The latest period piece to hit the marathon-watching circuit is Netflix’s Bridgerton. The show’s fantastical, romantic setting comes to life both through the writing — care of creator Chris Van Dusen and producer Shonda Rhimes — and the fashion. The genius behind the Bridgerton costumes, designer Ellen Mirojnick, made the wardrobe a character unto itself, using color, materials, and silhouettes to define each character’s very specific persona.
For some, the writers gave Mirojnick specific instructions regarding color palette and messaging, as in the case of the Featherington sisters’ bright dresses. “When Chris [Van Dusen] wrote about the Featheringtons in the script, he described them wearing acid colors — acid green, acid yellow, acid orange,” she says.
For others, Mirojnick had creative freedom to bring the characters’ wardrobes to life, like when designing for Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke of Hastings. When crafting their wardrobes, Mirojnick used color and texture to communicate desire, excitement, and allure. “The combination of fabrics [on the Duke] are touchable and sensual, thus, the Duke’s elegance and sex appeal make for a most desirable get,” she says.
Ahead, Mirojnick walks Bustle through her favorite Bridgerton costumes, their significance, and the sometimes hidden meanings behind them.
For this Bridgerton scene, Mirojnick wanted to play up Daphne’s romance and excitement, contrasted by the Duke’s calm and collected disposition. “I love the fluidity of Daphne’s dress and how it moved when she danced and that depending on the light, the ‘blue on blue’ embroidery changed hues,” she says.
“For the Duke, it was the first time he wore a white high-rolled collar shirt with the black velvet coat and a gilded black brocade waistcoat with, of course, his signature brooch at the top of his lapel. The combination of fabrics are touchable and sensual — thus, the Duke’s elegance and sex appeal make for a most desirable get.”
Daphne gravitates toward light and airy pieces, as Mirojnick says “the inspiration for [this look] plays on transparency — notice the sheer gloves and the sheer lightness of her dress.”
Mirojnick highlights Queen Charlotte’s timeless style, noting that her signature silhouette hasn’t changed since she was crowned in the late 18th century. That classic approach to fashion is fitting for someone of Queen Charlotte’s stature. “Her look is definitely one of the grand Queen, who radiates her regal and commanding presence,” she says.
Mirojnick also had fun with the Queen’s gowns and hairpieces. “I love that her wig repeats the same shape of the trim running down her gown,” she says. “They both have an undulating design.
Mirojnick turned to Irish artist Genieve Figgis’ vibrant color palette for inspiration when creating the Featherington sisters’ looks. “The colors are so exhilarating,” she says. “When Chris wrote about the Featheringtons in the script, he described them wearing acid colors — acid green, acid yellow, acid orange. The writing itself gave us clear instruction of what was necessary to design.”
The bold, in-your-face hues fit with their personalities. “I love them, I love their audaciousness,” says Mirojnick.
The inspiration for this look was, as Mirojnick describes, “an aristocratic family portrait”: “I love the way Lady Danbury and Simon have a familiar closeness. There is an accessibility that didn’t exist before.”
The hues and materials are coordinated to represent that. “The colors of Simon’s waistcoat and Lady Danbury’s gown creates a feeling of accessibility and closeness,” she adds.
Mirojnick says these two looks, in a somewhat coordinated contrast to one another, represent the “contradiction between the two families.”
“For Penelope, I love the mix of colors of the embroidered flowers over her yellow dress. The addition of floral accessories and feathered hair accessory perfectly defines Penelope,” she says. “In contrast, the Eloise look is refined, soft in color but tailored and set off with a double breasted Spenser jacket. Her look has the right amount of feminine balance with masculine suiting — perfect for Eloise.”
9 ‘Bridgerton’ Costumes With Hidden Meanings, According To Its Designer The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Bustle.