For fans of historical drama, 2020 launch of Netflix’s sexy new show Bridgeton was a dream come true and a real feast for the eyes. Based on the historical romance novels by Julia Quinn, Bridgeton introduces viewers to a candy-colored interpretation of 19th-century London that makes other historical pieces look drab by comparison.
The first season features a truly amazing array of costumes – both sophisticated and extravagant – that helped bring the Regency-era television drama to life. Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick is the genius behind it Bridgerton’s extensive wardrobe as well as many other films including The greatest showman (2017) and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019).
In an interview with Vogue, Mirojnick revealed more about the costume-making process and the inspiration behind the show’s fabulous fashions.
It took five months to create nearly 7,500 individual costume pieces
Bridgerton’s The story focuses on London’s elite families and as such calls for a lavish choice of clothing. Mirojnick describes each character as:
“Dripped in jewels, feathers and ornaments, determined to outshine each other. There are silk dresses in ice cream pastels, bright florals, ruffles, beaded puff sleeves and wigs that could rival Marie Antoinette.”
This type of wardrobe doesn’t just happen overnight. season one of Bridgeton employed a costume team of 238 people who worked tirelessly to create an estimated 7,500 pieces over the course of five months.
Mirojnick elaborates on the process and explains:
“…this includes, among others, the pattern cutters, the extraordinary Mr. Pearl who was our corset maker, a tailor shop, a embellishment department, embroiderers and my co-captain John Glaser.”
Over 5,000 costumes were eventually prepared before filming even began. Phoebe Dynevor alone, who plays star of the season Daphne Bridgerton, was designed for 104 costumes on camera. “That’s a big number,” the designer admits, “even for a major player.”
It’s hard to say whether a true debutante in the early 19th century would have required so many dresses in a single season, but it certainly illustrates the richness and grandeur of the period.
‘Bridgerton’ prefers ‘sexy’ to ‘historically accurate’ costuming
When Bridgeton Launched for the first time, it was immediately clear that this would not be your typical Austen-esque adaptation. The designers wanted to focus on changing the aesthetic of the historical drama to make it feel more modern and scandalous.
“This show is sexy, fun, and much more accessible than your average low-key period drama,” says Mirojnick. “We paid a lot of attention to the round necklines and how they fit the chest… When you go in close-up you see so much skin. It exudes beauty.”
Bridgerton’s Costumes are not 100% historically accurate, but rather sophisticated. Color palettes and fabrications had to be adjusted, and many inspirations were drawn from the 1950s and 1960s – notably Christian Dior’s designs. By using organza or tulle, customers experimented with creating layered dresses that offered more movement and flow.
Color palettes helped play an important role in the storytelling of Bridgerton
It’s no secret that costume directors use color to emphasize certain elements of their narratives, and Bridgeton masterfully selects color palettes that differentiate different characters and their families. The prominent old-money Bridgertons are generally dressed in powdery shades of light blue, silver and green that “feel like a touch of color.”
Gradually, Daphne’s wardrobe shifts into bolder pinks and blues and deeper silvers as she matures into her married life and role as Duchess.
In contrast, the neighboring Featheringtons, which come from new money, are much more powerful and colorfully decorated. It’s a selection specially designed to illustrate their outrageous qualities and questionable fates. Everything they wear is overly embellished, garishly lemony and downright garish.
These types of visual cues will also be used in the second season of Bridgeton when the Sharma sisters are introduced. Spiky older sister Kate, played by Simone Ashley, and Miss Edwina, the diamond of the season, played by Charithra Chandran, are sophisticatedly clad in stunning jewel tones that hint at their Indian heritage.
It seems that the 5,000 costumes created for the first season were just the beginning. With Bridgeton already approved for seasons three and four, we can be sure that his Emmy-nominated stylists and hard-working costume team will impress us with even more gorgeous outfits and stunning designs.
RELATED: ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3: How the Books Continue Kate and Anthony’s Story
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/bridgerton-season-one-over-5000-costumes.html/ Season 1 had over 5,000 costumes