It's ever so charming when boutiques across the country set up "Downton Abbey" displays in honor of the popular PBS show's seasonal return.
The stores are encouraging customers to think in terms of big hats, chiffon-lined frocks, drop-waist dresses, and the other fashion touches that make the series so sartorially celebrated. But we in LA don't need much boutique-style prodding: Many SoCalers already have '20s-era gowns at the ready when "Downton Abbey" returns, because that's coincidentally the same week we remember film star Marion Davies.
The actress, who famously kept company with one William Randolph Hearst, once made her cozy nest in a sprawling manor on the beach in Santa Monica. The Annenberg Community Beach House stands where Ms. Davies's estate once reigned, of course, and the popular pool spot pauses each January to remember the Starlet of the Sands.
How? Why with a birthday party, of course, in full '20s regalia. Fans, and fans of the house and era, will remember Ms. Davies on Sunday, Jan. 11 at the site of her long-ago home.
Guests are encouraged to think in terms of vintage costuming, though the challenge of dressing for a beach house, and yet still being classic and demure, is part of the fashion-forward fun. The Julia Morgan-designed Guest House is the setting, and the sounds? The period-plucky Janet Klein joins John Reynolds for tunes both "naughty and nice."
The 1928 movie "Show People" is set to screen, and other baubles and factoids of the starry, sepia-toned era of filmdom and high-style hobnobbery will fill out the ocean-close day.
Want to go? You'll need to RSVP, much like people RSVP'd decades back, with regularity.
Want to be "Downton"-y, now that the series has started back up? You're free to velvet-up here as much as you like.
Want to know where you've heard Julia Morgan's name before? Why she designed Hearst Castle, of course.