When it comes to costumes created for a specific time period, it’s all about the details. Those details can be difficult to see on TV, so the Taft Museum of Art is giving Downton Abbey fans the opportunity to get up close to some of their favorites costumes. This special exhibition, called “Dressing Downton,” will be at the museum starting July 2 and until Sept. 25. We spoke with Tamera Lenz Muente, assistant curator at the Taft and installing curator of “Dressing Downton,” about the upcoming exhibition.

Q: How did the “Dressing Downton” exhibition find its way to the Taft?

A: We are constantly looking for exhibitions that are a good fit for the Taft. Over three years ago, the show had just started to travel and it had come to the attention of our director and our chief curator and some other people here. They thought it would be a great fit for us. It’s a great fit for us because of the period—a similar time period to when the people lived here in our historic house.

Q: What should visitors expect to see?

A: They’re going to see 36 costumes from the television series. The costumes kind of trace the history of fashion from about 1912 to into the 1920s—they cover the first four seasons of the television show. They’ll see costumes from the Crawley family, so the aristocratic costumes, and then also the costumes from the downstairs staff.

Out of the 36 costumes, many will be in our special exhibition gallery, but we will also have 10 costumes installed inside our historic house. We selected costumes that fit in these rooms very beautifully, so people will really enjoy that.

Q: How do the costumes accurately reflect the time period and the personality of the characters?

A: My favorite example is a purple day dress worn by Violet Crawley, played by Maggie Smith. It is a suit that she wears on several occasions in the show and it really established her character. It’s an Edwardian dress, so it’s corseted. It’s very structured. It’s purple. It reflects the late Edwardian period where dresses were still corseted and structured. So in that way, it sort of shows Violet’s more traditional character. She’s of the older generation and she hangs onto tradition. That style continues with her character through the show.

Q: The period between 1912 and the 1920s was a time of great change. How is that suggested in the costumes?

A: They’re going to see from 1912, the Edwardian large hats and structured corseted gowns, and then as you move into the war period, so 1914-18, they will see women’s dress became more practical, so more tailored suits with less fabric because there was a fabric shortage during the war. Skirts get a little bit shorter, they’re less voluminous. Women start to go into the workplace because men have left to go to the battlefield. You start to see even pants.

And then when you get into the 1920s, the jazz age, people will see skirts get even shorter, below the knee. You start to see that flapper kind of style, so straight waistlines, the corset is completely gone, much looser, more flowy garments.

Q: Do you have a favorite piece?

A: There is one particular dress that I think it really gorgeous. It’s a gown worn by Michelle Dockery, the actor that plays Lady Mary. It’s a dusty pink evening gown from the early ‘20s. It has this beautiful, very delicate beaded overlay. Kind of this net with this beautiful geometric pattern that shows the beginnings of the Art Deco period, which has a lot of geometric kinds of designs. And it has this gorgeous back, so we’ll have it so that visitors can kind of see all the way around it to see the beautiful back.