Updated: 02/07/2014 16:45
Downton Abbey season five: what we know

Downton Abbey: ladies get glammed-up

Cast of Downton Abbey (© Harper’s Bazaar/Alexi Lubomirski)
  • Cast of Downton Abbey (© Harper’s Bazaar/Alexi Lubomirski)
  • Cast of Downton Abbey (© Harper’s Bazaar/Alexi Lubomirski)
  • Michelle Dockery (© Harper’s Bazaar/Alexi Lubomirski)
  • Michelle Dockery (© Splash)
  • Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and Allen Leech (© Splash)
  • Rob James-Collier and Allen Leech (© Splash)
  • Michelle Dockery (© Splash)
  • Rob James-Collier (© Splash)
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Downton Abbey ended its fourth series pleasantly, rather than dramatically. But anticipation is building for series five, which explains why the ladies of Downton assembled for an exclusive fashion shoot in the latest issue of Harper's Bazaar, on sale 4 July.

'The Downton Sisterhood', a 10-page portfolio shot at Viscount Gage's ancestral home in Sussex, celebrates the strength and talent of the Downton Abbey actresses in beautiful photographs by renowned fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski. 

When last we saw the popular ITV drama, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) was being courted by two suitors: the dashing Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen) and the rather reserved Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden).

In terms of telling them apart, it didn’t help that both men were similar in looks (not-very-tall and dark-haired), but perhaps Lady Mary’s moving as far away from her beloved blond Matthew Crawley (actor Dan Stevens) as possible.

In the accompanying interview, Harper’s Bazaar talks to the actresses and the show's creator Julian Fellowes about why women reign supreme in the acclaimed drama and the question of a sixth series. Michelle Dockery said: “Julian writes so well for women.  He’s got a very good way with families.  We’re all very lucky that we’re playing roles that are very complex, not just two-dimensional and predictable.”

Full interview in the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar – on sale 4 July, or visit: www.harpersbazaar.co.uk

Click on the photos for more about Downton Abbey

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