“Belgravia” is a lavish historical drama set in the early days of Queen Victoria‘s reign that tells the story of an upwardly mobile family striving to find their place among the aristocracy. This six-part limited series on EPIX is based on the novel of the same name by Oscar winner Julian Fellowes, who is fresh from the success of the “Downton Abbey” film. The TV edition of that drama set against the backdrop of the English aristocracy was an Emmys favorite, picking up 15 awards over the years.
“Belgravia” could do equally well with TV academy voters who may be eager to embrace escapist fare like this in these trying times. With its lavish attention to detail, “Belgravia” is sure to contend in a slew of below-the-line races. The video above captures the craftsmanship of BAFTA-winning costume designer James Keast (“The Long Firm”) and BAFTA nominated hair and makeup designer Pamela Haddock (“The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby”).
As Keast explains, “We start in 1815 and as we go through the 20s and 30s, the waist line drops and the skirts get bigger.” As you will see, Alice Eve, who plays the scheming Susan Trenchard, reveals what is underneath the skirts – a corset and four heavy petticoats.
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The costumes and makeup certainly help bring life to Fellowes’ creations. For Harriet Walter, who plays the imperious Caroline, Countess of Brockenhurst, the hours spent getting ready for filming are essential to understanding her character. “It makes you realize that they spend a certain part of the day preparing before they presented themselves anywhere.”
The Oliver-winning actress pays Haddock the ultimate compliment, “I always get my character from the silhouette of the hair and the head.” As the designer explains, “no makeup was the makeup fashion, so for us it is all about making them look more natural.”
Emmy voters don’t have to wait for the final two episodes to air on May 10 and 17. They can visit the EPIX FYC site to watch all six episodes now. “Belgravia” was directed by two-time BAFTA nominee John Alexander (“Exile,” “Small Island”). With just one helmer for all the episodes, “Belgravia” has the feel of a film. That feeling is underscored by composer John Lunn, who won two Emmys for his work on “Downton Abbey.”