Downton Abbey's Lady Cora Crawley, Elizabeth McGovern, was quite radiant at PBS' portion of the Television Critics Association summer press tour over the weekend, as the cast was introduced onstage at the Beverly Hilton by Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton.
McGovern was decked out in a long-sleeved navy blue dress with a small trim waist and a full A-line skirt that was lined in a stiff fabric that made it stand out like a skating skirt.
"It's by Henrietta Ludgate," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "She's Scottish, young and uses all recycled fabrics."
Of course, we looked her up, and she's got some very interesting designs, and at reasonable prices -- all priced in British pounds, of course. But you can still buy them off her British website.
McGovern couldn't be more contemporary in person -- with a choppy layered soft haircut, red lips and her chic navy dress -- as opposed to her corseted Edwardian Lady Cora on Masterpiece's most popular series, Downton Abbey, which debuted some scenes from season three. But McGovern, a movie star who acted in Once Upon a Time in the West and Ordinary People when she was just starting out, also has another very contemporary career: She's got a band in London called Sadie and the Hot Heads.
The band formed in 2008; it's McGovern singing, writing songs and playing some guitar, along with four British established rock/country/folk musicians. They essentially toured pubs for a while, but this summer, they've headlined British music festivals with Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam.
Does McGovern think these big bookings have anything to do with her semi-sudden Downton international fame?
"In two words: Hell, yes!" she laughed. London papers have given her nice praise for her voice and songwriting, and while she may not become Rihanna anytime soon -- nor wish to -- it's interesting to know McGovern's got a lot going on creatively.
Also on hand was Downton star Joanne Froggatt, who plays Lady's maid Anna Smith Bates. She's quite buttoned-up on the show but was wearing a black lace '20s-style dress by Alice Temperley and looking divine in it.
"I don't know what to wear to the Emmys!" the newly minted nominee for best supporting actress told THR. "I don't usually get to play glam parts. I suppose I should wear a British designer!"
We think Alice Temperley would do a smashing job.