House of Eliott


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Inger Sheil

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Sipping my Singapore Sling last night and watching The House of Eliott, I caught a passing reference to Titanic in the final episode of the first season.

This excellent series (by the same team as Upstairs, Downstairs) has a storyline about two sisters setting up a business as couturiers in 1920s London. Inevitably there had already been a few passing references to Lucile, Poiret, Lanvin, Chanel et al. In this episode, however, a fashion journalist is discussing designers he has known with one of the lead characters. He gives a precis of Lucile's career, outlining her importance in developing runways as a means of displaying her collections (ties into the episode centering on the House of Eliott showing their first collection). He then mentions that she was on the Titanic.

Usually there's a lot of very nice attention to period detail in this series, but there is an unfortunate gaff later in the same episode. A character departs by train, soon to set sail for America, and on the luggage shown is a Cunard White Star line baggage sticker. A bit premature!
 
Good catch! Yes, this was a superb series which had a popular run in America 1991-1994. I knew when I heard that Upstairs-Downstairs' Jean Marsh (Rose the maid)was behind it, that it would be fabulous. I wish PBS would rerun it here again, although I think it is available in a boxed set through Amazon .
 
I remember this, even though I was only small at the time! I simply LOVED the series and I'm now seriously thinking about investing in the DVD box-set. Stella Gonet and Louise Lombard were wonderful, so chic and 'period'. The very bobby Charlestonesque theme tune kick-started my love-affair with Twenties and Thirties dance-music. And, as I recall, when Bea and Evie visited the States, they sailed on the 'Mauretania'.

French and Saunders also did a hilarious spoof in one of their shows - 'The House of Idiot' or something similar...
 

Inger Sheil

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Yes, it is a fantastic series, Shelley and Martin - and the boxed editions are well worth getting. I only caught bits and bobs of it when it first aired in Oz, but couldn't resist it now that the DVDs have been released. It's my preferred era, and I collected vintage 20s clothing.

Martin, I couldn't help but Charleston partway down the hall from the kitchen as the strains of the theme music were playing the other night!
 
Do you know The Pasadena Roof Orchestra? I heard their 'greatest hits' at a party and now I'm hooked. Wonderful, modern recordings of Jazz Age dance classics. With their help, I've recently perfected my 'Everything Stops For Tea' quick-step and am shortly to embark on the more challenging fox-trot. Wish me luck...
 
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