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Deviating from existing Regency-era empire dresses, Bridgerton unveils modern intricacy and a vibrant color palette in its costumes.

Your next Netflix visual feast comes in the form of this latest lush period piece, Bridgerton. With its irresistible drama of London’s high society, debutantes dressed in eye-catching ensembles, queer romances, and modern-day sensibilities, this series doesn’t fall short of sophisticated extravagance. While there have been Regency romance tales throughout the years, Bridgerton stands out with its glorious costumes—all envisioned by 71-year-old Ellen Mirojnick, an Emmy-winning costume designer. Every piece worn by the actors and actresses demands a closer look, unveiling the intricacies and the stellar, modern take on period costumes.

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The elaborate and lavish

Opting to make everything from scratch, Ellen Mirojnick gathered over 238 people to create the dresses, jewelry, hats, gloves, and accessories. This means every style ensemble on the series—whether worn by the lead characters or not—is handmade. The result is 7500 costume pieces, an astonishing sight for the actors and actresses.

It is the 1813 Regency England and so every costume must reflect the ‘peacock world’ or the dandiness of the period. Mirojnick doesn’t want to be simply historically accurate. Rather, she wants the designs to be aspirational. Thus, she took inspiration from the vibrant hues of the 1950s and 1960s fashion. This is reflected in the Featherington family where the daughters don dresses in citrus hues and bold patterns to catch attention. This contrasts with the sophistication of the Bridgerton family. They use a powdery palette in blue, silver, and green, to a duskier spectrum in richer pinks and blues—the latter reflecting the growth of Daphne, the eldest daughter.

For men, simple suitcoats are not enough—the artisans must elevate it. From stitching new patterns to adding ruffles or embellishments at the neck, the costume must be as impressive as possible.

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Actress Phoebe Dynevor with Ellen Mirojnick (far left).
The moodboard for the costumes. (Photo from Julia Quinn)

A touch of contemporary

From a piece of fabric, the artisans cut it into the standard silhouette of an empire waist, draping from the bustline. To add fluidity, they stitch layers on the fabric such as organdy, tulle, or organza. Once they shape the fabric, they are free to embellish it. However, since Bridgerton is not a typical period drama, Mirojnick wants to integrate modern sensibilities. They place emphasis on scooped necklines and the fit on the body. This is opposed to the original empire waist silhouette which comes in a straight form, hiding the curves of the body.

With the attention Mirojnick and her team of artisans poured into designing and stitching the Bridgerton costumes, it is no wonder this series is a refreshing take on a period piece. The costumes perfectly reflect and add to the intriguing drama, the irresistible romances, the opulence, and everything involving the prominent families of the period.

Photos from Netflix

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