Is the “recycling” of certain fashion trends going too far?
Maggie John discusses Netflix’s hit show, ‘Bridgerton’, following social media’s new-found obsession with Regency-era fashion
Trends come and go and, like most things in life, fashion is influenced by the past. We’ve moved from skinny jeans to flares as Y2K fashion trends continue to influence our style choices. Therefore, it’s no surprise that following the astounding success of Netflix’s Bridgerton, there has been growing interest in Regency-era fashion. Empire line dresses and corset style garments are expected to become even more more popular in the coming months.
So, why are people so enamoured by the fashion choices in Bridgerton? This style is, clearly, so different to the clothes we wear now. Of course, the fact we’ve all fallen in love with the characters is one probable reason as to why these styles are growing in popularity. Viewers see these brilliant female characters continuously donned in new dresses, made up of amazing fabrics, divine colours and immense detail. They’re truly works of art – each of them flattering and elegant. I think, in some ways, their beautiful presentation has made it easy to forget how uncomfortable and often pain-inducing these garments were.
Television and the media has been proven to be extremely influential within the world of fashion, and just because Bridgerton is set in the early 1800s, it’s no exception. A part of us wants some of its magic and the clothes are clearly a powerful tool . They’re both personal and convincing. It is clear that the focus on fashion is a key contributing factor to the show’s success, especially when considering its popularity on social media. TikTok stars can be seen sharing the best places to find Regency-era inspired clothing and, when these pieces are sold out, have even been making their own.
The costumes were created by the renowned Ellen Mirojnick, known for her work in Fatal Attraction or The Greatest Showman. According to Mirojnick’s interview with Vogue, they took inspiration from the silhouettes and styles of London’s Regency period, simultaneously shifting the colour palette and fabrications to those of the 1950s and 60s (notably paying particular homage to Dior dresses). These dresses feel modern, despite being inspired by decades past. I would argue, then, that it is their modern feel that means recent social media trends have found it easy to draw inspiration from them. Clearly, it is not so difficult to make ‘new’ of something that would otherwise be considered outdated.
Some may wonder whether “recycling” supposed trends from the Regency era is too much. Perhaps they’re too old and these styles simply don’t work in today’s society. I must disagree. I think these trends only confirm the idea that clothing is something to experiment with. If you want to dress in a certain way, don’t let anything stop you! We all need some of that Bridgerton magic at the moment.