Juicy Color, Flowers, Adornments, and Sparkle Work Against Rich Regency Interiors Filled with Abundant Tabletop Decor
Inspired by Julia Quinn’s best-selling novels, and from Shondaland and Creator Chris Van Dusen, Bridgerton follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family as she makes her debut onto Regency London’s competitive marriage market. Hoping to follow in her parent’s footsteps and find a match sparked by true love, Daphne’s prospects initially seem to be unrivaled. But as her older brother begins to rule out her potential suitors, the high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown casts aspersions on Daphne. Enter the highly desirable and rebellious Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), committed bachelor and the catch of the season for the debutantes’ mamas. Despite proclaiming that they want nothing the other has to offer, their attraction is undeniable and sparks fly as they find themselves engaged in an increasing battle of wits while navigating society’s expectations for their future. Bridgerton is a romantic, scandalous, and quick-witted series that celebrates the timelessness of enduring friendships, families finding their way, and the search for a love that conquers all.
Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton), Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie), Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker), Siena Rosso (Sabrina Bartlett), Lady Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell), Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh), Portia Featherington (Polly Walker), Lord Featherington (Ben Miller), Prudence Featherington (Bessie Carter) and Philipa Featherington (Harriet Cains).
Aspirational, and at the same time, a world the audience can see themselves in. Modern with a twist.
THE LOOK IN A FEW WORDS
Romantic allure that is sexy.
SYMBOLIC WARDROBE MOMENTS
The Bridgerton and Featherington families are very different in their approaches to style and color palette and embellishment. The Featheringtons are bold and audacious and "Versace-esque"; the Bridgertons are subtle, classic, elegant, and pretty---almost like the colored filigree ceilings of the time.
THE COLOR PALETTE
Color palette was the basis and starting point for all of Bridgerton's costumes. Color was used to point out the differences in the characters. Typically depicted as sallow, the color palette of the period was heightened to create depth. Costume Designer Ellen Mirojnick used yellows, blues, raspberries; gorgeous color that "makes people happy", layering colors on top of strong color, creating an effect she calls "magical". Artist Genieve Figgis' work was a reference for Bridgerton's vibrancy of color, and for creating a "blurred lines" effect with color. "Courageous" and "life affirming" yellow is character Penelope's trademark.
Fabrics were layered for fluidity and modernity. Tulle and organza were added over the foundations of dresses to create a blurred silhouette that didn’t have hard lines. Translucent fabric on transparent fabric created dimension.
THE PRINTS + PATTERNS
Prints and patterns (and textures) are a wild, big mix that Mirojnick says, "creates a magical world the viewer wants to be a part of".
KEY ITEMS + ELEMENTS
Embellishments abound: flowers, bows, trims, embroidery, stones and sparkle, and ribbons are key. A mix of vibrant color is key. Nightgowns were seen throughout the series, and bookended the characters' day-to-night outfit changes.
Sheer gloves are hugely important. Hair adornments, flowers, and jewelry with a touch of sparkle.
THE BRANDS + RESOURCES
Mostly everything was constructed from scratch. Some of the jewelry was rented from Italian houses that provide jewelry from every decade. Contemporary jewelry was mixed in with classics, and combined with flowers and ribbon.
NOTES ON THE PROJECT
"The look of Bridgerton provokes your heart. It was released at a time when we’d been completely stuck in the house due to the pandemic, and it allowed one to immerse themselves in a world that is fantastical and luscious and sexy, stepping into a time that was luxurious and feast-like. I’ve been repeatedly asked about how many pieces were made, and about the contrast I created between the families, and I’m also being asked about the impact the series has made on our culture. Bridgerton has had so much influence on world culture. I love that my work has made people happy, and has made them smile.” - Ellen Mirojnick
Two to three months into the development of the costumes, color shifted and the layering of fabric was added. Much like recipe creation for a delicious dish, elements of the costumes came together along the way, as Mirojnick found herself organically draping layers of colored tulle to create silhouette and a combination of color. There was an entire department dedicated to embellishments. The color yellow used in many of the costumes spurned a google search for yellow dresses.
HOW TO TRANSLATE BRIDGERTON FASHION FOR TODAY
Wear a flower or ribbon in the hair. Choose pretty, feminine dresses, and open necklines. Pair a dress with an open neckline with sheer gloves and a little sparkle. Add flowers or sparkle to ribbon, wearing on it on the wrist or the neck, or use it to a dress up a top. Be as light and airy as you can in terms of the fabrics you choose. Buy a full petticoat to add lift to an a-line skirt or dress and "pretend you're floating on air", says Mirojnick.
COSTUME DESIGNER ELLEN MIROJNICK
Born in New York City, Ellen Mirojnick’s early interests in fine art, photography and fashion led to the prestigious High School of Music and Art. After graduation, she further pursued her study of design at The School of Visual Arts and Parsons School of Design. Mirojnick entered the world of fashion after Parsons School of Design. Her fashion-forward instincts quickly propelled her to become one of the most sought-after designers in the field. It wasn’t long before Mirojnick set her sights on Hollywood, beginning a career that has spanned three decades. As a pre-eminent Hollywood costume designer, Mirojnick’s passion for contemporary design has had an impact on motion picture style. Mirojnick’s film work has exhibited a sophisticated, timeless approach to modern storytelling and has yielded iconic characters that have become cultural references. She's receive multiple accolades for her work, including nominations for both BAFTA and Emmy Awards, and winning the Emmy for Behind the Candelabra. The list of prominent filmmakers Mirojnick has designed for is extensive, and includes Steven Soderbergh, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, Paul Verhoven, Tony and Ridley Scott, Kathryn Bigelow, J.J. Abrams and Angelina Jolie, to name a few. She has lectured at UCLA, the Lincoln Center Film Society, the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been profiled in numerous international fashion publications, as well as on AMC’s Hollywood Fashion Machine series, The Costume Designer. In addition, she is also featured in the design book Filmcraft. Her work has been displayed in the 50 Designers/50 Films exhibit at AMPAS, the Florence Biennale, FIDM’s Annual Film and Television Exhibits in 2011-13 and 2015, and the Hollywood Costume exhibition, which originated at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. Over the past few years she has designed The Greatest Showman, Stephen Soderbergh’s Let Them All Talk, Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and Shondaland and Netflix's, Bridgerton. Mirojnick has also just completed designing the costumes for the musical fairy tale Cinderella for Columbia Pictures, directed by Kay Cannon.
Inspired by Bridgerton's feasts and teas, try your hand at a tart.
From Jamie Does by Jamie Oliver
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 3/4 cups double cream
4 1/2 cups mixed seasonal berries , such as blackberries, loganberries, blueberries, red and white currants, good gooseberries
4 meringue nests
2 cups plain flour , plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup powdered sugar , plus extra for dusting
1.1 sticks unsalted butter, (cold)
1 large free-range egg
1 splash of milk
olive oil, for greasing
You can make the pastry by hand, or in a food processor. If making it by hand, sieve the flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl from a height.
Chop the butter into small cubes, then gently work the it into the flour and sugar with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Beat the egg and add to the mix with the milk and gently work it together using your hands until you have a ball. Don’t work the pastry too much or it will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short.
Sprinkle some flour over the dough and a clean work surface, and pat the ball into a thick flat round. Sprinkle over a little more flour, then wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Lightly oil the inside of a 25cm non-stick loose-bottomed tart tin.
Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour, then carefully roll out the pastry, turning it every so often, until you've got a circle about 0.5cm thick.
Roll the pastry over the rolling pin, then unroll it into the tin, making sure you push it into all the sides.
Trim off any extra pastry, and use it to patch any holes, then prick the base of the case all over with a fork, cover with plastic wrap, and pop it into the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Line the pastry case with a large piece of greaseproof paper, pushing it right into the sides.
Fill the pastry case right up to the top with uncooked rice, and bake blind for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Take the case out, carefully remove the rice (save it for baking blind another time) and greaseproof paper, and return the case to the oven to cook for a further 10 minutes, until it’s firm and almost biscuit-like. Leave to cool completely.
Finely grate most of the orange zest into a bowl and whisk with tablespoons of vanilla sugar and the cream until you get a silky mixture that forms soft peaks.
Put half the berries into another bowl and use a fork to mash them up with the remaining tablespoon of vanilla sugar. Break up the meringue nests into rough pieces.
Gently fold the mushed-up berries, and the meringue pieces, into the cream.
Tip the cream mixture into the cooled tart case and gently shake it to help spread it out to the edges. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly, then sprinkle the remaining berries all over the top.
Finely grate over the remaining orange zest and serve right away, with a dusting of icing sugar.