A good character isn’t just about the words they say or the actions they take. Often, a character becomes real as much from the clothes as the script. On this episode of Bridgerton: The Official Podcast, host Gabrielle Collins talks to costume designers Ellen Miorjnick and John Glaser to hear how they created the lewks served by every single member of the Bridgerton ensemble, and how the actors influenced their own wardrobe through conversations about their characters. While the costumes weren’t strictly historically accurate, the boldness of color, the shape of the silhouettes, and the subtle details in accessories helped convey each character’s personality. It was no small endeavor: Ellen says they created 7,500 costume pieces for background and main characters – and that doesn’t even count the wigs!
Dr. Hannah Brown, the historian on Bridgerton, tells us that the “beau monde” of the Regency era were the fashionable leaders of their day; picture the U.S. Senate smashed together with Hollywood, and you’ve got an idea of what the “ton” was like. The clothes were of utmost importance in expressing the characters' personalities. For example, when Adjoa Andoh was creating her character, Lady Danbury, she told the costume and hair department that she always wanted her hair pulled back. Lady Danbury “sees all, knows all,” so she wouldn’t want any impediment to her vision. Her clothes and hair helped show us a woman who was free from many societal constraints, who had enough money and power to do as she pleased. On the other hand, Daphne Bridgerton was a “porcelain doll,” Ellen says; she has very little ornamentation outside of her dresses, to show clean elegance and innocence, “a breath of beauty.” But as her character evolves and matures, so do her clothes; the fabrics “conform to her body more,” John says, and the colors deepen, so instead of “icy and pristine,” the audience can “feel her pain, feel her want, feel her confusion.”
They weren’t “too precious” with the era, much like other aspects of Bridgerton including music and movement; it was more important for the audience to feel the sense of wonder and excitement at the richness and fabulousness of the fashion than it was for the clothes to exactly match the Regency period. Hannah’s a historian, but she doesn’t mind this because it conveys to us what the people of the time would have been feeling at the sights and sounds of a sumptuous ball or a lavish court presentation. Then there’s the wigs; Golda Rosheuvel, who played Queen Charlotte, literally had a lot to bear as the fashionable queen. Her costumes and wigs were so heavy that they even had to build her “a leaning post” so she could take the weight off her spine between takes. Well, you know what they say: You gotta suffer for fashion. Hear more about how Golda ventilated her Afro wig with metal combs when it got too hot, how Regé-Jean Page wore the era perfectly, and many more fascinating details on this episode of Bridgerton: The Official Podcast.
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