When you think of Roaring Twenties-era fashion, you likely envision drop-waist dresses, long-line jackets, glittery gowns, and perhaps a face-framing cloche hat. The ladies of Downton Abbey have showcased all of these iconic styles over the course of several seasons, and since they’re wealthy aristocrats you’d expect their ensembles to be the height of fashion. And the Crawley sisters are certainly on-trend for the era … but tune in to Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on TPT, and you’ll get a glimpse of a considerably more extravagant and ornate, flashy and fun version of 1920s personal style. And that upping of the glamour quotient is due almost entirely to Phryne Fisher’s collection of accessories.
Whether she’s plying her maid Dot for details, slinking around a Melbourne crime scene, or sassing DI Jack Robinson, Phryne is virtually always adorned with at least one eye-catching accoutrement. Our intrepid heroine sports similar styles of embellished sun hats, cloches, and Tam O’Shanters to the ones we’ve seen on the Downton women. But she’s also partial to glittering headbands, sassy berets, exotic turbans, and elaborate fascinators, which add ornamental flourish to her already impeccable outfits. In keeping with the moires of her era, she is never without a hat when out of doors.
Phryne is also a fan of gloves, another period-accurate accessory that she embraces with flamboyant fashionability. Gloves were expected to be worn outdoors, but also for certain indoor occasions both commonplace and formal. White wrist-length gloves were the most commonly worn, and we certainly see those on Phryne, but she also indulges in a rainbow of leather gloves, both short and long, to match her outfits and outerwear. Red is a favorite shade, but she also sports green, black, navy, taupe, and cognac.
1920s jewelry is often spare and geometric, showing elegant Art Deco influences. Phryne certainly wears the occasional pair of marcasite earrings or long-strand necklace, but she also showcases short enamel pendants, sexy shoulder-duster earrings, and one enormous neckpiece that gives modern statement necklaces a run for their money.
Scarves, wraps, and stoles are also among Phyrne’s favorites, and she wears everything from short tasseled flapper scarves knotted at the collarbone to long skinny silk ones worn untied and flowing. Her stoles and boas complement coats or evening-wear, and many of her jackets have luxurious fur collars, dyed to match.
You’ll also see ornate clutches, embellished belts, an endless array of t-strap heels, round-frame sunglasses, and even a pair of aviator’s goggles if you tune in faithfully to Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Fashionable Phyrne never disappoints, and if you find her adornments alluring just wait until she hits you with her insights, instincts, and dazzling detective’s wit.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries airs Saturday evenings at 9 PM on TPT 2.