Centered around the trials and tribulations of sisters Evie and Beatrice Eliott as they establish their London Fashion house in the 1920s, this rather earnest period drama probably kick-started my deep and enduring love for the genre with it's fabulous clothes and strong female characters.
Re-watching it today I am struck by the fact even though the production values aren't as spectacular as its modern counterparts (ahem, Downton Abbey) and there is a rather dangerous propensity for overacting (especially as it draws towards the final season...), the romantic notions of success, love and aspiration are still just as relevant today.
As a youngster, I had always oscillated between wanting to be Evie and wanting to be Bea. I could understand why everyone gravitated towards Evie; she is so beautiful with her dark bob hair and sparkly blue eyes. And being the younger of the two sisters she always has the most spectacular and daring outfits.
Beatrice in comparison always seems a little down in the mouth; life seems to have disappointed her one too many times - but she has that gorgeous finger-wave blonde hair and she manages to snare herself the most eligible of all available bachelors - photographer Jack Maddox...
Ah yes, Jack Maddox - society photographer, turned film maker, turned political activist...and all the time with the perfect hair and brilliantly knobbled nose!
She is a curiously solitary character, who gets wonderfully distracted by small details and seems at peace with herself. All fabulously formative for myself as a young girl I imagine.
The series was cancelled before a fourth season began filming - to the evident surprise of the producers and writers who leave season 3 on quite a cliffhanger. Yet given the lapses into hysteria and melodrama that characterise season 3, I would say this is probably for the best!
And so it remains that my favourite thing about the series overall - beyond the gloriousness of the fashion in every single frame, obviously - is that whenever something even slightly good happens, out springs Jack with a chilled bottle of champagne and a selection of crystal flutes!
And I think we can all take something away from that!
all images are stills from Series 1 through 3 of The House of Eliott.
More stills can be found at houseofeliott.tumblr.com