Clear your evenings, y’all: Victoria’s back. Season two of one of PBS’s most popular shows since Downton Abbey premiered in the U.S. last night with all of the fanfare, gowns, and expansive palatial scenery we came to love in season one.
In the new 8-episode series, Jenna Coleman is back as Queen Victoria, alongside Tom Hughes as her husband Prince Albert, Rufus Sewell as Lord Melbourne, and more of England’s finest. Similar to Downton, Victoria has garnered significant acclaim, from its mesmerizing, Emmy-nominated main title theme to Coleman's win for outstanding actress from the Monte-Carlo TV Festival.
As splendid as the cast’s performance are the dazzling costumes in which they frolic. If Victoria is any indication, the fashion of the 1840s—at least amongst royalty—was as rapturous as any trendsetter may dare to dream.
Within 15 minutes of the new season, the queen steps out in regiment-chic, saluting her troops in a deep blue ensemble with notched lapels and gold buttons. The look recalled episode one of the first season, in which the young queen sits before her soldiers in a striking blue coat and baker boy hat. Lucky for us, similar pieces are around today—look to Tootsies’ collection on Farfetch for this Miu Miu badge patch buttoned coat and Manokhi velvet baker boy hat. Worn as separates or an imitative outfit, you’ll look every inch a queen.
Across both seasons, Victoria’s closet brings us some truly stunning compositions. Trends across the enchanting ensembles include off-the-shoulder necklines, A-line cuts, embroidery, and a proliferation of lace. Even with the nearly two-century gap, those wishing to recreate the magic of her majesty’s wardrobe needn’t look far.
This floral embroidered shift dress by Needle & Thread recalls the queen’s shoulder-focused silhouettes with a wave of statement lace; the cinched waist is another plus, though we can thankfully disregard any need for a corset. For stunning embroidery, look no further than this Badgley Mischka Fit and Flare cocktail dress—long sleeves and an A-line waist complete the modern Victorian look.
Don’t forget the hair: Portraits of the queen show her sporting a smart middle part, with two sashes of hair looped from the crown of her head into a striking gathered updo at the back. It’s a dated look that hasn’t swung back into fashion, but the stunning Coleman royally pulls it off. We plebeians should maybe just settle for a middle part.
Speaking of the actress behind the monarch, Coleman has been saluted as a style icon thanks to her years of red carpet wins. She’s divulged her regard for Vestiare Collective, an online purveyor of pre-owned luxury fashion, as well as Erdem, a London-based brand known for its romantic gowns.
Watch the first season on Amazon Prime, or stream it at PBS. Catch the second season Sunday nights on PBS. Whether you’re in it for the fashion, history, or romance, the highly-rated breakout drama is a win from all corners. Prepare to swoon.