The Women of “Downton Abbey” Cover Harper’s Bazaar UK Magazine

Posted on July 02, 2014

As beautiful as these two covers are – and they’re quite beautiful – we have to admit, we immediately felt a little twinge of annoyance that once again, the “upstairs” ladies of Downton Abbey were gracing the cover of a fashion magazine.


Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)Laura Carmichael, Michelle Dockery and Lily James cover the August 2014 issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK magazine in Valentino photographed by Alexi Lubomirski.

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (5)

Then we saw the stunning dresses they were all wearing and forgot why we were annoyed. Then we briefly wondered why Michelle gets her own cover, which led us back to our original point of annoyance, which is that fashion and celeb magazines tend to engage in the faux-classism that characterizes the series, fawning over the actresses who play aristocrats and largely ignoring the actresses who play servants. Granted, Julian Fellowes cast model-worthy actresses to play the daughters of the House of Grantham, so we can understand why editors like to put them on covers.

But we always feel a little bad for the other ladies in the cast. Then we saw this:

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (6)Phyllis Logan in Marina Rinaldi; Sophie McShera in Simone Rocha; Michelle Dockery in Valentino; Lesley Nicol in Marina Rinaldi; Raquel Cassidy in Alexander McQueen; Laura Carmichael in Valentino; Elizabeth McGovern in Erdem; Joanne Froggatt in Temperley London; Lily James in Jenny Packham.

HUZZAH, Harper’s Bazaar UK. Well done.  Let’s get a closer look:

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (7)

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (8)

Fabulous. They all look gorgeous; every single one of them. And they all look like they know it.

You can see all the dresses below (except for the Marina Rinaldi ones), but frankly, none of the original models work them quite as well as these ladies.

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)Valentino Pre-Fall 2014 Collection

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)Valentino Pre-Fall 2014 Collection

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)Valentino Pre-Fall 2014 Collection

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (9)Simone Rocha Fall 2014 Collection

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (10)Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2014 Collection

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (11)Erdem Pre-Fall 2014 Collection

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (12)Temperley London Fall 2014 Collection

Harper-Bazaar-UK-August-2014-Downton-Abbey-Magazine-Editorials-Laura-Carmichael-Michelle-Dockery-Lily-James-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (13)Jenny Packham Fall 2014 Collection







[Photo Credit: Alexi Lubomirski for Harper’s Bazaar UK Magazine, Valentino, Erdem, Alexander McQueen, IMAXTree]

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  • TinyDynamo

    Pretty white ladies wearing pretty dresses. Snooze.

    • MoHub

      With droopy boobies on the cover.

      • suzinrva

        Lovely, natural boobies unaugmented (per Hollywood) and non-skeletal (per runway) – granted still white.

        • RescueMe23


        • MoHub

          Don’t need to be augmented, but supported would be nice.

  • Jennifer Bober

    I love the look on Lesley Nicol’s face. She looks amazing and knows it. I just wish we could see more of her.

    • Kayceed

      She was the one I zeroed in on as well. Winsome.

    • didgerdoni

      Exactly. Get her out from behind that chair!

  • Aidan B

    Yay, I was hoping to see this on here today! I saw the first cover on Facebook and really thought it was Joanne on the cover with Michelle and Laura until I clicked and saw that it was Lily James. SO happy to see the other ladies are all in the inside spread; everyone looks stunning!

  • GeoDiva

    I love the styling. Miss my Downton!

  • HM3

    HOLY COW Daisy has a great “come hither” look…and look at Mrs. Hughes! Different season, I know, but I kind if would’ve also loved to see O’Brien strike a pose in a crazy Gucci getup.

    • marlie

      I would have loved to see O’Brien too. But O’Brien 2.0 looks great – I almost didn’t recognize her.

      • Spicytomato1

        O’Brien 2.0, perfect. I couldn’t for the life of me think of her name! I think she’s the least recognizable here. I always love seeing the transformations of each character (the men, too) from the Downton set to real life.

      • Alloy Jane

        I didn’t recognize Baxter OR Mrs. Hughes.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    Dayum, Mrs. Hughes! It took me a minute to recognize you! It is impressive how much makeup and costume are able to change the perception of women as beautiful as Phyllis Logan, Lesley Nicol, and Laura Carmichael. They all look spectacular (thought I’m not crazy about whatever that dress is doing to Lily James’ boobs.) The styling is inspired. Does Elizabeth McGovern have a spine condition? I never understand the way she sits.

  • NMMagpie

    Freaking A… Elizabeth McGovern is radiant.

    HOWEVER… nobody puts Lesley Nicol in the corner! She’s awesome!

    • siriuslover

      I’ve loved Lesley Nicol since I saw her in East is East. She’s totally getting her glam on here.

  • siriuslover

    Downstairs Ladies should have had the alternate cover. That would make more sense. AND, may I say how happy I am that Raquel Cassidy is included? I’m loving her character so far, and she looks downright gorgeous here.

  • Fanny_Trollope

    The Sisterhood of the Traveling FABULOUS.

  • Deborah Lipp

    Do you think it’s classism? Or is it that we *already* swoon over what the upstairs ladies wear on TV, whereas the downstairs ladies wear uniforms?

    • Gatto Nero

      I think the choice plays into the readers’ (perceived) fantasies.

      • Grumpy Girl

        Good point. I have absolutely NO fantasies that involve cleaning or laundering or cooking without modern conveniences.

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Word-heavy duty cleaning, laundering, etc never enter my fantasies.

        • Gatto Nero

          Remember all the gushing after the marriage proposal finale with the swirling snow? Talk about a “be me” moment!

        • Shibori Girl

          My cleaning and laundering fantasies feature other people doing the work! (Then I go do it myself.)

  • housefulofboys

    J’adore! I particularly love that sapphire blue on Elizabeth McGovern and her smiling eyes.

    • sugarkane105

      So much better than the creepy smile she usually wears on the show!

  • gabbilevy

    Odd that that they took three different photographs of Michelle Dockery (and two of Laura Carmichael) wearing the same gowns, but Lily’s changed. Agree that a downstairs cover would have been welcomed.

    • kimmeister

      They seem to have done some photoshopping on the lining of Michelle’s dress on the covers, but you can clearly see the horizontal edge of the lining in the full group shot.

    • AlisonS

      I noticed that as well. At first I thought I overlooked Lily then I saw her.

    • scoobynacks

      Is it just me or does it look like they edited out whatever Lily James was leaning on? I don’t see her posture working with the surrounding set so was there a stool or something and they just photoshopped it? She seems to be hanging in mid-air a bit.

  • smh4748

    Gorgeous photos! I love seeing the downstairs women when they’re dressed up–they look SO different!

  • marlie

    Lady Mary is owning the first cover, but I love, love, love the one with the full cast. And gorgeous dresses all around, as well. For real though, Valentino needs to give her that dress and not let anyone else wear it.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      That Valentino really, really suits Dockery.

  • Gatto Nero

    I don’t think they’ve ever looked better than they do here. The dresses are gorgeous (Valentino, Erdem, and Temperley especially), but the Downton ladies are bringing it.

    • Grumpy Girl

      Is it the Temperley with the spiral boobs? That one just disturbs me. All the others look so sumptuous.

      I do love that the dresses seem to fall so much more elegantly on the (slightly) older and boobier actresses than on the models.

  • Frank_821

    Yes Harper’s Bazaar UK. Brava!

    Mrs Hughes and Daisy are just killing it!

  • shirab

    Why are Lady Mary’s boobs all squished?

  • Jackie4g

    This is exactly what I like to see when I log on to TLo. Gorgeous dresses and gorgeous women.

  • Mary Elizabeth Poytinger Baume

    did mine eyes fool me but is that a picture of many women of all shapes and sizes and ages in one place…..all looking fab?

    • Danielle

      What a concept!!

  • Anna

    Lady Mary gets some of the best story lines while being the most boring character on the show. As for the magazine, love seeing the “downstairs” gals all gussied up.

    • scoobynacks

      Meh, I’m Team Mary. Sorry. I think she’s awesome.

  • sugarkane105

    Rose looks so sexy in that second shot! And Elizabeth McGovern has never looked so lovely. I’m stunned that they all look so fabulous in the same photo. Well done.

    • Carleenml

      Elizabeth McGovern put away her crazy eyes for a minute and yes, it’s the best she’s looked in a long time!

  • Sarah

    I’ve never seen the show, but yeah – these ladies are making couture gowns look like real (albeit attractive) women could wear them. Lovely, every last one.

    • mjude

      I will admit it too, never seen the show. I love all of the gowns.

    • Anna

      Don’t start watching the show! They kill off/hurt all of the most beloved characters. It’s a mind fuck.

      • Sarah

        I’m not interested, TBH.

      • demidaemon

        Sounds like GOT, except the English gentrified version.

  • Carleenml

    I don’t think Mrs. Hughes looks great. I think she should complain “why did I get stuck with an oversized bathrobe?”

  • sugarkane105

    Is Mrs. Patmore wearing the same dress Angelina Jolie wore to the Oscars this year? Cuz girl is werqin’ it.

    • kimmeister

      The beading style is similar, but AJ wore an Elie Saab and Lesley Nicol is in Marina Rinaldi.

      • sugarkane105

        Ah, thank you!

  • kimmeister

    They are all beautiful gowns indeed, except I’m quite tired of the nude linings that you make you wonder if you’re seeing things or not. Except in Elizabeth McGovern’s case, where we get to see her underoos.

  • MilaXX

    Well played UK Harper’s. My only quibble is the cover of Edith, Mary & Rose. All 3 ladies look a little lacking in the bra department.

    • SuzyQuzey

      Exactly what I was going to say. Tuppence for a bra?

    • ewa_pl

      I was going to comment on the same thing, but then I looked at the pictures with the models, and it looks even worse on them – does that mean that the grandma-boob effect was intentional? I don’t understand.

      • MilaXX

        Probably. It may even be a micro trend since Keira Knightly has been looking like that as well.

        • Alloy Jane

          That’s just what happens when you don’t have a lot of boob to shove under your chin. They stay where they sprout.

  • Tanya Wade

    I know she never would have stood for it, but what this needs is a little Maggie Smith.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      Yeah, where is the Dowager Countess?!!

    • BayTampaBay

      I am sure the attitude towards fashion magazine photo shoots of Penelope, Shirley and Maggie is ….”.Been there, done that and experience was so damn awful that I burnt the “MFing” T-Shirt so let’s go have a pint”

  • suzq

    The downstairs ladies have better undergarment support. So they win.

  • SewingSiren

    I just love that gold embroidered organdy Simone Rocha dress. Worn with metallic gold oxfords, who knew that would look so good?

  • mellorcr

    Dissenting opinion here…. Yes, the dresses are gorgeous, but those are some saggy, draggy boobs on the cover picture. Surely they could have found some undergarments that were more uplifitng.

    • Gatto Nero

      I think they were going for a softer look. The fashion trend in the ’20s was a more boyish silhouette (no more rigid undergarments); maybe the styling is a callback to that.

    • VictoriaDiNardo

      There have been a few comments about the need for bras and I don’t get it. I’m not being coy; I don’t understand the problem. Maybe it’s a result of coming of age in the bra-less 70’s, and thinking it looked – and felt – just fine. I think the natural shape of a breast is lovely and nothing to obscure unless the line, the look of the dress, or sometimes the size of the breast, calls for it ( or the personal preference of the wearer. ) I think these women look soft and sexy in somewhat fitted clothing that shows their contours. Real breasts have a weight to them that shows through the dresses. To my eye it looks beautiful, but again, maybe I’m a product of my time. Is the consensus away from the natural looking breast? I am honestly curious about how this is perceived.

      • mellorcr

        To me they don’t look like natural breasts. They look like natural breasts that have been smooshed and dragged down by ill fitting bodices.

      • Heatherbelle

        I agree, I think they look great just as they are and the “bust profile” or whatever is pleasing to me. It wouldn’t perhaps look so pleasing if they were larger busted (like me, no vintage-y stylish bralessness in my future…) but I think they look very elegant and not too buttoned-up or be-girdled!

  • FibonacciSequins

    Be still my Downton Abbey-loving heart!

    • Spicytomato1

      That was my reaction, too. At first I thought it was the US edition and I was ready to run right out and buy it, which I haven’t done in probably half a decade. Sigh.

  • BayTampaBay

    The first model picture from Valentino, the one one with the green belt/sash; Who’s wearing this dress?

    • FibonacciSequins

      Laura Carmichael’s wearing a slightly different version of that dress.

    • Tom and Lorenzo

      Laura Carmichael is wearing the first Valentino dress. She’s wearing it backwards.

      • BayTampaBay

        I never thought about that…LOL! I kept looking for the green sash or a plunging neckline.

    • sugarkane105

      Looks almost like Edith is wearing it, but backwards.

    • Spicytomato1

      Edith, wouldn’t you say? A slightly modified version. Speaking of that model, I thought she was a mannequin at first.

  • GorgeousThings

    McQueen wins, hands down.

    • decormaven

      That is one gorgeous gown.

  • AnnaleighBelle

    Everyone looks beautiful, but, dayam, Michelle Dockery has the perfect face for photographs. There’s this serenity that she conveys that’s so charismatic.

  • Danielle

    Let’s play “What Would Maggie Smith Have Worn?”, because I’m mentally photoshopping her front and center.

  • golden_valley

    I don’t like the dull colored lace dresses of Valentino. That McQueen dress is fantastic.

    • BayTampaBay

      For me, if i was buying one of the dresses used on the shoot it would be the Jenny Packham .

  • Alicia

    Laura Carmichael has a faint “WTF?” look on her face in both of these, that I find really endearing.

  • DagnyReardon

    I am feeling no hate looking at these.

  • Lindsay McCarthy

    Smile, Anna! Bates has killed you. Yet.

  • colorjunky

    These dresses are stung! Is Edith’s on backwards? Elizabeth McGovern rocks it.

  • ShaoLinKitten

    Those gold, pointy-toed oxfords on the Rocha model… I think I’m in love.

  • ashtangajunkie

    My eyes are having a serious love affair with the Jenny Packham gown.

  • HeisenbergHattie

    Top photo – ugh- Lilly James crossing her legs to form an awkward teepee shape (emphasized by those gorgeous red shoes). I blame the photographer. Lilly should have been coached to tuck her legs together. Anyone with a trained eye should have spotted that error. No big deal. Just bugs me because it is such a glaring error. In my eyes it ruins an otherwise perfectly serene photo.

  • CeeQ

    Gorgeous and so romantic =D

  • vitaminC

    Where are the grand dames of Downton?

  • thesmokeylife

    Maybe the reason the models don’t work the clothes as well is because, judging by the girls’ facial expressions, they were forced by their parents to pose in front of various signs for boring tourist attractions on an extremely dull and laborious road trip.

  • Sophie

    I really like Laura Carmichael on the first picture, she looks great. I’m all for beautiful blues and extravagant dresses, but the dress on the right (still in the first picture) is just too see-through IMO.

  • Columbinia

    It’s interesting that almost all these evening dresses are covered up, not strapless or the kind of revealing gowns seen most of the time nowadays.

    • Annistella

      Good spot! I couldn’t work it out but you picked it. Check out TLo post on Rihanna for Harpers Bazaar Arabia – the Asian continent is opening up and these designers are tailoring for the market accordingly.

  • Man Dala

    Lady Edith looks so good. Luv her attitude on the cover.

  • OffToSeeHim

    Isn’t Maggie Smith on that show too? Would have loved to see her in this – she cleans up AMAZINGLY, and she’s so beautiful.

  • Austen Jane

    Elizabeth McGovern looks the part of the dumb American.

    • Alicia

      The description of her charity trip to Sierra Leone suggests she doesn’t have to dig too deep for that one.

  • queeniethebold

    Oh, my doG, Phyllis Logan looks gorgeous! Can that possibly be the same person who plays Mrs. Hughes?!

    The McQueen is fantastic.

  • burrito jones

    Who wore it best? Cate Blanchett or Michelle Dockery.

  • Natalie Harris

    So is Laura Carmichael wearing that gown backwards? The fit would seem to confirm. Designer image shows it as a V-neck, and after scouring Couture Spring 14, I see no such gown. Maybe they tweaked the style to a V, but what do you guys see?

  • Kelly

    They do all look great. But because one must have nits to pick, here are mine: Phyllis’s dress looks too big; Michelle should be allowed either a twee collar or twee sleeves, but not both (personally, I’d ditch the collar); I don’t like the swirly breasts on Joanne’s dress; please tell me that Elizabeth is *not* actually wearing granny panties under a sheer lace what-the-hell. And where, oh where, are the dear Dames Penelope and Maggie? Upsides: Sophie has outshone Keira, Lesley sets my heart a-flutter, and Lily is breathtaking. But while I love the dress on Rachel, I’m ashamed to report that I can’t remember who she plays. Molesley’s new inamorata?

  • lmhess

    Hard to say anything bad about these women: The upstairs crowd looks fabulous and the downstairs ladies are terrific. And the gowns are to die for!