Bridgerton’s Costumer Designer Reveals the Details of Kate Sharma’s Wedding Look
The much-anticipated season two of Bridgerton was released on March 25 on Netflix, and the costumes are more fabulous than ever. Ellen Mirojnick was responsible for the lavish ensembles in season one, but we have Sophie Canale to thank for season two’s exquisite designs. Canale was a part of Mirojnick’s design team during season one, which helped prepare her for taking the lead in season two. With her experience and her own perspective as a designer, viewers witnessed the Bridgerton’s style evolve and saw the lavish gowns that new characters Kate and Edwina Sharma wore to the extravagant events.
Canale was still in the midst of the pandemic when she had to prepare the costumes for season two. She turned to books and paintings, and she drew from her own time in India as a source of inspiration for the outfits.
The costumes play a vital role in transporting viewers to the whimsical world of the Bridgertons. Dolce had the pleasure of chatting with Bridgerton’s costume designer Sophie Canale about how she used clothing to match the characters’ emotions, and she gave us insight into some of the most stand-out looks of the season.
Where did you source the materials for Kate and Edwina Sharma’s outfits?
SC: All over. Most of the jewelry was made in-house by the jeweller. But, for the fabrics, we sourced fabrics from all over the world. I do have contacts in India, from which people buy embroidery, but for all the fabrics, I get from mills in France. I chose the colours, for instance, of Kate’s green royal-like dress, which has an art deco-inspired embroidery; I chose the colour of that velvet. Then, I chose the thread colour, and then we had that design woven on it in France. But, Italy, Spain, we get fabrics from all over Europe.
How did you use the outfits as a tool for storytelling?
SC: I think the colour palette is really important for me for emotion and the weight of the fabrics, as well. You can portray emotion using heavier fabric. When we first meet Kate, she’s got her defences up. She’s a strong character. Having a heavier-weight-taffeta silk kind of has her armour on, and, as the season progresses, we see her going into her softer fabrics, as well. So, you can use the type of fabrics, the colours and the distinctive patterns, as well.
Can you tell me the design inspiration behind Edwina’s wedding look?
SC: I chose a French lace. We had to make three wedding dresses, as well, because Teresa needed two as Edwina because she wore them for so long. And then, obviously, Kate is also in the same fabric. So, using a French lace, it was quite delicate. It was a floral design, but also in an Indian kind of shape. So, just kind of using the Regency period card, but also, I wanted it to have a very long train, as well. I wanted the drama because she ran back up the aisle. And so, naturally, on the width of lace, you know it’s very narrow on the loom. So, there was a lot of work into detail of how long the train could be because of all that was cut and pieced together to make the train a lot longer than the fabric allowed. So, you know, there [were] many hours of work into piecing all the lace together.
And there was a moment when Anthony looks at Kate and sees her in a wedding dress. Is it the same wedding dress?
SC: No, it’s a different wedding dress. So, Anthony’s seeing her as Edwina. But it’s the same fabric, but the cut is slightly different. It’s lower in the neckline, and it’s shorter in the sleeve. It’s a little bit sexier than Edwina’s dress was. And that’s kind of how we wanted to portray Anthony’s vision of him looking at Kate, seeing her, you know, sexier than he sees Edwina because he’s lusting after her. So yes, it is the same dress to a certain extent. But it shows more skin, and it’s just a slightly different cut than Edwina’s dress.
In the first season, Daphne’s seen wearing that powder blue shade a lot. But, after she’s married, she’s not really seen in that shade. Was that intentional?
SC: Yeah, definitely. She moves into the mauves as she becomes a lady. Yeah. And also, then I brought quite a few blues into Eloise’s colour palette, as well. The first time we scale away at the ball, I consciously put her in blue because she’s a Bridgerton. And it’s Bridgerton blue so that gave another colour to Eloise’s colour palette.
So, were tiaras a common accessory during that time period? Or was it just because of the show that they were all constantly wearing those crowns?
SC: Yeah, it’s a tiara. So yes, tiaras showcase social status. Yeah, these women are of the highest society in London, you know, there’s a lot of money. You know, I think if you went to high society in London now to some balls, they would still wear tiaras now, right?
They’re doing it to find their husbands, potentially. It’s a social scene, and it still does happen, to this day, that women will go to parties, and they want to present themselves at their best. And obviously, it’s Bridgerton, so it’s heightened. So yeah, we have that distinction with day wear and evening wear. Even when we have scenes in the evenings, they wear headdresses and hair decorations, but it’s only when they’re at the balls that they wear the tiaras. They’re all dressed to their finest.
Can you explain why cleavage is so popular during the regency era and why, in certain moments, you decided for the characters to be showing cleavage and sometimes they’re not?
SC: So, naturally a corset would push your bust up. Even if you’re looking at Regency corsets to Victorian corsets, that’s naturally how your body shape changes shape. That’s a reason for a corset during the Regency era. It’s kind of taken from the Empire line, and it’s taken from the Romans, in the sense that it’s about the women being sexy, that’s how they are portrayed. And also, I think there is a difference between characters and busts. I think you’ll notice that Kate, we distinctively gave a higher neckline. So basically, the bodices are different. They all have corsets on, but they’re slightly different measurements, so you can either see their bust or you can hide it. Yeah, so yeah. Maybe, as we go further along, we will see a little bit more bust, but yeah, it was a choice made that we wanted to not portray her in that way. Because it’s a journey that she’s going on. We didn’t want her to instantly be sexy.
I think that naturally when anyone’s in love, they hold themselves in different ways … even if they don’t even know they’re doing it. They naturally evolve. They’re different. You know, their confidence changes, there’s lust and love so … so we tweak those little things in the costume just to visually help the audience.