Does anything ever go wrong on set?
Most of the time you’ve got at least five upper class women on the set as characters. There is a lot that could go wrong. If Lady Mary is in a deep red, I have to be careful not to put beige next to that. I want the colors to compliment. The most scary thing that I can remember is that I designed a harem dress — with Turkish trousers — for Lady Sybil. That was considered very shocking at the time because no women wore trousers then. I used a panel of embroidery for the bodice that was very old and very beautiful. She came down for the first scene and after the third take the whole panel started to split at the back. Fortunately we did have another piece of it, but watching a dress part from itself in front of your eyes on camera is pretty scary. People’s heels are always going through the back of their evening dresses. You hear a rending sound and think “Oh no.”