Tuning in to TV: ‘Downton Abbey’ inspiring search for vintage clothes

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The hit U.K. costume drama “Downtown Abbey” is making a fashion statement by sparking online searches for vintage clothes.

Data gathered by Alibaba.com, the China-based online marketplace for businesses, shows there has been a dramatic rise in global searches for vintage garb, which the site attributes to the series, last year’s royal wedding and Queen Elizabeth’s recent Jubilee.

The show centers on an aristocratic British family during World War I and airs in more than 100 countries around the world. The program showcases British fashion that was popular a hundred years ago, leading to “huge interest in the show’s wardrobe and boosting the vintage clothing industry,” Alibaba said.

Molly Morgan, the site’s senior manager of international corporate affairs, said: “Period drama clothing and accessories are in fashion. … We’re even seeing trends of ‘Downton Abbey’ parties popping up around the world, creating consumer interest and extra sales for small businesses in the vintage clothing industry.”

The site recorded a year-over-year increase of 273 percent for April in searches for vintage frocks, a 136 percent rise in elbow-length glove searches and a 190 percent uptick in searches for sequined headbands.

Country star Eric Church will host an online contest in conjunction with the premiere of "Mixtape" on CMT. (Invision via Associated Press)

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According to Alibaba.com, it isn’t just about the ladies, though.

The site also reported a rise in global online searches for men’s accessories and clothing, noting a 617 percent increase in searches for top hats and a 427 percent rise in those looking for cravats.

Baldwin: Volatile personality leads to unreasonable behavior

If you see Alec Baldwin, better watch your step.

He has a volatile personality, the 54-year-old “30 Rock” actor admits in a Vanity Fair cover story. It leads him to behave “unreasonably” and “childishly,” he says, acknowledging that he often “gave the Heisman,” as he put it, to certain people in Hollywood.

That’s not all. There was his recent scuffle with a New York newspaper photographer.

And, he divulged gruesome fantasies in the Vanity Fair story for how he might have offed both his wife’s lawyer (“with a baseball bat”) and Harvey Levin, the TMZ producer who in 2007 exposed the voice mail Mr. Baldwin had left berating his young daughter.

Mr. Baldwin said of Mr. Levin: “I wanted to stick a knife in him and gut him and kill him, and I wanted him to die breathing his last breath looking into my eyes.”

But Mr. Baldwin, who on Saturday married yoga instructor Hilaria Thomas, voiced hope in the article that he will get his anger under control.

He declared: “You have to let that go. Enough time — I mean, it does heal wounds.”

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