The Netflix TV adaptation of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novels has proven the feelgood hit of 2021 so far!
Regency romantic escapism – at perhaps the moment when the world most needed it! – the series brought a young and vibrant feel to the adaptation. Its colourblind casting and clever incorporation of contemporary pop music in the soundtrack made the stories feel fresh and relevant to younger audiences.
Charlotte Lovell, who works for a costume studio in East Sussex, UK, was part of the costume manufacturing team for the series. Here, she reveals how 21st century influences were also brought into the costumes, to dazzling effect…
“Bridgerton is such a fun project to work on, costume-wise. It is full of the best parts of period and modern costume combined. I love how the costumes have been designed with Regency influence but also have a twist.
The silhouettes of the Empire-line dresses are historical, for example, but the fabrics and colours used are not in many cases. I love how the typical rules have been broken, so that the finished effect is bolder, brighter and far more interesting than it might otherwise have been. This is mirrored throughout the series with the music and styling also.
The costumes really help to bring out elements of the characters. For example the Featherstone family wear loud, brash and bright colours, whilst the Bridgerton family colours are far more sophisticated and delicate.
The ballgowns are often made from multiple layers of stunning fabrics, giving each one a unique look, that moves and changes colour as the characters dance. Many are embellished with Swarovski crystals which were added individually to catch the light whilst moving too.
The ballgowns are all very low cut and high waisted as was the fashion of the time, with puffed or tulip sleeves. Many are encrusted with beads or sequins and others beautiful embroidered laces.”
Here at Arcangel, Regency costume shoots are one of our most frequently-requested historical subjects. We’ll be fascinated to see whether the success of Bridgerton sparks a trend for Regency costumes with a 21st-century twist, or demand for more diversity in casting models.
In the meantime, here’s a showcase of our Regency costume photography that has a Bridgerton feel – we hope you enjoy the selection!