How Michelle Dockery Ditched ‘Downton Abbey’ for Sexy Pinstripes

(Photo: Getty Images)
Michelle Dockery (Photo: Getty Images)

Lady Mary Crawley has been hemming it up of late.

Michelle Dockery, who earned three consecutive Emmy nominations for her role as the cool, opaque, but ultimately vulnerable and loving estate mistress on the PBS series Downton Abbey, has been shedding those corsets and drop-waist dresses in favor of edgy eveningwear. She’s been promoting her film, The Sense of an Ending, and dazzling while doing so.

Dockery, for starters, gives credit where credit is due. “I work with an extremely talented stylist,” she tells Yahoo Style, referring to Micaela Erlanger, who also styles Meryl Streep. “We’ve been working together now for about four or five years. I was one of her first clients.”

When a star and a stylist meet, it has to be kismet.

“We had this instant connection as people. We had a very similar take on fashion. She knows what works for the person. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable,” says Dockery.

That being said, Erlanger also pushed Dockery out of her comfort zone. If you look at Dockery’s Instagram account, she’s mostly casual in jeans in her regular life.

“She’s pushed the boat out a little bit. Before, I’d say things like ‘I never wear yellow.’ She has gently encouraged me to play dress-up. That’s what it is. It’s really fun. I’ve learned to make it fun and enjoy trying out different looks,” she says. “I have much more of an interest in fashion now than I did before. I was a fashion novice before. When it came to fashion, I was a bit intimidated. It’s a lot of fun, just trying out different looks. I love discovering new designers.”

(Photo: Getty Images)
Photos: Getty Images

One of her standouts was the Monse pinstriped number she wore to the 2016 premiere of her show Good Behavior, followed by yet another Monse piece, this time to the 2017 Women in Film cocktail party.

“I feel about fashion that anything goes. We’re at this point where anything goes,” Dockery tells Yahoo Style.

And don’t even get her started on the striped Elie Saab frock she wore to the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Michelle Dockery attends The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Getty Images)
Dockery attends the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. (Photo: Getty Images)

“That on the hanger, I remember thinking it was really colorful and there was a lot going on. And I put it on, and that fitting was so fast. I tried on two dresses. It didn’t feel like a risk. It just felt bold,” says Dockery. “I don’t take massive risks, because I don’t feel the need to. I always want to feel comfortable. That’s the most important thing.”

That’s because Dockery wants to dance and have a few beers, something you can’t do if you’re fixated on weird hemlines and pinching shoes. Plus, she’s always had a thing for clothing; Dockery’s mother used to make her clothes when she was a child.

“She’s an amazing dressmaker. She used to make our costumes. We used to do these choreography competitions. I’ve had an interest in my costumes from my dancing years,” she says. “On Downton Abbey, I loved working with our designers. I took such an interest in it. That’s when it really started.”

(Photo: Michelle Dockery/Instagram)
Photo: Michelle Dockery via Instagram

And it’s come full circle, with Dockery now having designed her own bag. “Recently I collaborated with Aspinal of London. That was incredible. That was a real door into design for me,” she says.

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