Bridgerton, a Netflix original set in the regency era in England, is the latest popular TV show that everyone seems to be watching. Some may be drawn to the interesting storyline, others to the rather attractive cast, but I have been most interested in the fashion aspect of the show. The extravagance of the pieces both the men and women wore is the perfect refresher for what is almost a year of quarantine and sweat suits. I think it is safe to say that we have all been craving that glamour and drama, and Bridgerton is the show that has satisfied that desire.
The show is set in 1813 at the start of “the season” in which young debutantes join the adult world and seek marriage arrangements. My knowledge of the Regency period is limited so I am not too informed on the accuracy of the clothing, but Luke from the YouTube channel HauteleMode researched the era and reviewed the show, acknowledging the accuracies of the wardrobe and highlighting the mistakes (intentional or not). The costume designer, Ellen Mirojnick, created over 7,000 looks for the show, composed of extravagant wigs, pastel gowns, and beaded headbands. Such products featured in the show have seen a rise in searches and sales since its release, according to Vogue. Pearl and feathered headbands, empire-waist dresses, and, unsurprisingly, corsets have surged in searches.
We may not be able to relate to Daphne and the other characters in terms of our daily lives, but we can in metaphorical terms. I mean, we are not attending glamorous balls with Britain’s elite each night, courting with princes and Dukes, and mingling with the Queen. But, we can live vicariously through her and take inspiration from her coming out wardrobe and replicate it with our own twists and own circumstances. For me personally, my coming out moment isn’t joining the British social scene as a married woman. Rather, mine can be graduating high school, turning 18, and moving across the country for college. Here are some of my favorite looks from the show:
All of Daphne’s dresses were very subtly elegant, and countered the over-the-top campy looks of the Featherington family which is very fitting for her character. I love the raised hemline of empire-waist dresses and appreciate the intricacy of the detail on the dress. Brands like Loewe, Rodarte, and Dior under John Galliano have all experimented with this silhouette, as well as others from the show, and I have a newfound appreciation for more unique, timely dresses. In their analysis of Bridgerton fashion, Vogue shared pieces from designers recent collections that resemble the Bridgerton looks and I have a new, heightened interest in Lanvin and Erdem, especially the fall 2020 collections.
I love the simple hues and styles the women wore, and how they were dressed up with intricate embroidery and jeweled designs, and extravagant accessories. Each characters’ style perfectly matched their personalities which allows for an amazing, in depth analysis on how fashion is much more than just clothes that we put on. Lady Danbury’s bold pieces with interesting cuts and high necklines emitted an aura of power and wisdom which very accurately aligns with who she is. Marina tended to wear more simple, toned down pieces as the more extravagant, attention-getting ones went to the Featherington sisters. I doubt Mrs. Featherington wanted to give Marina the opportunity to take any more attention away from her daughters than she already had. I especially love the silk gloves that all the women wore throughout the show and hope to see them have a stronger presence in shows and on red carpets in upcoming seasons; they add a certain sense of fragility, femininity, and elegance.
Simon, the Duke of Hastings, was one of my favorite characters in the show and I loved his wardrobe. The tight pants, riding boots, and overcoats paired with billowy blouses was beyond flattering and refreshing given the lack of fashionable choices we seen from men now a days. I wish more men dressed with the hint of femininity that existed in the regency era, as it allows for much more interesting, enjoyable outfits.
The Featherington family’s fashion choices and personalities added the best level of humor and drama to the show. I enjoyed their dramatic, floral, bright pastel pieces and think they were very fitting for their family’s image. Marina always had a toned down dress but I loved how she paired the green scarf with the baby pink floral dress, as I am obsessed with pairing colors that do not obviously go well together.
Alas, the queen. This was a very powerful, strong role and love the fact that the queen was black and that Shonda Rhimes produced it (I am an OG Greys Anatomy fan). I love the powerful and extravagant silhouettes that she wore that really portrays the signifiance of her position.
The trends we will see in the coming months will definitely trickle down from the fashion statements we saw in Bridgerton. Beaded headbands, crystal embroidery, empire-waist dresses, and bright pastels are just a few of the trends I expect to see that may present themselves in different forms. I wouldn’t count on seeing an exact lookalike of the dresses in the show, but rather a shorter version with a modernized twist that is identifiable by the high hem below the breasts. Regardless of what exactly we see, where we see it, and who wears it, there is no denying that Bridgerton fashion is much more than an ode to the past.