The single most appealing aspect of Bridgerton is the grandeur the show boasts. The show has been making headlines ever since its release. It isn’t just the engaging plot or the 19th-century version of the pop band Maroon 5’s ‘Girls Like You’ that is responsible for the success of the show. The visual appeal of Bridgerton remains unmatched. With Regency era styling and set, not one scene of the show failed to leave viewers mesmerized.
Of course, this doesn’t come easily. It took hours upon hours to labor for the costume team to come up with these looks. With over 7500 pieces handmade from scratch, designer Ellen Mirojnick has outdone herself yet again. The entirety of the costumes alone took 5 months’ worth of labor to make. Then again, it isn’t only the costume team that had to work hard for the look. The actors suffered just as much. Here are all the changes Mirojnick made to the historical accuracy of the show and other aspects she left untouched.
What changed from actual 18th-century costumes to Bridgerton?
The Regency grandeur with a touch of modernity
Ellen Mirojnick wanted Bridgerton to stand out. The aim of the show was to give modern viewers a foreign experience while giving them wisps of something they can connect with. With all the ballroom dancing, viewers saw something they don’t usually do. Hence, creators added songs from modern pop icons like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande.
Mirojnick expected the same effect from costumes. While the costumes are grand and exquisite, they have the slightest touch of contemporary fashion. An example of this is the low neckline, something women of the 18th century were foreign to.
Another noteworthy aspect is the color palette. The colors of the show represent the emotional state of the families. We see the Bridgertons dressed in muted, pastel colors, showing class and their relatively peaceful household. The Featheringtons can be found dressed in awfully bright and ghastly colors to show Mrs. Featherington’s temperament and their “new money” life. Daphne, on the other hand, goes from wearing light, youthful shades to darker ones, showing the change we see the character go through.
Were the costumes in Bridgerton as uncomfortable as they looked?
Short answer: yes, the costumes we see the Bridgerton actors, and especially actresses, wear were just as uncomfortable as they looked, if not more.
The cast of the show was afraid to eat or do anything. They’d be covered in coats in order to protect the costumes which made it even more inconvenient. The dresses were compact in nature to create silhouettes that would visually appeal to fans of the Netflix Original. Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony Bridgerton, mentioned in an interview how the actors have no space for personal belongings so the cast ended up carrying their phones in their boots!
The exquisite-looking corsets weren’t tight enough to cut off the oxygen supply as they did to Prudence Featherington. Nonetheless, they were pretty tight on the ribs. We see Daphne getting dressed at the beginning with scabs and wounds on her back. She proceeds to ignore them and puts on her dress. We’re not sure if we’re to praise Phoebe Dynevor for this or to be horrified.
Actress Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, spoke of it at length. She said she wasn’t sure if there were “corsetry acting awards” but she would like one. All we can say is that she certainly deserves one.
Another ghastly aspect that isn’t paid much attention to is the heels. Part of the reason viewers don’t focus on this is that the heels aren’t so obviously visible as the corsets. The long and elaborate dresses do a pretty good job of hiding the heels. However, the discomfort the cast went through is worth the mention. Coughlan, who has a more petite stature as compared to her coworkers, had to suffer more than others. She mentioned how she fell thrice on the very first day of filming due to the heels she was put in. She even ended up injuring Claudia Jessie (Eloise) so bad, the wound drew blood.
With all of these fascinating and at times horrifying details in mind, we’re certainly going to have more appreciation for the cast and crew of Bridgerton. Nonetheless, season 2 of the show looks like it is going to be just as exquisite. Stream on March 25th!