15 thoughts on “Embrace the Weirdness

  1. I agree . For some reason I don’t mind the inaccuracy here compared to other period dramas( just like I don’t mind the inaccuracy of things like the The Favorite and Crimson Peak).

    As well as other than the lack of chemises.

    I also think they missed the opportunity of putting something SUPER WACKY AND FITS THE AESTHETHIC FOR THE SHOW TO A T.

    As well as being super historically accurate , by putting them in ENGLISH Regency era court dress

  2. The show is so much of a teen romance drama,I think it is fair to give the costume designers some leeway.Aesthetically some looks were unappealing(the tacky embroidery and the wonky bustlines)but historical accuracy was not the goal.
    I had the same thoughts about them missing the chance to try Regency court gowns.But I have heard people describe the look as ‘disturbing’,and there are no extants to judge the look in person(not that they would use period patterns strictly).Robe de cours are so rare in modern films,or simply reduced to an over embellished francaise for convenient reasons.

  3. This is Regency fantasy, and as such I’m willing to extend some grace for the goofy costuming.

  4. I was up for the crazy creativity – really enjoyed looking for the colors and patterns as they related to the characters – didn’t really need to relate to history for me. But then again I am a jewelry designer. – being a jewelry designer for a costume collector – I did occasionally rage on the crazy jewelry collection. Somewhere between my Grandmothers 40’s necklaces and stamped our metal medallions with glued on gems. I still loved it and was amused that my husband actually enjoyed it.

  5. Nothing really bother’s me in this show because the whole thing is really made up. But it would have been fun to see historical outlandish dress.

  6. That La Belle Assemblée engraving reminded me of my childhood, dancing out from under Mother Ginger’s skirt in the Nutcracker!

  7. I loved it. Simon was swoon worthy. Costumes were Regency inspired fantasy. Can’t wait for book 2 er season 2.

  8. I had no idea that underboob side panniers existed. On the one hand, that sounds like a terrifying and hilarious thing to recreate. On the other, how uncomfortable would THAT be? Panniers under your armpits means that you can’t reach the hidden bottles of champagne in there!

  9. History is the image of it we carry around in our minds. Only to serious students and anoraks is it any different. I remember when I first saw ‘Gladiator’. I was and had always been a Roman military nerd, and when I was three minutes into the film and had run out of fingers (and toes) to count the inaccuracies on, it occurred to me that I should just ignore them and enjoy the film. It was tosh, enjoyable tosh, and Commodus didn’t die in the arena and power wasn’t handed back to the Senate, so to hell with history.

    ‘Bridgerton’ was tosh, enjoyable tosh. In the adaptation for TV such a lot was messed around with (for fun?). Atia of the Julii was parachuted in to play… well… and early 19c version of Atia of the Julii. She was married to someone whom you could have parachuted into ‘Pride and Prejudice’ to play Mr Bennet (until he was revealed as a gambling addict and got himself murdered). Familiar tropes abounded – duels, unsuitable suitors, blokes walking round apparently with broomhandles up the back of their jackets. There was no way of telling the Bridgerton brothers apart…

    Costume? Yeah, you nailed it. But then we all had to put up with the whole miniseries of ‘Sharpe’ where Sean Bean never changed out of a rifleman’s uniform, no matter how far he rose in the ranks, no matter whether he was on the battlefield or in the ballroom.

    Simon was gorgeous, of course…

    And there we bump into the elephant in the ballroom – the show’s ludic approach to race. History is, as I said, is the image of it we carry around in our minds. ‘Bridgerton’ leaves us with the impression of early 19c English aristocratic society rich in racial diversity. Inaccurate? Yes. Forget it and enjoy the show? Maybe. But the serious matter of the recovery of Black British history only really started in my lifetime, and there is still a hell of a lot of work to do. I’m thinking that the racial playfulness of ‘Bridgerton’ is probably a step too soon. Filmmakers are narrators not reporters, image-makers not purveyors of vérité. Not all of us can remind ourselves of the dichotomy – we have long lived in an age where people take soaps for real-life, abuse screen villians in the street, we now live in a world where people will believe any sh*t they’re told, as recent events have shown us. Is it safe any more to suspend disbelief and enjoy the show?

    [By the way, without Googling, can anyone tell me when Britain actually WAS ruled by someone born on the continent of Africa, and who that was?]

    1. I’m as white as can be, so I defer on the race question to people of color. That being said, I’ve seen a lot of BIPOC people say they enjoyed being represented and in a way that used fantasy to create a positive image. On the other hand, I think seeing real history (and real struggle) represented is important too. As an ally, I’m happy to see both — but it’s not my opinion that matters.

      1. I think it’s wrong to say one’s opinion doesn’t matter. It does. It is perfectly acceptable – nay, necessary – to give other opinions precedence, given a particular context.

  10. I completely agree. There are plenty of examples of bonkers fashion choices in the Regency that the designer could have worked from.

    I got very annoyed very quickly at the costume designer making so many unfounded claims about the fashions of Regency as if they were gospel truth, when it was pretty clear she searched a few Pinterest boards and called it good. I don’t mind someone who really knows what they’re doing turning fashion of a certain era on its head in a creative way. But to just base one’s decisions on broad generalizations and incorrect assumptions…grrr!

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