If there's one show on everyone's minds lately, it seems to be Bridgerton, the lavish, record-breaking Netflix series about 19th century London, scandal, and romance. The regency-era wardrobe put together by costume designer Ellen Mirojnick is flashy and ostentatious, sure.
Witty dialogue, smoldering glances, over-the-top costumes. Based on a series of romance novels by Julia Quinn, the show is set in England’s Regency era, which ran through the early 1800s and is famous for sumptuous fashions.
But what’s really eye-catching to us, is the jewelry : diamonds, pearls, rubies, and emeralds galore, adorned by the cast of characters.
Bridgerton’s ladies don their extravagant, embellished gowns, tiaras, and evening gloves to lovely soirees, balls, and formal outings, styled with delectable diamante collared necklaces, chandelier earrings, cocktail rings over silk gloves, and of course, many, many strands of pearls. Their love for daily fineries is awe-inspiring and a delight to watch on screen, especially during a time where we have put most of our dressing up on hold.
"At the beginning, Daphne is always in very demure, small diamond jewelry. Everything is close to the nape of her neck. Image courtesy” : Netflix
Debutante and lead character Daphne Bridgerton wears a lot of short “diamond” necklaces along with an array of glamorous-but-prim bejeweled hair pieces and accessories. Her timeless jewels help paint the picture of restrained elegance that ultimately defines the character.
The size of pieces could never overwhelm her, she's so delicate and so fine-boned," Mirojnick told Insider. “It just dictated the smallest, most delicate of stones in her necklace if she was to wear something.”
“Then the necklaces get bigger," Jones said, explaining that the change symbolizes Daphne's growth out of childish naïveté and into grown women's business.
Dior’s Tarot collection. Image courtesy : Dior
Dior portrayed the tale of a young woman who goes on a journey of self-discovery and encounters a series of symbolic figures in a mysterious castle whereas Chanel cited inspirations like Emir Kusturica’s 1988 film “Time of the Gypsies” with a decor of gilded chairs sparsely dotted on the wooden floorboards of the circular runway, which consisted of flowered arches and a single string of lightbulbs.
Chanel’s Cabine. Image courtesy : Chanel
Bazaar writes, “There was a hopeful sense of timeless clothes made for celebrating in the future post-vaccine world about the collection.”
“After a year of the corona virus outbreak, 2021 is going to be the year of letting loose your imagination to run wild. A year of reminiscing fantastical, larger than life experiences.
And there’s no debate : We could all use a little fantasy and escape at this moment.”
Netflix’s Bridgerton is a fun 19th century Gossip Girl-esque series set in Georgian England. Sparkly gowns, puffed up shirt sleeves and wigs to match the mood. Image courtesy : Netflix
“One cannot miss out on the jewels adorned by young and old.”
Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick has been working in the industry since the 1970s (she’s responsible for the clothes in Fatal Attraction and Brandy’s 1997 version of Cinderella, among many others). She says she tackled this project the way she always does with historical work: first by looking at the period she’s working in, then amplifying it. The result is a funkier, louder, wilder version of the 1800s.
Once Daphne Bridgerton and Simon are officially married, Daphne begins wearing shades of purple. This color shift symbolizes the shift she's experiencing in real life. Image courtesy : Netflix
After marrying the Duke, Daphne goes from being a sought-after debutante to a duchess, but with minimal changes to the jewelry she is seen wearing.
Featheringtons, in contrast, are clad in vibrantly colorful patterned silk gowns, accessorized with brightly hued gemstone jewelry. Image courtesy : Netflix
Mirojnick called the Featheringtons' jewelry and style "Versace-esque," in a nod to the famed Italian fashion label known for its bold patterns and bright colors.
Still, the most exciting jewelry in the show is worn by the taciturn Queen Charlotte (played by Golda Rosheuvel). Image courtesy : Netflix
The queen is always jeweled to the hilt—in a parure of bold “ruby” pieces, mountains of long pearl necklaces, and flamboyant gemstone earrings.
"Full of colorful stones—diamonds were not being mined extensively at this point—and decorative flourishes and filigrees, the pieces can almost feel casual, appropriate for daytime wear".
The youngest Featherington daughter, Penelope, is often seen wearing jewelry shaped like flowers and butterflies to symbolize her young age compared to those around her. Image courtesy : Netflix
Penelope's best friend, Eloise, is a Bridgerton but, unlike Daphne, she often wears a fancy cravat instead of a necklace.
On the rare occasion that Eloise does wear jewelry, Mirojnick said, she's either wearing family jewels or Daphne's hand-me-downs. Image courtesy : Insider
Lady Danbury, who plays matchmaker for Simon and Daphne, is "an independent woman" who "has lived a life of her own," so Mirojnick says they gave her jewelry pieces that are "all very strong." There's nothing very airy and romantic about her jewelry. It's very strong and solid for the most part.
Image courtesy : Netflix
"Women still wear jewelry as a symbol of being married or betrothed to someone, or they mix it in with pieces they get from relatives." The interest in fine jewelry and luxury can transcend fashion and time, but so can the abstract concepts those very material goods represent. "Those things still mean something to someone, it makes people feel proud to wear something with a story behind it. Love is eternal and people still want it, and they want to be able to express it."
“It may not be the Regency era, but it is the Zoom era, and there’s nothing wrong with wearing your fineries daily, say, a diamond choker or a bunch of cocktail rings for your next meeting.”