WHEN the third series of the global TV smash ‘Downton Abbey’ hits the screens in the autumn, the viewing world will be treated to the costume designs of Portadown’s Emmy Award winner Caroline McCall.
Caroline, who won the ‘Oscar’ of the TV international scene in September last year as assistant designer on the first series, is working flat out as the chief designer, fitting out stellar stars like Dame Maggie Smith - this time in the fashions of the 1920s.
She worked with acclaimed designer Susannah Buxton in the first series of ‘Downton’ which follows the life and times of the Crawley family and began in 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic until the pre-First World War era.
She turned down the chance of series two, which ran through the war and beyond, choosing instead to work on the crowd scenes of the blockbuster film ‘Clash of the Titan 2’ starring Ballymena’s finest, Liam Neeson.
Meanwhile, the chief ‘Downton’ designer Susannah Buxton moved on to other projects, and the producers have placed their faith in the young Portadown woman who is making giant leaps in the dream profession of her teenager years that has turned to reality.
Said her mother Mrs Rosemary McCall, “It’s a wonderful opportunity and we just can’t believe that Caroline is doing so well in her profession. She has been working flat-out for months on the project, and we rarely have time to communicate right now. But I’m going over to London soon to spend some time with her and I’m really looking forward to that.”
Of course, that wonderful Emmy win last year gave Caroline’s career a real push. After she and Susannah lifted the awards in Hollywood, Caroline said,“I just couldn’t believe we were there, let alone going up to lift the Emmys.”
Other shows where Caroline acted as costume designer include TV’s Doctor Who and the delightful Little Dorrit. And her promotion to chief designer of ‘Downton’ is another feather in her considerable cap.
Caroline paid tribute to her art teachers at Portadown College, Mrs Stella McCann and Mrs Rita McKeivor, who gave her such a firm grounding before she progressed to art college in Belfast, and from there to Wimbledon School of Art, followed by training at the BBC.
She has been immersed in the designs for the show since the turn of the year, and everything has to be ready for mid-August - and she is well on schedule.