Definition August 2024 - Web


new gown initially attracts some male attention, it also compels mean girl Cressida Cowper to tear the fabric, humiliating Penelope and sending her back to wallflower status. “With the emerald green dress, she was going all out to be as different as possible. That all went horribly wrong for her, so it’s getting her back into her comfort zone,” says Sayer of Penelope’s later outfits, which are not only more neutral but also more like Cressida and Eloise Bridgerton’s (Penelope’s former best friend). “She can still move in and out of the Bridgerton world, the Featherington world, Colin’s world, Cressida’s world,” shares Glaser. “They have matured as characters and the story has matured; it doesn’t have to be so Disney. If we used those strong citrus colours throughout, it would be exhausting for the audience to keep looking at them and would take away from her character development,” Glaser concludes. KEEPING STOCK Bridgerton ’s ensemble cast – not to mention its countless extras – warrants hundreds of individual costumes, which can take several weeks to create. In Season 1, “Daphne had well over 100 dresses,” recalls Sayer. “It’s reduced slightly from that now; the story days tend to be longer, so the changes tend to be reduced.” Glaser estimates about 40 changes per actor in Season 3. While the designers originally created each item from scratch, principal pieces

TALK OF THE TON (Right) Members of the Bridgerton costume design department; (below) Jessica Madsen playing Cressida Cowper

are now regularly reused. “They are stripped down to their basic elements, and then redecorated and reworked,” reveals Glaser. “I say that, but some people will know when a dress was already worn.” “People recognise some of them for sure,” agrees Sayer. “We use the odd key piece, but with womenswear, we like to create new dresses each season. We may use a simple dress as a base layer.” Hawkes treats each season as a trial-and-error experience. “You realise from one season to another that it either works or doesn’t work,” he states. “The next season is about building a smaller stock to add to that – otherwise it would be huge.” Sometimes costumes can’t be reused – for instance, if they get muddy. “The dresses from Seasons 1 and 2 are long, they’re worn on the ground and have trains; they get pretty much destroyed,” mentions Glaser. “When you look at 1820,

the hemlines rise; that gives us a reason to get rid of the dirty bottoms. History has been kind to us; the weather hasn’t.”

PLAY HARD The costume department has obvious chemistry, not only with each other but also with the cast. “There is an element of fun,” admits Hawkes. “There has to be, and I hope that there always will be. That’s what makes it a little bit special.” “It’s a happy team,” Sayer concurs. “We’ve got a good relationship with the cast, so fittings are happy, and we don’t have any muddy battle scenes in Season 3, so that’s always a bonus.” Glaser stresses that his job is to help enhance the story rather than do the telling. “We’re not precious about certain things: our job is to make it look beautiful.” “It’s easy to compare it to Shakespeare,” Hawkes jests. “He was always able to balance the fun with the seriousness. There’s a real serious side to Bridgerton , a real sexy side to Bridgerton , but there’s also a humorous side.” Rather than copying Shakespeare or Austen, Bridgerton breaks away from ‘restrictive period rules’, reiterates Glaser. “That allowed the actors to think about their characters in a different way. They weren’t so confined.” “We’re designing things that haven’t been seen,” remarks Hawkes. “We’re not recreating history.” “There’s a basis of the Regency period, but we are not too precious about that,” concludes Glaser. “Everything has been adapted – ‘Bridger-tised’.” Bridgerton Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix



Powered by