

    I love the teal blouse too, and the undies from last week's episode.

    Shall be watching tonight!!
    Miss P xx

  4. oh very nice clothes,
    i love the red suit,
    thanks for sharing

  5. Seems like perfect Sunday night TV. I love the waistcoat detail and it's got me a thinking....

  6. Awesome clothes!! X